A few generations back, putting food on the table was the primary challenge for many Americans. Today, we’re facing a different kind of problem — an ample food supply that’s long on calories and short on nutrition.
The results of this calorie-rich and nutrient-poor style of eating have come at a cost as obesity numbers reach all-time highs and related health consequences, such as diabetes, are climbing.
One of the best ways to safeguard your family’s well-being is to ensure that what you eat promotes good health. At Temecula Medical Group, located in Temecula, California, Dr. Richard Rawson and our team of primary care providers understand the importance of preventive health care through a healthy diet, but we also acknowledge that it’s easier said than done.
We want to first draw your attention to myplate.gov, which is a fantastic resource for educating yourself on best eating practices. From shopping tips to easy-to-make recipes, the nutritional guidelines presented here are sure to keep your family in the pink of health.
We also understand that overhauling your family’s diet is far easier said than done, which is why we’ve also pulled together five practical tips you can implement today.
1. Limit sugary drinks
One of the most problematic sources of poor nutrition is sugary drinks, such as sodas, sweetened iced teas, and the myriad of other canned and bottled beverages that line grocery shelves.
If you want an easy, refreshing drink to offer your family, take a few extra minutes to brew your own iced tea and flavor it with raspberries, ginger, honey, lemon, or other great flavors that don’t rely solely on sugar.
You can also purchase some soda water and flavor it yourself. Any effort you make to eliminate sugary, store-bought drinks is well worth your time.
2. Snack on nuts
If throwing a bag of chips into a backpack is convenient, so, too, is throwing in a bag of nuts instead. Nuts are an incredible source of vitamins and nutrients, and you can make your own mix.
As a side note, steer clear of salted and flavored nuts. A good tip is to purchase several different bags of nuts, with only one that’s salted. Mix them together, and you’ll find that the salted nuts will provide a little extra flavor to the entire combination.
3. Crunch on celery and carrots
Other great substitutes for chips are celery and carrots, which pack the same crunch but contain key vitamins and nutrients that are absent from chips.
4. Satisfy the sweet tooth
There are some great ways to satisfy your family’s sweet tooth besides cookies. Apples and oranges are fantastic, on-the-go sweets. As well, dark chocolate (anything with 70% cacao or higher) not only satisfies a sugar craving, it’s also good for you.
5. Everything in moderation
It’s perfectly acceptable to occasionally indulge your family — ice cream after a game or a hamburger at a BBQ. Trying to eat a healthy diet in the United States can be challenging, and it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition.
For example, if processed foods make up 80% of your family’s diet, try and reverse this gradually by guiding them toward a diet that’s 80% fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains. You can use the remaining 20% for the processed foods your family has grown accustomed to so that they don’t feel cheated.
If you’d like more guidance on better nutrition for your entire family, contact Temecula Medical Group to set up a consultation. Call our office or request an appointment online today.