5 Practical Steps to a More Nutritious Diet
We all know the importance of healthy eating and exercising, but medical professionals can easily fall into a pattern of eating anything fast and easy during the work hours. Since March is National Nutrition Month, here are some quick tips for patients, nurses, and even providers, for eating healthier. Also, there are a few new exercises to try if you are in an office setting and need to get up and move. Be sure to check out all 33 exercises from Greatist.
Studies have shown that nutrition is strongly linked to many health concerns. “Among adults ages 20-74, diabetes remains the leading cause of kidney failure, blindness, and non-traumatic lower-extremity amputations.”
Here are 5 practical steps that we all can take for a more nutritious Diet :
1. Portion control : When eating meals, portions of starches and fatty foods should be much smaller than those of fruits and vegetables. If you are still hungry after your meal, try replacing that second helping of mashed potatoes with leafy greens instead.
2. Protein : Instead of frying your chicken, try baking or grilling. Meats that are baked or grilled are better than food that is fried. Try incorporating more fish into meals in the place of other fatty sources of protein.
3. Drinks : An occasional cup of coffee with cream and sugar, or can of soda is understandable, but drinks with high sugar content and low nutritional value should not be a staple. These send the body into a sugary spike that throws the body’s natural processes off its regular course.
4. Desserts : Try replacing at least one sugar cravings and make for a great, natural dessert choice.
5. Eating out : Be aware of larger portion sizes in restaurants. Also, watch out for the endless basket of bread or chips that finds its way to the table. Mindless eating is a huge offender to the nutritious diet.
Even though making dietary changes may be challenging, there are some simple steps that can make incorporating more nutritious choices into your diet more attainable.
- First, remember that nutrition is not all about weight loss. Balanced meals and regular exercise are of great value to health even if the scale never moves.
- Second, try starting with small changes, like choosing one of the steps above, and move toward a healthier diet.
- Third, set goals and stick with them. Instead of rewarding yourself with a treat, try a walk in the park, or playing ball with your kids.
- Finally, talk with a healthcare professional to learn what nutrition plan best suits your well-being, based on any past medical history that you may have.
With obesity plaguing so many Americans today, nutrition remains a high priority in healthcare education. Choosing a nutrient rich diet is a choice for a healthier, longer life with friends and loved ones.
Sit in an office all day? Try out some of these fun ‘Deskercises’ (Desk exercises) from Greatist, to get your heart rate up during the work week!
- The Cubicle Wanderer : Walking during work is totally underrated. Take a stroll down the hall to catch up with coworkers or welcome a new employee. Or, instead of dialing extensions and sending lazy emails to the manager two doors down, put in some face time. Just beware of tempting candy jars when making the rounds.
- The Wall (Street) Sit : Wall sits are great for building strength and endurance. Standing with your back against the wall, bend the knees and slide your back down the wall until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Sit and hold for 30-60 seconds (or up to 12 hours, the world record!), while browsing the Wall Street Journal (or Buzzfeed). For some extra burn, try crossing the right ankle over the left knee, hold for 15 seconds, then switch!
- The Stapler Curl : Trusty staplers are always guarded closely, especially the red ones. Seated or standing, take the stapler in one hand with the palm facing upwards. Starting at the thighs, bend the elbow and curl the arm up towards the chest, just like a regular dumbbell biceps curl. Pause momentarily and then lower the stapler back down. Continue for 12-15 reps, then switch. Don’t have a weighty stapler? Try using a filled water bottle or a heavy change purse (the vending machine can wait!).