This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.Food can have a big impact on our health. What we eat can play an important role in how we feel and how our bodies perform. It’s crucial for you to fuel your body properly to maintain a healthy weight, prevent chronic disease, and ensure that you are consuming a proper balance of vitamins and other nutrients.Food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices. Even when those factors are taken into account, it’s still possible to have a healthy, balanced diet. While there are no one-size-fits all solutions to a healthy lifestyle, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans can provide useful guidance about making healthy choices. Some tips are listed below:• Try to avoid “supersized” portions of food. An actual serving of food is often much less that we think it is. Enjoy your food, just eat less of it.• Make at least half of your plate vegetables and fruit. The foods are packed with nutrients and often have less fats and calories than other choices.• Make at least half your grains whole grains. Some good examples of whole grain foods to try are oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and even popcorn!• Replace sugary sodas, sports drinks, and sugar-added juice with water or low-fat or skim milk to cut calories and hydrate the healthy way.• Cut the salt. Compare sodium content in the foods you buy (it’s listed on the label) and select foods with less salt for a heart-healthier option.• Choose lean proteins. There are lots of choices for protein. Animal proteins poultry, fish, or lean beef are a good choice, but there are vegetable proteins, too, like beans.To learn more about healthy food choices, visit www.choosemyplate.gov. For more information about Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CCHHS.
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