You’re ready to make the commitment to healthier eating, eager to reap the many benefits, including weight loss, increased energy and decreased risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Yes, you are on board!
You’re just not sure where to start.
“There are constantly new nutrition claims, fads and diets telling people what they should or shouldn’t eat,” says Krista Godfrey, a registered dietitian (RD) in private practice at Life Cycle Nutrition LLC.
The good news is – you don’t have to navigate that journey toward better eating on your own.
Godfrey says RDs, who have continuing education requirements to maintain licensure, are “the best resource” to educate people on their specific energy, macronutrient and micronutrient needs along with how to eat intuitively (listening to your body’s hunger and fullness signals).
“RDs have the knowledge and expertise to coach people to their goals,” Godfrey says.
To begin a healthier eating routine, Godfrey stresses variety and moderation.
Variety means eating from all the food groups and different foods within each one.
In terms of moderation: Are you eating more or less than you need for any reason? If you have a meal with all food groups, do the portions fit the MyPlate model or is one of the food groups on your plate disproportionately larger than the others?
To underscore the importance of healthier eating, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) has issued a challenge for March, Healthy Eating Month: incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet.
You can start by choosing a salad as an entrée, grilling vegetables instead of meat, snacking on nuts and chopping up your favorite vegetables to incorporate in a homemade soup.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, plant-based diets have been linked to several health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, diabetes and cognitive decline.
Visit nebraskablue.com/wellness for additional health and wellness information and to take the Monthly Health Challenge: Try Vegan-Friendly Foods.
BCBSNE members also have access to Blue365, which offers exclusive discounts on products or services to improve or maintain good health, including weight management, healthy eating and meal delivery programs from Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem and Sun Basket.
Other resources to note as you work to fortify your eating strategy, include ChooseMyPlate.gov, rd411.com, and BCBSNE’s Wellness and Health Resources, a one-stop destination for health calculators, health resources and programs, and information about BCBSNE’s free wellness app.