Biting into a Healthy Lifestyle

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NEW HAVEN, Conn (WTNH) — If you’re having trouble getting focused to consume fewer calories, make informed food choices and get more physical activity, listen closely. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics designates March as National Nutrition Month as the time to help people spruce up their food choices and develop sound eating and exercise practices.

Joining us Sunday morning on Good Morning Connecticut, registered dietitian, Pat Baird has some helpful information on Biting into a Healthy Lifestyle. Baird highlights the importance of a “foods first approach to nutrition.” Consuming whole food rather than supplements is a superior way to promote good health and wellness.

The Dietary Guidelines report that most Americans don’t get enough potassium, vitamins C and D, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber — or activity. Research also shows that when people consume fewer calories, make informed food choices and get daily exercise, they do get results.  They can achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health. Simple strategies can help get people of all ages to eat better and be more active.

Here are a few of the points Pat Baird touches on. You can also watch them in the video above:Make a Plan to Get Healthy and Use a “Foods First” Approach to Nutrition:

  • Good health requires a plan just like any other goal
  • Make a health profile on iHealth, MyFitnessPlan or use a good old notebook
  • Track eating and activity to see what changes need to be made
  • Focus on foods to get a variety of nutrients; supplements can help though start with food

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

  • This essential nutrient promotes brain health, cognitive function and vision – as well as heart health
  • It’s needed to people of ALL ages, and is best found in seafood
  • “Eat fish twice a week” is the recommendation; most Americans don’t
  • Nuts, seeds and avocado are also sources
  • The benefit of food, rather than supplements, is additional vitamins, minerals and fiber

Fruits and Veggies = More. More. More!

  • Less than 75% of Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits & veggies
  • They are a rich source of vitamins C, E, A; and a great source of potassium
  • Colors provide and added bonus: phytonutrients that enhance health
  • Tomatoes, blueberries, corn, sweet potatoes are just a few to include

Think Beyond Activity for a Healthier Lifestyle:

  • Sleep has become a critical health marker; and 7-9 hours is the recommended amount
  • Sleep deprivation is associated with higher weight, fatigue, lack of motivation, etc. etc.
  • Stress reduction improves sleep, focus, relationships and manages weight
  • Less stress and better sleep enables more activity

For more information, you can visit the Connecticut Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AcademyofNutritionandDietetics or follow their twitter page @EatRightCT.

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