Our experts at Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville and Cleveland, TN, believe that what you eat has an impact on your overall health. So, for this National Nutrition Month, we’ve put together a list of healthy eating tips to help you get started:
Mix up your protein sources with plant-based options
Vegetable-based proteins such as beans, lentils, nuts, soy, and hemp are rich in phytonutrients which are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Unlike animal sources, plant-based proteins won’t increase your saturated fat and cholesterol. So, from time to time it’s a good idea to mix them up to get a good variety (taste and nutrition-wise).
Add more color
A colorful plate is a healthy plate. Aiming to eat the “rainbow,” is one way of ensuring you’re getting a variety of foods with various nutrition profiles. When fruits and vegetables are at their brightest colors, they are at their peak ripeness and nutrition.
Add healthy fats
Fats may have gained a bad rap in the past but we do know now that not all fats are created the same. Foods with mono- and polyunsaturated fats are vital for your brain and heart.
Limit your intake of trans fat which is known to increase your risk of heart disease, but add good sources of fat to your diet. This includes olive oil, nuts, fish, and avocados.
Aim for balance
This can mean a lot of things – a balance in portion, the balance between food groups (opting for a variety instead of sticking to the same vegetable or fruit), and balance when it comes to caloric intake (eating the right amount for your needs and body size).
Cut back on sodium
Speaking of balance, good nutrition means not getting too much of certain ingredients such as sodium (salt). A diet high in sodium can elevate your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
You can cut back on your sodium by avoiding pre-packaged and processed food (most of which have a ton of sodium in them), looking for food products labeled as “low sodium,” and when eating out, asking for sauces and dressings on the side.
Increase your fiber intake
Fiber keeps you full and helps you stay regular. Studies have also shown that it helps in lowering your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Strive to increase your fiber intake. Get a good balance of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber adds bulk to your stool while insoluble fiber keeps you from getting constipated.
Most vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber while legumes and kale are good sources of insoluble fiber.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
When we think about nutrition, we rarely think about what we drink, but proper hydration plays an important role in our digestion, metabolism, and many aspects of nutrient absorption.
Compared to other liquids, water remains to be the best way to stay hydrated. It’s zero calories and is widely available. And as the weather starts to get warmer, it’s more important to stay hydrated especially if you’re doing a lot of activities outdoors.
If you have health concerns that may require expert advice from a surgeon, Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville and Cleveland, has a team of well-experienced surgical specialists. To request an appointment with one of our physicians, visit https://www.premiersurgical.com/request-appointment/.