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Eating tips for your health

Posted by Janice Cox, RDN, LD, Lunds and Byerly’s Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist
Monday, March 24, 2014

National Nutrition Month is coming to an end, but really, isn’t every month nutrition month? Here are some important things you can do for your health year round.

Reduce Unhealthy Fats:
The higher the NuVal score, the less saturated and trans fats are in your food. Saturated fats and trans fats (found in foods with ‘partially hydrogenated oils) raise your ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, leading to increased risk of heart disease. By looking for meats, poultry and dairy products with higher NuVal scores, you’ll automatically be choosing foods with a lower amount of saturated fat.

Replace Unhealthy Fats with Healthy Fats:
The higher the NuVal score, the more healthy unsaturated fats are in a food. Mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. These fats are found mainly in plants, such as nuts, seeds, olive and canola oil and avocado, as well as cold water fish. 

Eat Fewer Refined Carbohydrates and More Whole Grains:
The higher the NuVal score, the more fiber and less added sugar a food will have. Processed foods, such as white bread, sugary cereals, candy, soda, cookies, chips, pastries and sugars score low on the NuVal scale because of their added sugars and lack of good-for-you nutrients. Choosing whole grains, such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and high fiber breads and cereals, provide more nutrition, are higher scoring and help keep you feeling full for longer!

Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables:
Produce consistently scores high on the NuVal scale because of its fiber, vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content. Have at least one fruit or vegetable with each meal and snack.

Balance Your Plate:
Fill at least half your plate with vegetables, one-quarter with a lean protein, and one-quarter with a whole grain for a satisfying, nutritious meal. 

Practice Portion Awareness:
The amount of food we eat at any given time is key to help us maintain a healthy weight. Here are some tips to help you practice portion awareness:

  • Pre-portion snacks: Take the portion you’d like to eat out of the container and serve it on a dish, then stick to that amount!
  • Eat off smaller dishes: Studies show when we eat off smaller plates and bowls, we eat less!
  • Make nutritious food more visible: Place a bowl of fruit on the counter and store more tempting foods out of sight.
  • Keep serving dishes off the table: One study showed that when the serving dish is in front of us, we eat 20% more food. Keep the servings dishes on the counter for portion control.
  • Eat slower: It takes 20 minutes for our stomach to tell our brain we’re full, so when we eat quickly we’re more likely to overeat.

If you have questions about NuVal, eating healthier or could use support, send me an email at janice.cox@lfhi.com.

Tags: nuvalnutritionhealthy

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