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Most of us eat three meals a day. We eat because food satisfies our taste buds. We eat because it is a social activity. We also eat because food is good for us.
Eat-ing provides our body with energy so that we can breathe and function. It also has an impact on our overall health.
Nutritious foods help us maintain a healthy body and protect us against various illnesses, disorders and chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, dementia, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, cancer and anemia.
A good diet and good nutrition can also help reduce high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, manage arthritis, maintain healthy skin, hair and nails, and control diabetes.
It is never too late to start eating well. Smart, nutritious eating contributes to health and well-being at any age.
Do you turn to unhealthy foods when you are stressed? If so, try to eat healthy foods such as carrots, an apple or whole grain cereal, bread or crackers.
Are you eating because you are hungry and need the energy or because you are bored or are you in a social setting with food served? Choose nutritious foods in these cases.
Are you an emotional eater turning to food when stressed, angry or sad? Seek help if you have an unhealthy relationship with food.
Here are some steps on how to eat smart and healthy:
• Examine your relationship with food.
• Find healthy alternatives
• Think of food in terms of nutrition
• Seek help if you have an unhealthy relationship with food
Eat a variety of nutritious foods:
• Fruits and vegetables
• Calcium and Vitamin D
• Do not skip breakfast
• Control portions eaten
• Practice everything in moderation
• Drink more water
Another important element is to eat good fat:
• Polyunsaturated fatty acids: Vegetable oils, salmon, trout, mackerel, flaxseed and walnuts.
• Monounsaturated fats: In olive, canola, and peanut oils: also found in olives, avocados, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.
• Control cholesterol
• Say “no” to sodium
• Eat less sugar
• “Carb up” the healthy way
• More complex carbohydrates (whole grains, oats, vegetables and beans)
• Simple carbohydrates in moderation (candy, sweets, sugary drinks)
• Eat smart when eating out
• Count your calories according to your lifestyle
Eating healthy today helps you be healthier tomorrow. Healthy eating provides necessary nutrients that your body needs to create new cells, clean toxins, and just function every day.
Eating right can help prevent future illness and chronic disease.
Lastly, eating healthy gives you energy to be alert, and be a better decision-maker.
Source: Amy Hosier, Extension Specialist for Family Life, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture Reference: Keys to Embracing Aging
Dates of interest
March 27:Carroll County Homemakers Council Meeting, 1:30 p.m., Extension Office.
April 5, 12, 19 and 26:Senior computer basics slass, 10 a.m.-noon, Carroll County Public Library (co-sponsored by Cooperative Extension)
April 1-5:4-H Sewing, 9-noon, Carroll County Extension Office.
April 8:Cover Girls Quilters Homemaker Club, 2-4 p.m., Carroll County Extension Office
April 9:Basket of the Month, 6 p.m., Carroll County Extension Office
April 11:Diabetes Support Group, “How Your Health Habits Can Help Your Diabetes Control,” 10 a.m., Carroll County Extension Office.
April 12:“Tea, It’s Good for You,” 1:30 p.m., Carroll County Extension Office.
Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.