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Mastering Mealtime: Build A Balanced Plate

Mastering Mealtime: Build A Balanced Plate

National Nutrition Month is the perfect opportunity to focus on nurturing our bodies with balanced and wholesome meals. A fundamental aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is constructing a plate that incorporates a variety of essential nutrients. Let’s explore practical tips and expert advice to help you build a plate that supports your overall well-being.

Incorporating Essential Food Groups

Emphasize whole foods from various food groups to create a healthy plate. Make sure to include:

  • Vegetables and fruits: Fill half your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Grains: Allocate a quarter of your plate to whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and quinoa to boost fiber intake and stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Proteins: Reserve another quarter of your plate for lean proteins such as fish, poultry, beans, and nuts for muscle repair and satiety.
  • Dairy: Include a serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy options to meet your calcium needs while minimizing saturated fat intake.

Portion Control and Mindful Eating

Maintaining portion control is crucial for preventing overeating and promoting weight management. Use smaller plates and bowls to visually trick your mind into consuming smaller portions. Practice mindful eating by savoring each bite, chewing slowly, and paying attention to hunger cues. Incorporate techniques like putting your fork down between bites and taking small sips of water to pace yourself during meals.

Plan Ahead for Success

Planning your meals ahead of time helps you make informed food choices and avoid unhealthy options, especially when on the go. Stock up on nutritious snacks like fresh fruits, veggies with hummus, or unsalted nuts to curb hunger between meals. Familiarize yourself with the New American Plate model, which emphasizes plant-based foods as the foundation of a healthy diet.

Stay Hydrated and Active

Hydration is essential for overall health and well-being. Opt for water, herbal tea, or black coffee over sugary beverages to stay hydrated throughout the day. Regular physical activity complements a balanced diet, promoting weight control and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Incorporate movement into your daily routine by taking the stairs, going for walks, or engaging in your favorite physical activities.

 

As we celebrate National Nutrition Month, let’s prioritize building healthy plates that nourish our bodies and support our long-term health goals. By making mindful food choices and embracing a balanced lifestyle, we empower ourselves to thrive and flourish.

 

 References

SelectHealth. “Building a Healthy Plate.” https://selecthealth.org/blog/2016/02/building-a-healthy-plate American Institute for Cancer Research. “Building a Healthy Plate.” https://www.aicr.org/resources/blog/building-a-healthy-plate/ Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Healthy Eating Plate.” https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-eating-plate/

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