In this video, Dr. Holly Nicastro, program director in the Office of Nutrition Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), shares advice on how to make healthy eating decisions. She also discusses grocery shopping in bulk to save money, tips for takeout, and recommended dietary eating patterns.
For more information on weight management and healthy living tips, visit https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/healthy-living-tips
DR. NICASTRO: The best dietary pattern for you is one that is based in science, one that allows you to meet your nutritional requirements and, importantly, one that you can stick to in the long run – because it won’t do you any good to try to follow an eating pattern that has you eating foods that you don’t like or enjoy.
Most patterns that fit these criteria will emphasize eating things like whole grains, fruits vegetables, may emphasize things like lean protein or dairy, and they’ll likely limit or decrease added sugars, sugary beverages, and foods that are high in saturated fat and sodium.
NIH-supported studies have shown that a DASH, or a Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension dietary pattern, can lower blood pressure in adults and a diet with decreased sodium lowered pressure as well.
For many of us, our economic situation has changed and we’re looking for ways to trim our grocery budget. Things like meal planning and cooking in bulk can help to save money. My absolute favorite low-cost healthy ingredients are beans and lentils. Both are high in fiber and protein and potassium and other important minerals and vitamins.
When you’re unpacking your groceries, organize and use them according to shelf life. Bananas might last only a few days on your countertop, so put them out in a prominent location where they’ll be seen and eaten first.
When you’re cooking for yourself, you can plan ahead and pre-portion your meals. When you order take out, I advise you to dish out the food on your own dishes. This is your chance to see how restaurant portions differ for what you might prepare for yourself. Doing this will likely help you stretch your dollars too. You might be surprised at how many times your takeout meal actually contains more than one portion.
There’s no better time to learn about portion control, planning ahead and controlling ingredients like sodium.