The foundation of good health is the food we eat.
That’s why Cy-Fair Hospital wants to help you eat healthier during National Nutrition Month.
“It is important to control portion sizes, choose nutrient-rich foods, and maintain physical exercise,” explains Bimal Talati, MD, internal medicine physician on the medical staff at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital.
“When your body gets all the nutrients it needs from a smaller portion of food, you are less likely to eat too much.”
A well-balanced diet includes portions from all food groups including grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans, healthy fats and oils, and some discretionary calories. “It is important to remember there is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to nutrition,” says Dr. Talati. “Daily intake depends on many things such as sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity.” For more information on your ideal daily nutrition plan, visit www.mypyramid.gov.
“It is important to remember to focus on the quality of the foods you and your family eat rather than the quantity,” says Dr. Talati. By emphasizing nutrient-rich choices, you can lower both the portion size and lower your salt intake. Don’t forget to exercise!
To help your family eat healthier, it is important to understand the health benefits of eating certain foods:
- Grains provide the body with energy and fiber. When choosing grains, it is better to pick whole grains because they are more difficult for the body to digest. This helps control blood sugar levels and may protect against heart disease.
- Fruits and vegetables are extremely nutrient-rich foods. “Eating large portions of fruits and vegetables can decrease the chances of a heart attack or stroke and may protect against some forms of cancer,” explains Dr. Talati.
- Dairy products help build bones because they provide the body with calcium. The body absorbs calcium through vitamin D, but most people need more vitamin D than is supplied by one glass of milk. “It is possible to get calcium through a calcium supplement that includes vitamin D, however, check with your health care provider before trying anything new,” urges Dr. Talati.
- The meat and beans category also includes nuts, seeds, tofu, and eggs. These protein rich foods can help reduce the risk of heart disease and provide the body with fiber.
- Did you know that some fats are good for your body? Healthy fats and oils such as olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil can improve cholesterol levels and may protect the heart from potentially deadly rhythm problems. You can get these healthy fats from other sources too, such as nuts, seeds, avocadoes, and fatty fish like salmon.
Healthy shopping is the key to healthy eating. Call 800-681-2733 to get a free, wallet-sized Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips Guide that may help you navigate the grocery store aisles with ease! The guide explains how to interpret nutrition information and what to look for when shopping for healthy foods. Supplies are limited.