MedSpring Viewpoints

Let’s talk about food: tips to eat healthy

Adult obesity is on the rise and not only does it affect our health, but it’s affecting our wallets too. The less active we are, the more we spend on healthcare.

The State of Obesity notes that sedentary adults pay $1500 more per year in healthcare costs than physically active adults. With the obesity rate in every state over 20%, that’s just about 1 in every 5 people – and in Arkansas, it’s closer to 1 in 3!

ChooseMyPlate.gov

So what can we do to lower those numbers, get healthy, and keep that green in our pocket? Well, for starters, we can start by eating balanced meals. We know, this seems like the obvious solution but do you really know what makes up a balanced meal? Many people today don’t. Nor do we know proper portion sizes thanks to our super-sized culture.

For example, did you know…

  • 2-3 ounces of meat is equivalent to a deck of cards?
  • 1 cup of breakfast cereal is about the size of a fist?
  • A serving a cheese is the size of a matchbox?
    (If you didn’t, check out this site that has some more interesting comparisons.)

We realize it can be hard to eat healthy (did we mention one serving of cheese is only the size of a matchbox??) so we’ve put together some tips to help when deciding what to eat. Our plate may not always look like Michelle Obama’s, but at least with some planning, we can hopefully avoid the wrong choices when it comes time to grub.

When trying to eat healthy:

1. Keep portion control in mind. Find out your ideal calorie intake based on your weight, height and activity.

2. Check the label. When snacking people often assume that one serving is the pre-portioned item, but often times the label will note that there are multiple servings per bag. Make sure to check before devouring those pretzels.

3. Stay hydrated. Think you’re hungry? Sometimes you may just need a glass of water instead of that bag of chips. Yes, 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day is a good starting point, but depending on a few factors, you may need more.

4. Focus on variety. Balanced meals should contain ingredients from all 5 food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy. According to ChooseMyPlate.gov, half of your meal should contain fruits and/or veggies.

Although eating healthy may cut back on the number of food pics you post to Instagram, we promise that with a balanced diet you’ll feel healthier – and you might even be happier with some extra $$$ in your pocket. Yes, please!

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