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Turnip the Beet! Nutrition and Wellness

Timely news, information, and innovative ideas to promote health and influence change.
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Put Your Best Fork Forward

March is National Nutrition Month® and the theme this year is "Put Your Best Fork Forward". This campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and making each bite count. Here are some tips to get you started:

Create a Healthy Home Environment- Eating is an automatic behavior and you may think you have control of your choices but research shows that our decisions are based on habit and often without much thought at all. We make, on average, 600 food/drink choices a day! Our hunger cues tell us when we are hungry and when we've had enough but when food is present we have to consciously refrain from eating. This takes a lot of effort and over time it fatigues our mental reserves which can inhibit our ability to perform other tasks.

Your home environment will either help or hinder your dietary goals. The Cornell Food and Brand Lab suggest you "set up every room for success by making healthy options convenient and attractive and the less slimming options harder to get to". Another tactic is to clear your kitchen counter except for a fruit bowl. When you want a snack, a piece of fruit is now the most convenient choice.

Eating With the Environment in Mind- There is much you can do with regard to sustainable eating behaviors such as reducing food waste by learning about "best buy" dates, buying in bulk to avoid unnecessary packaging, buying produce that's in season and local, choosing to buy and eat seafood that has been caught responsibly and including more plant-based proteins into your diet, which will also increase your fiber intake. Good options would be lentils (17 g/cup), beans (15-17 g/cup), hempseeds (10 g/3Tbs), tofu (~9g/3oz) and nuts and nut butters (7-8 g/serving).

Get off the SoFAS- This stands for solid fats and added sugars. This includes a lot of the prepackaged and processed foods available today. If you are like millions of Americans and you want to prevent or manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease then limiting your intake of SoFAS should be one of your goals. They increase your cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar.

How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Start with small changes, one forkful at a time. Put your best fork forward starting in March and come to one of my nutrition and wellness classes! Find out what's being offered by visiting our website or calling 309-756-9978. Hope to see you soon!

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