Fall is coming! #ANewSeason: Week 3 – eat healthy!

September 13, 2018

The Counseling Corner

By Rev. Judith T. Lester, B.Min. M.Th

“Aprils have never meant much to me, autumn seem that season of beginning…”
-Truman Capote

This month’s series focus is on wiping the axiomatic slate clean and starting #ANew- Season by taking advantage of the opportunity to start afresh. The last two weeks, this writer looked at the benefits of jumpstarting a regular physical activity routine; for the next two weeks, this column will feature the 8 benefits of jumpstarting healthy eating habits as identified by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). Habits 1-2 will be outlined this week and the balance will be provided in next week’s article.

According to the HHS, unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States: about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8 percent) are obese and approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death. These include heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. By making smart food choices, you can help protect yourself from these health problems.

The risk factors for adult chronic diseases, like hypertension and type 2 diabetes, are increasingly seen in younger ages, often a result of unhealthy eating habits and increased weight gain. Dietary habits established in childhood often carry into adulthood, so teaching children how to eat healthy at a young age will help them stay healthy throughout their life.

The link between good nutrition and healthy weight, reduced chronic disease risk, and overall health is too important to ignore. By taking steps to eat healthy, you’ll be on your way to getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, active, and strong. As with physical activity, making small changes in your diet can go a long way, and it’s easier than you think!

Eight healthy eating goals

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has identified 8 healthy eating goals:

HHS tip #1: Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables for your meals. Add fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes or as dessert. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to be healthy.

HHS tip #2: Make half the grains you eat whole grains. An easy way to eat more whole grains is to switch from a refined-grain food to a whole-grain food. For example, eat wholewheat bread instead of white bread. Read the ingredients list and choose products that list a whole-grain ingredient first. Look for things like: “whole wheat,” “brown rice,” “bulgur,” “buckwheat,” “oatmeal,” “rolled oats,” quinoa,” or “wild rice.”

Tips 3-8 will continue next week. Be sure to pick up your copy of the Milwaukee Times Newspaper and share one with a friend.

Next Week: Continuation

The writer does not assume responsibility or liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles. Rather, the objective is strictly informative and educational. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.