"Instead of focusing on the latest diet or exercise fad, National Nutrition Month is a great time for all South Dakotans to get back to basics," said Jill Munger, Clay County Community Health nurse.
Munger recommends being cautious about health claims or products that seem to be too good to be true, offer quick fixes or claim that certain foods are "good" or "bad." "These claims may not only hurt your pocketbook, they may be detrimental; to your long-term health as well."
Try the following suggestions for a balanced approach at healthy living:
- Develop an eating plan for lifelong health. Too often, people adopt the latest food fad rather than focusing on overall health. Get back to basics and use the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid as your guide to healthy eating.
- Choose foods sensibly by looking at the big picture. A single food or meal won't make or break a healthful diet. When consumed in moderation in appropriate portions, all foods can fit into a healthful diet.
- Learn how to spot a food fad. Unreasonable or exaggerated claims that eating (or not eating) specific foods, nutrient supplements or combinations of foods may cure disease or offer quick weight loss are key features of fad diets.
- Find your balance between food and physical activity. Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness plus it helps control body weight, promotes a feeling of well-being and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
- Food and nutrition misinformation can have harmful effects on your health and well-being, as well as your wallet. Registered dietitians are uniquely qualified to communicate current and emerging science-based nutrition information and are an instrumental part of developing a diet plan that meets your individual needs.
For more information about nutrition and physical activity, contact Jill Munger at Clay County Community health or visit www.HealthySD.gov.