Serving up healthy eating
Healthy eating can help you reach and stay at a healthy weight, which in turn helps you keep a number of other health problems at bay. It also reduces your risk for a number of chronic diseases, including metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Karyn Sunohara, a registered dietitian with the South Calgary Primary Care Network says healthy eating also has a number of bonus benefits. They include:
- When you eat healthy foods, you are more likely to have other healthy behaviours, such as regular physical activity
- Healthy eating can lead to better sleep at night and more energy during the day
- Healthy eating can put you in a better mood, keep you happier, make you less irritable and better able to handle stress
- The nutrients in balanced meals can boost your energy, reducing the need for caffeine or sugar to get a lift. You’ll have fewer sugar cravings and crashes
- You may find you’re more productive at work and at home, and have fewer sick days. If you do get a cold or flu, you’re likely to get better more quickly
- Healthy eating contributes to living a longer and healthier life.
How you can eat healthier
- Be open minded about trying new things
- Make small changes. Switch from cream to milk in your coffee and cut down on sugar
- Aim to make healthy foods at least 80 per cent of the time
- Eat fewer processed foods—with saturated and trans fats and high levels of salt and sugar
- Eat more fibre: vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes
- Eat three meals a day about six hours apart to better manage your hunger
- Focus on changing your lifestyle instead of going on a diet
- Limit juices, sweets and flavoured drinks.
This story appeared in the Spring 2017 edition of Health Matters, the quarterly magazine produced by Calgary’s seven primary care networks.
Are you interested in getting advice from a registered dietitian in a group setting? Consider one of our Ask a Dietitan workshops.