There is no secret to healthy eating. A healthy diet includes all foods. Making healthy food choices can be the difference between health and disease. The key is variety, balance and moderation.
No single food can provide all the nutrients your body needs, so good nutrition means eating a variety of foods. Variety means eating different foods from the 5 major food groups of the Food Guide Pyramid. We should also eat different foods within each food group.
Balance has to do with mixing and matching the types of food we eat to make sure we get enough of the nutrients we need and not too much of the ones we tend to overdo. By eating balanced meals, we get just the right amount of the following things that our bodies need:
In this world where we are bombarded with the questions: "Would you like to super-size that?" and "Would you like the combo meal?" eating a moderate amount of food can be very challenging. We eat for many reasons:
- Because it is time to eat or because "it's there!"
- Because we are angry, frustrated, upset, sad or anxious
- Because we are happy/excited/nervous
- Because, for some reason, we feel we "have to"
One of the keys to moderation is recognizing and honoring our body's hunger and fullness cues. Eating when our bodies don't really require food can easily lead to overeating. And overeating can lead to health problems related to being overweight.
Healthy Eating Suggestions
- Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruit every day
- Eat meals together as a family
- Do not use food as a reward or withhold food as a punishment
- Drink water and limit intake of beverages with added sugar
- Stock the refrigerator with healthy snacks
- Eat a healthy breakfast every day
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Atlas, which includes County-wide data on food access for Rensselaer County.