It is easy to forgo good nutrition habits in our fast-paced lifestyle. We prioritize other responsibilities above making time to maintain and improve our own health. Yet eating for your health is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself age optimally.
"Being smart about what you eat is very important as you age. Research shows a clear correlation between obesity and the development of chronic metabolic conditions. Eat higher quality protein so you are not digesting a lot of trans fats. For breakfast, swap out the eggs and bacon for yogurt. Pay attention to how much you are eating. It is not uncommon to think you are just eating a snack when in fact the portion size or calorie count is so large that it is actually a meal. Just think, if you eat two 'snacks' a day along with your regular meals, you could end up eating five meals per day! You don’t need to make drastic changes to what you eat to improve your health. Small changes work better. Ask yourself, 'What changes am I willing to make?' Then incorporate those changes into your daily life. Those small changes can add up to make a big difference." - Manpreet S. Mundi, MD, Endocrinologist with the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Take Action Now
- Snack Smart. Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks. Keep fruit in a bowl in your kitchen so that you’ll remember to eat it.
- Choose Vegetables. Focus on recipes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredients, such as vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruit mixed into salads.
- Explore Seasonings. Salt isn’t your only option. Brighten flavors with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. Use balsamic or wine vinegars. Add some heat with fresh hot peppers or red pepper flakes.
- Plan Your Plate. Pick up a free copy of the Mayo Clinic Patient Education pamphlet Eat Well: Use The Plate Method from the Patient Education Center, Siebens building, subway level.
- Use Local Resources. Seek out a dietician at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center, Charter House, or even at your local grocery store for hands on classes and recommendations.
- Commit to Healthy Eating. Pick up a copy of the Mayo Clinic Diet Book to use clinically tested techniques to incorporate simple and pleasurable changes you can maintain for the rest of your life.