Even the healthiest of people can benefit from a little extra nutrition knowledge, and during the current situation, any extra help that can improve your health is of infinite value! However, the overload of information on the internet can get overwhelming, so the advice from a qualified nutrition professional is worth GOLD.
A registered dietitian will guide you to healthier food choices while still enjoying the foods you are already eating. They can offer customized nutrition advice, personalized to your preferences and lifestyle, to help you make changes to manage your weight and optimize your health.
A registered dietitian can also help manage diets for chronic diseases and help you to navigate food choices for allergies and sensitivities, and gain a better understanding of good nutrition.
Here are Ten Tips Your Dietitian Wants You to Remember When Making Your Dietary Choices:
Add Quality Foods to Your Diet. Don’t Focus on What You “Can’t Eat”.
All too often people worry about what “bad” foods to eliminate from their diets. But in fact, the focus should be on what’s missing; i.e. fiber, protein, whole grains, fresh fruits/veggies, etc. Adding the nutrients from whole foods will help you feel more satiated and boost the quality of your diet.
Sugar is Sugar.
Regardless of what you may be switching to, added sugar is added sugar. The common misconception is that switching to honey, maple syrup, agave, or other natural sweeteners are “healthier”, but the reality is that although they may have marginally higher nutritional value, they are still sources of added sugar and extra calories. You can still enjoy them in moderation, but there is no significant nutritional benefit in using one source of added sugar over another.
No ONE Diet is Superior to Others
Most dietitians will recommend that overall you should limit soda and processed foods in general in your diet. Beyond that, every individual’s needs are different and a plan that works for someone else may not work for you. A person that benefits from a ketogenic diet may have a totally different body composition than one who benefits from a plant-based one. There is no one-sized-fits-all plan!
You Don’t Have to Deprive Yourself
As we’ve mentioned before, there is no general diet that everyone should follow. So, let go of “carb- and fat- phobias” and the notion that some foods are “good” while others are “bad”. Most people need half of their daily calories from carbohydrates, so just aim for higher fiber and whole grain choices more often than not. Similarly, as you should reduce your intake of saturated fats, healthy fats are actually GOOD for your heart health, and some fats such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 are essential for our health. So you don’t need to avoid fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts or seeds. Just keep portions in mind and know that you can also have a bite of that pastry every now and again.
The Only Thing Trendy Juice Cleanses Will Lighten is Your Bank Account
We can’t emphasize enough that fresh, whole foods will provide all the nutrition you need, and are considerably less expensive than today’s popular juice. Juice cleanses lack the fiber that whole fruits and vegetables have, and also lack the protein and adequate calories that your body needs. Your lives and kidneys do a fantastic job of cleansing your body without any fancy juices. Spend that juice money on whole foods, and treat yourself to a new outfit with the extra money you’re sure to have leftover!
Unfortunately, Saying “NO” is Tough. But You Can Do It.
Who is part of the “Clean Plate Club”? We have a tendency to force ourselves to finish our plates so we aren’t being wasteful. And while that is true, we don’t have to fill our plates in the first place. Keep your portions in check. Don’t eat it all just because it’s there. Learn to be satisfied when you are full, and be done when that happens.
You Can’t Out-Exercise a Bad Diet.
Let’s be honest, exercise is necessary for your overall health. However, the key thing to remember is that it can help to maintain weight loss, but a healthy diet is what drives it. Consuming excess calories will increase weight, it’s just math. And all the exercise in the world can’t fix nutrient deficiencies or inflammation that only a healthy diet can prevent or repair.
Nutrition Labels are Helpful, But You Need to Pay Attention to Ingredient Lists Too.
Being mindful about what we put in our body is important. But this involves looking at more than just the nutrition label and the calorie information of food products. Rememver to review the ingredient list too. Check to see if the list includes wholesome ingredients that you recognize. If you see things you can’t pronounce or have never heard of, it may be worth reconsidering and looking for a different product.
Sleep is Necessary.
Adequate sleep sets the stage for good diet and exercise choices throughout the day. It is also the time your body restores and repairs itself, so make sure to get adequate sleep as part of your healthy lifestyle. Most adults require between 7-9 hours each day. If you are not getting enough sleep, try to go to bed a half hour earlier each night until you are getting at least 7 hours. You will be amazed at how much more energized and refreshed you feel after a good night’s sleep!
HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!
Proper hydration is important for brain function, energy levels and of course, your waistline. The human body is 55-70% water, and reducing your intake could negatively affect satiety. You may mistake thirst for hunger and end up reaching for food rather than quenching your thirst. Inadequate hydration can also contribute to fatigue, headaches and difficulty concentrating, as well as poor workouts.
Whether or not you’re comfortable with where you are in your wellness journey, requesting the help of a Registered Dietitian can always be beneficial. Your friends at Nutrition Link Services are here for you, and no global pandemic can stop us! If you would like further information beyond what is laid out for you here, please don’t hesitate to reach out and we will set up a completely VIRTUAL appointment!