Column: Lifestyle tips for healthier eating

Asian Family spending time together in the kitchen
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(NC) Today’s on-the-go lifestyles and the abundance of tasty, tempting fast food options can make sticking to healthy eating goals challenging. But maintaining a nutritious and appetizing diet can be easier than you think.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada’s Prevention in Hand website offers one-stop-shopping for current information from numerous healthcare organizations to support your individual wellness, healthy lifestyles and the prevention of chronic diseases. Here is what some of their resources say about helping you and your family make good nutrition choices:

Make a plan. Take a few minutes on the weekend to plan out healthy meals and snacks for the upcoming week, including brown bag lunches for work and school. Having the dishes planned and ingredients purchased will encourage you to follow through on smarter eating and avoid reaching for the vending machine.

Find friendly fats. It’s a myth that all types of fat are bad for your body. Healthy fats and oils help us absorb nutrients and add flavour to foods. Opt for natural fats from avocados, nuts and seeds, and oils like olive, coconut and flaxseed.

Make it a ritual. Research shows that eating together as a family can help you make better food choices, so try to enjoy at least one meal together every day. If varying work and school schedules prevent you from eating together, try breakfast together instead of the traditional family dinners. An omelet bar loaded with veggies is a fun and nutritious way to start your day.

Eat the rainbow. Enjoying a variety of fruits and vegetables with all the colours of the rainbow ensures you receive lots of vitamins, nutrients, fibre and antioxidants. Aim for at least one dark green and one orange piece of produce every day.

Try a meatless Monday. Avoid foods that are high in sodium, fat or cholesterol and go with healthier options with natural ingredients and nutrition – fresh fruit, vegetables or grains. Try a Meatless Monday with protein sources like lentils, beans and tofu. Reduce your sodium intake by seasoning dishes with herbs and spices rather than salt.

Find more information at www.preventioninhand.com.

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