This article is Medically Approved ✓ by Dr. Edward Salko
The key word in March is nutrition, and this is a great time to focus on both healthy eating, and how a nutritional blood test can help improve your body as well.
If you’ve ever been in your favorite restaurant or relaxing at home and experienced some anxiety about what you’re eating, you’re not alone.
We all suffer guilt pangs every now and then about the fat content in our favorite foods — and chances are it’s not fresh vegetables, fruit, or whole grains.
Guilt Vs. Nutrition
Too many of us absolutely love foods we know are not good for us. Hence, the guilt, the Maalox moments, the fitful nights.
March is National Nutrition Month, a good time to reflect on what a healthy diet can do to make us feel more energized and vibrant – and to clear away those guilty groans.
The theme for 2017 is “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” and the goal is to encourage people to shift to a wider variety of healthy meals. It’s also about making changes – and no, this is not about Going Completely Cold Turkey overnight.
This is about making smaller changes that, over time, can take you down a path toward significantly improved health.
Making Smart Choices
National Nutrition Month is a nutritional education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which stresses the importance of making informed food choices and developing smart eating and physical activity habits.
Don’t get scared off. This is about making changes gradually. A good start would be to:
- Skip a sugary drink like soda, and try an unsweetened drink instead.
- Try slicing an apple and putting peanut butter on it as a snack, rather than potato chips or candy bars.
- Add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet as often as possible.
Don’t take this as a warning to abandon everything you enjoy eating. Let’s say you’re at a nice restaurant. If the waiter brings over a plate of chips or a bread basket, a good start would be to skip both and order a side salad as an appetizer.
Small changes that you stick with can make a big difference over the long term.
So, under the theory that every bite counts, here are more helpful tips:
- Cook at home more often, and avoid the easy lure of fast foods.
- When cooking, try experimenting with healthy ingredients.
- Think about how much you’re eating as well as what you’re eating.
- Consider some healthy activities after dinner, like taking a walk.
- Drink skim milk.
- Eat five to seven servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
- Eat lean meats.
- Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
- Bake or broil foods instead of frying them.
- Prepare foods using less salt.
Testing Your Nutrition
Another great way to manage your weight or lower your health risks is by taking one of the 19 nutrition and vitamin blood tests available at Personalabs. Doing so can help you make better choices and even reduce your risk of developing some chronic diseases.
Our nutrition blood tests include:
- Vitamin D, 25-hydroxy, used to rule out Vitamin D deficiency. Your body absorbs Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight and what you eat.
- Vitamin B12, which is important for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and for the formation of blood.
- Basic Vegan/Vegetarian Profile, designed to support a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle and help catch any imbalances in your body at the earliest stages.
- Potassium, Serum, used to measure potassium levels and determine if there is an electrolyte balance.
Conclusion: During National Nutrition Month, you owe it to yourself to be as healthy as possible, and that starts with taking steps to ensure you’ve got the right nutritional balance and vitamin levels to be at your very best.