National Nutrition Month 2020 celebrates the importance of making small changes towards improving health. Dietary changes can seem overwhelming at times, and setting small, short term, achievable goals can turn these changes into habits. The following are examples of small changes to improve eating habits.
Include More Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables have many wonderful benefits, but many people struggle to include them into their daily eating habits. Easy changes to include more of these antioxidant rich foods include:
- Use vegetables as pizza toppings
- Grill vegetables on skewers as a side dish
- Make a smoothie with fruit, leafy greens and milk
- Keep cut up vegetables in the fridge for an easy snack
- Include a cup of vegetable soup with lunch.
Reduce Added Sugars in Diet
The new nutrition label launched this year and finally includes a line item for added sugars. These are important to minimize in the diet because they provide no nutritional value and many people consume more than the recommended daily amount, which can lead to weight gain and other health related problems. Here are some tips for reducing added sugars while satisfying your sweet tooth:
- Add fresh or canned fruit to plain yogurt (instead of flavored yogurt)
- Use regular oatmeal and sweeten with dried fruit and cinnamon (instead of pre-made packets)
- Swap out sugary beverages with sparkling or spa water (water infused with citrus and herbs)
- Switch from sweetened to unsweetened applesauce
- Use jams, jellies and nut butters with no added sugars.
Making small, meaningful changes can go a long way in improving health and wellness.