National Nutrition Month Quick Tips
While medical professionals are taking time to encourage healthy eating habits in the month of March, it’s important to account for communities with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Whole Foods opened in Englewood and new programs throughout the city are working to dispel food desserts in urban communities. Still, health advocates need to find more culturally and environmentally appropriate ways to make the case for better and more affordable health food – especially in communities of color where high fat and carb dishes feed the body and soul.
We all need that comforting Sunday meal sometimes. But coupling that with unhealthy food choices throughout the week may compound health issues. Convenient choices may have long-term consequences that are magnified in communities of color that have higher rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
So how do you eat healthy when there isn’t any real food in sight?
1st best thing you can do is make one small change:
- Drink water! If all you do is change the sugary drinks to water, you have taken a major step toward a healthy lifestyle.
2nd think about healthier alternatives to burgers and fries:
- eggs (served all day at some fast food restaurants)
- salad (packed with veggies; add grilled chicken)
- vegetarian or non-meat meal options (veggie burgers, bean burritos, oatmeal or yogurt)
- fresh fruit options without the caramel dip (apple slices or fruit cups)
3rd make smart mini-mart choices for basic staples:
- eggs, cheese, yogurt, lunch meat, peanut butter
- granola, nuts and dried fruits
- canned vegetables and fruits
- fresh fruit, if it’s available and if the price is fair
- water or milk
Drinking water and selecting healthier alternatives will help you beat the genetic and demographic odds you may face, and will help you build better nutrition and well-being for both you and your family.