Observed in March of each year – right around the time many people bail on their New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier – National Nutrition Month is a perfect opportunity to learn some new ways to improve your diet. Most people already know that they should avoid fast food, red meat, sodium and sweets, but good nutrition encompasses more than simply avoiding certain foods. It’s more important to focus on your diet as a whole, and to understand how making smart food choices today can provide multiple benefits over the long run.
How to eat healthier
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we believe that good nutrition is not only a vital part of effective cancer treatment, but also an integral component of overall health and wellness for everyone. To help you eat healthier, we suggest trying the following four tips during National Nutrition Month:
- Eat more plants – Plant-based foods such as vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which won’t just keep you full and healthy, but also will provide your body with quality nutrients to effectively fuel your metabolism.
- Look for simple (or no) labels – The healthiest foods contain minimal ingredients and no label. For instance, fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes are all excellent, single-ingredient options. Be watchful for added sugars, fillers, preservatives, emulsifiers and animal-based ingredients, all of which can surreptitiously make their way into seemingly healthy foods.
- Don’t skip breakfast – Your body needs calories, fiber and a little protein to get going in the morning and keep you feeling full throughout the day. A fiber-rich breakfast such as oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts can keep your blood glucose at a healthy level, helping to prevent sugar cravings and fatigue later in the day, as well as weight gain over time.
- Don’t fall for gimmicks – Pass on the juice cleanses, liquid diets, detox regimens, pricey meal-delivery services and other fads. The key to healthy eating is balance, which can mean different things to different people. With time, you will learn which specific foods (and what quantities) work best for satiating your appetite and fueling your energy level.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our dedicated team of registered dietitians is dedicated to providing comprehensive nutritional therapy for our patients and their families. To learn more, contact Moffitt at 1-888-663-3488.