Eat a Balanced Diet
We make thousands of decisions every day. When it comes to deciding what to eat and feed our families, it can be a lot easier than you might think to make nourishing choices. A healthy eating plan includes a balanced variety of nutrient-dense foods from each food group.
To Eat a More Balanced Diet:
Include foods with healthy fats. Examples of healthy fats include olive oil, nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, flax seeds, and sunflower oil. Limit Saturated and trans fats such as shortening, palm oil, fatty cuts of meat, and stick margarine.
Keep a check on sodium. Use fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat when possible, rather than smoked or processed. Canned foods may be rinsed to decrease the sodium content. Choose fresh or frozen vegetables without added salt.
Choose nutrient-rich complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, peas, beans, and starchy vegetables. These carbohydrates provide beneficial vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Aim to make at least half of your daily grains whole grains. Simple carbohydrates provide calories, but contribute little to no nutritional value overall. These carbohydrates are found in candy, syrups, sugar-sweetened beverages, and table sugar.
Be mindful of added sugar intake. Instead of hydrating with sugar-sweetened beverages, try fresh fruit-infused water. A helpful rule of thumb is to limit daily intake of added sugars to 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men.
Add color to your meals. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients, which have been shown to be protective against chronic diseases. These nutrients also have significant anti-heart disease and anti-cancer effects. Read more about phytonutrients here.
References: NIH Physical Wellness Toolkit, MedLine Plus, American Heart Association, Harvard Medical School
Hokie Wellness is here to support you with all of your nutrition and wellness goals! Check out these programs that are happening on campus for employees:
Sit down with a nutrition counselor and they will provide you with the knowledge resources and skills to successfully develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Your nutrition counselor will assess your current habits and help you set and maintain health goals. Appointments are available year-round and are free to all in the university community.
Weight Watchers and the Commonwealth of Virginia are committed to helping Virginia Tech employees achieve their weight loss goals by offering both the monthly pass and the online subscription. Join a group of fellow employees to meet weekly to support each other in your weight loss goals!