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10 Nutrition Tips for a Healthier You

Jun 08, 2023
10 Nutrition Tips for a Healthier You

10 Nutrition Tips for a Healthier You

We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” It sounds trite, but there’s a lot of wisdom packed in those five words. Good health depends on good nutrition, but all too often, we skip the healthy choices in favor of “convenience” foods packed with sugars, fats, additives, and empty calories.

In fact, data show that while many Americans are eating too much, the calories they consume aren’t based on good nutrition, increasing the risks of many chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Americans are low on vital nutrients necessary for optimal health, including vitamins A, C, D, and E, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and choline.

Fortunately, “fixing” nutritional deficiencies isn’t difficult; however, it does rely on an understanding of what nutrients are most important for your health and wellness, considering your age, your medical history, and other factors unique to you. Professional nutritional guidance helps ensure your diet reflects your own nutritional needs.

Located in Chesterfield, Missouri, and McKinney, Texas, STL Medical Weight Loss offers nutrition services via telehealth, which means you can receive the care and support you need no matter where you live. In this post, Joseph Moleski, DO, and Margaurette Walsh, PA-C, offer important tips to help you optimize your own nutrition for better health and wellness.

1. Read food labels

Food labels are chock full of important information about what you’re feeding your body. Take time to read the labels on any packaged foods you’re buying to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need without any unwelcome surprises.

2. Learn the correct portion sizes

Since 1900, the average dinner plate has increased in size by two inches — that’s a lot of extra calories we’ve been heaping on our plates. Learning portion sizes can help you avoid eating too many calories. Food labels include portion sizes, and you can also check out this chart from the National Institutes of Health.

3. Watch your sodium intake

Sodium increases your blood pressure, which can take a toll on your blood vessels and organs, including your heart, kidneys, and eyes. Limit table salt and check food labels for “hidden” sources of sodium in foods you commonly eat.

4. Choose healthy snacks

Keep nuts, whole-grain crackers, low-fat cheese, and fresh fruit on hand for snacks, and skip sugar-laden cookies, pastries, and fat- and salt-soaked chips. Make every calorie count to give your body optimal nutritional support.

5. Include some probiotic foods

Probiotic foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi support the gut bacteria that aid in digestion. Try to add some probiotic foods at least once a week to keep your gut happy.

6. Get enough sleep

Inadequate sleep disrupts hormones and increases your cravings for unhealthy foods. When sleep problems are chronic, you increase your risk of obesity, too.

7. Satisfy fat cravings the healthy way

We need some fats to help our bodies process fat-soluble vitamins, but most of us eat unhealthy fats. Swap out butter and vegetable oil with olive oil, and opt for fatty fish and avocado to enjoy healthy omega-3 fats.

8. Eat the rainbow

Brightly colored, deeply hued fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and other important nutrients for good health, and they can help offset cell damage associated with aging. Eating the rainbow means choosing a variety featuring lots of colors to maximize these benefits.

9. Reach for lean or plant-based proteins

Protein is important for healthy muscles and heart and brain health. Focus on lean proteins and plant-based proteins, like beans, whole grains, and nuts, and limit your intake of red meat.

10. Start slowly

Aiming for more whole, nutrient-dense foods is great, but if you try to completely change your diet all at once, you might find yourself binging on unhealthy choices. Try incorporating each change slowly so that you can adapt your habits and your taste preferences over time. 

Nutritional services based on your unique needs

Your nutritional needs are unique to you. Let us work with you to determine an eating plan that helps you stay healthy. Call or book a telehealth appointment online with STL Medical Weight Loss today to learn more.