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Get Fit GP's March spotlight is on nutrition

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Nutrition Spotlight

March is a great time to give your diet a makeover! The variety of fresh foods is increasing at local grocery stores and farmers markets.

The internet makes trying new foods easy with numerous recipes available, as well as how-to resources on planting, harvesting and preparing your produce.

Choose My Plate

The USDA Choose MyPlate describes a healthy diet as one with a focus on vegetables, fruits, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, as well as whole grains.

MyPlate food guidelines suggest more lean meat consumption, nuts, eggs, beans, fish and poultry; and a diet that is low in trans fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, added sugars and salt. For more information, check out 10 Tips for a Great Plate.

Eating for Life

Experts agree that eating a variety of fruit and vegetables, grains, and legumes (dried peas and beans) helps to reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

color The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend eating at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables.

Eating locally grown foods is a great way to ensure freshness and nutritional value of your food with less environmental impact.

Add Color

A colorful plate is one indication of a healthy diet. By eating fruits and vegetables of different colors you get a wider range of phytochemicals. Red, orange/yellow, green, blue/ purple, and neutral colored foods all have specific properties to improve health and fight off disease.

Container Gardening Bed

Grow Your Own

For freshness and flavor, nothing beats a vegetable garden. It’s also a great way to get exercise and can be fun and educational for kids. Choose varieties that fit the space you have. You can grow many varieties in containers or indoors.

Additional Tips for Healthy Eating

Change your shopping habits

  • Eat before grocery shopping
  • Make a grocery list before you shop
  • Buy and try serving a new fruit or vegetable

Steamed Vegetables

Change the way you prepare food

  • Grill, steam, or bake instead of frying
  • Make foods flavorful with herbs, spices, and low-fat/low-sodium seasonings
  • Use fat-free or low-fat sour cream, mayo, sauces, dressings, and condiments
  • Serve several whole-grain foods every day
  • Top off cereal with sliced apples or bananas
  • Switch to low-fat or fat-free milk, or try using soy, rice, or almond milk

Manage the amount of food you consume

  • Eat slowly – it takes for approximately 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out signals of fullness.
  • Drink a glass of water before meals.
  • Use smaller plates to avoid oversized portions.
  • At restaurants, request a take-home box when you place your order. When the food arrives, place a portion of it in the box before starting to eat.

Nutrition Resources:

Grand Prairie Library offers many books on nutrition including the following:

Spanish Language Books

Last updated: 3/30/2015 9:13:47 AM