March is the best month of the year, because it’s National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month is an annual information and education campaign.
Nutrient dense foods are those that are high in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and other important nutrients for your health while still being low in calories. They include brightly coloured fruits (blueberries, raspberries), vibrant vegetables (kale, sweet potatoes), fortified and fibre rich grains, and lean meats, beans, and nuts. Try incorporating these foods into each meal and snack and reap the health benefits.
Simple substitutions can help to reduce the amount of calories, fat, sodium, and added sugars you consume, leading to a healthier diet. Listed below are a few cooking substitutions you could try:
- Drink water, low-fat milk, or 100% fruit juice. For more flavour add lime, cucumber, or mint to water instead of drinking soda to reduce sugar consumption
- Eat fresh fruit for dessert instead of cakes, cookies or other sweets to reduce fat, calorie, and sugar consumption
- To reduce sodium intake cook with herbs and spices
- Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to reduce the fat content
- To reduce the amount of sugar when baking, replace the sugar with applesauce
Sleep – Get Your 7-8 Hours a Day:
Insufficient sleep has been linked to the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommends:
- At least 10 hours of sleep per day for school- aged children
- 9-10 hours per day for teenagers
- 7-8 hours per day for adults.
Exercise -150 minutes of moderate- intensity aerobic exercise per week plus muscle strengthening two days per week. Also, don’t forget to stretch before and after your workout.