Nutrition is vital since the body uses food to help grow and develop, keep the body healthy, and replace tissue. A healthy diet includes foods and liquids with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and water. All of this is what the body needs. Good nutrition helps people live longer and lowers the risk of chronic disease.
Changes in muscle and bone mass, such as osteoporosis
What are some of the poor nutritional decisions people consume?
Most people in the United States consume too much sodium, saturated fats, and sugars. Too much sodium can increase a person’s blood pressure, which increases their risk for heart disease and stroke. Over 70% of sodium consumed by Americans comes from packages, processed, store-bought, or restaurant foods. Another factor is sugar since many drinks, as well as pre-packaged and processed foods, include sugar. Sugar leads to weight gain and obesity, which leads to chronic diseases, including diabetes, and are linked to 13 types of cancers (uterine, breast for postmenopausal women, colorectal, to name a few). Furthermore, saturated and trans fats have shown an increase in heart disease and increase in cognitive decline, which increases the risk of developing dementia.
What should I aim to eat?
Eating foods low in saturated fats and sodium yet high in fiber is a start. Eat whole fruits, vegetables, and legumes such as peas and beans. Frozen, canned, and dried produce can be as nutritious. Read the labels and choose the product with the lowest added sugars and sodium. Aim for vegetables without salty sauces and fruits packed in juice or water versus heavy syrup. Drain and rinse canned produce and beans. Also, choose fish, poultry, or beans instead of red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) or processed meat (bacon, sausage, lunch meats, and hot dogs). In addition, choose whole-grain over refined grains for your bread, pasta, and cereal. Don’t forget to consume plenty of calcium, which is good for the bones. Everything is in moderation, so food portions are essential to get healthy and maintain a healthy weight. Physical activity is also crucial.
Where can I learn more about proper nutrition?
The government has nutrient information primarily based on a person’s medical condition. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute developed a card to help people estimate their serving size. Many doctor’s offices have a brochure or sheet on healthy eating. Some specialists have a nutritionist on staff who will work with patients. Another option is to hire a private nutritionist to help guide you on shopping and eating habits. Since physical activity is essential, too, take a walk around the neighborhood or sign up for an exercise class.
STAGES is here to educate people on what resources are available.