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Tips for Healthy Eating in 2022

Posted on January 12, 2022 in Bariatrics

Consider these healthy eating tips as you head into the new year. Remember that small changes may be key to finding balance. Trying to improve your family’s nutrition? Involve children in meal planning and preparation to encourage healthy eating and food choices.

1. Eating for Good Health

In general, focus on increasing vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and decreasing saturated fats, added sugars and processed foods. Foods that are high in fiber such as bananas, leafy greens, legumes and beans or nuts are helpful for digestive health, and may even lead to deeper, more restorative sleep, according to one study.

2. Timing is Key

Research shows that having breakfast with foods containing protein can control appetite during the day. Timing of meals throughout the day is also key when using and storing energy. For example, clinicians advise having a small meal with carbs and protein one to three hours before exercising, and then a snack 15 to 20 minutes afterward to replenish energy stores and help muscle growth.

3. Try Dried Fruit

Dried fruits can be a healthy source of nutrition because they often contain fiber and antioxidants. But read nutrition labels and avoid dried fruits with added sugar.

4. Heed the Seed

Try adding flax, chia and pumpkin seeds to meals or by themselves. These small but mighty seeds pack a nutrition punch. Flaxseeds have omega-3s, which may help reduce your risk for coronary heart disease. Chia seeds are an easy way to add omega-3s, protein, calcium, iron, and fiber to your diet and can be added to oatmeal, pudding or smooothies . Pumpkin seeds are a great snack that offer magnesium, zinc, and fiber.

5. Avoid Trans Fats – but how? Check the food nutrition label.

Follow your heart and eat foods low in saturated fats to help avoid heart disease. Foods high in saturated fats and trans fats may raise your blood cholesterol levels, leading to heart disease and other obesity-related illnesses.

6. Remember the three R’s recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):

  • REFLECT on your eating habits by keeping a food journal, noticing patterns of when and how you eat. Certain conditions may trigger unhealthy eating, so being aware of these cues may help to prevent future bad habits.
  • REPLACE unhealthy eating habits wit h healthier ones. Remember to forgive yourself if you slip up, and set realistic goals.
  • REINFORCE your healthier eating habits by planning ahead, having an accountability partner, or replacing “food rewards” with non-food items, while practicing patience with yourself.