HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – November 6 is National Eating Healthy day – the American Heart Association says this is good time to try some new habits that just might stick.
The American Heart Association designated November 6 to be National Eating Healthy Day to encourage people to make good decisions and positive changes. For many people, a commitment to eating healthy seems like too daunting of a task to swallow, so starting with one day a year is a good test.
"Adopting healthy behaviors –whether it's increasing physical activity or eating healthier- happens one day at a time," says Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., chair of the American Heart Association's nutrition committee, and professor of nutrition and medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington. "If you devote one day to healthy eating, you will know you can do it again and learn to enjoy it."
The American Heart Association provides the following tips to try this month, and any other time of year:
- Slow down on the sodium: Did you know Americans eat more than double the daily amount of sodium recommended by the American Heart Association? Too much sodium increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and other health problems, but this excess isn't just from salting your food. Americans get most of their sodium — 77 percent! — from processed foods. If you choose these foods, compare the labels and look for lower-sodium versions.
- Pile on the fruits and vegetables: Choose all kinds of fruits and vegetables — fresh, frozen, canned, juiced and dried. All fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Load your shopping basket with fruits and vegetables of many different colors. Then try the "slender saute" using a small amount of liquid to cook vegetables. Need a quick, healthy weeknight dinner? Try a salad. The American Heart Association has tasty recipes packed with everything from tofu to broccoli to bacon to mushrooms and much more.
- Get the skinny on fats: Learn how to substitute good fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats) for bad fats (saturated and trans fats). For example, try canola oil or olive oil instead of butter. Choose lean meats, poultry without skin and fish instead of fattier cuts of meats. Enjoy heart-healthy fats in moderation and remember this tip: 1 teaspoon equals 1 serving.
- Save your waistline and your wallet by cooking at home. Cooking at home is not only a great way to make sure the ingredients that go into your recipes are healthy, but it gives you control over your portion sizes too. (Not to mention your budget.) Try using a smaller salad-size plate for your main meal instead of a big dinner plate.
For more healthy eating tips, recipes and a guide to products with the Heart Check mark, visit heart.org/healthyliving.