Good nutrition: Ten ways to see if you have it

Lethia Lee EFNEP Program Assistant

September 22, 2013

A good way to know you are getting good nutrition from your eating plan is to ask yourself how you honestly look and feel. A healthy eating plan will include lean proteins, grains, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats that provide enough calories to support your lifestyle. A balanced diet will not exclude any one food group. A nutritional eating plan will supply all the essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals that your body needs to feel and look healthy. Committing to an annual physical empowers you to make changes as needed.

1. Healthy cholesterol levels: getting your cholesterol checked by a doctor gives you confidence that your diet is right for you.

2. Blood pressure levels: too much salt, alcohol, and potassium can cause a rise or fall in blood pressure. You cannot detect an unhealthy blood pressure which is another reason it is wise to let your doctor check it regularly so adjustments can be made.

3. Healthy weight: being within a few pounds of the recommended height/weight charts lets you know that you are getting the right number of calories from the foods you eat.

4. Healthy skin and shiny hair: healthy fats in your diet from foods like nuts, avocados, and olives give the skin and hair a healthy glow and shine, while lean proteins like chicken and turkey assist the body in cell growth.

5. Clear vision: a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of processed foods, keeps the eyes healthy. Foods with high sugar content cause swelling in the eye and impair vision.

6. Mental alertness: the brain needs fuel to think. It burns about 10% of a calorie every minute.

7. Restful sleep: a diet filled with processed foods containing artificial ingredients like sugar, caffeine, salt, and white flour will not supply your body everything it needs to rest properly. The body will spend a lot of its resting hours processing sugars and empty nutrition.

8. Regular bowel movements: the longer foods stay in the digestive system, the more calories and toxins can be extracted. The results are more weight gain and more damage from toxins from processed foods.

9. Good muscle tone: lean proteins, eaten with every meal, provide a steady flow of amino acids in the blood system for the body to repair, build and maintain healthy muscles.

10. Healthy bones: bone cells are constantly being replaced. Many vitamins and minerals must be present in your diet at the same time for the body to absorb the calcium from foods. A moderate resistance-training program three times a week, along with a balanced diet everyday, is the best assurance for strong bones.

A healthy diet and regular moderate exercise are the two main components for wellness. The importance of both cannot be ignored. If you deprive your body of either, you will look and feel it.

Article taken from FitDay information on good nutrition

For more information contact Lethia Lee, EFNEP Assistant with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at 910-592-7161.