We know that most chronic disease risk can be reduced by lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity, healthy diet, and tobacco-free lifestyles. It's never too early to adopt positive lifestyles.
A healthier lifestyle begins with smart food choices. While we are bombarded with fast foods, sugar-laden sodas, and large portion sizes, there are some easy ways to eat healthier. First, ditch the sodas and switch to water or sugar-free beverages. Next, include more fresh fruits and vegetables at meals and as snacks.
Another idea is to the foods you love, but in smaller portions. Here is a way to gauge healthy food portions using common items:
- 3 oz serving of meat: smartphone
- ½ cup of pasta: computer mouse
- 1 oz cheese: first-generation iPod shuffle
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil or peanut butter: two earbuds
- 1 tablespoon of salad dressing, sour cream, or mayonnaise: small thumb drive
- ½ cup ice cream or frozen yogurt: AC power adapter
- 1 slice of bread: CD
Tiger Dining will make it easier to choose healthy foods on campus. At all dining sites, Tiger Dining will feature the Memphis Healthy U logo prominently to help everyone identify healthy food choices. The signage will be fully visible and in a prime location as students, faculty, staff and guests make their selections. Check out some tools you can use to make healthier food choices:
FAST FACTS: Did you know.....
- The food industry spends $30 billion per year on advertising.
- It takes 20 minutes for the brain to tell your body that you are full.
- 32-oz of regular cola contains about 425 calories
- Drinking a 20 ounce soda each day packs 92,783 extra calories and adds 26 pounds of body fat!
- The size of an average dinner plate has increased 36% in surface area since 1960.
- 6-8 nacho chips with cheese contain 34 grams of fat and over 1700 mg sodium.
Small Changes Add Up
Source website: The American Dietetic Association is now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Here are more great ideas that will cut calories from your daily intake, possibly without your even noticing:
- Downsize Your Dishes.Use smaller plates and bowls to help you eat less. We tend to fill up the dish we're using and then eat it all. Our brains also think we are getting more when the same amount of food is placed in a smaller dish.
- Savor Your Meals.Eating slowly helps you consume only what your body needs to feel satisfied. Eating too quickly, in less than 20 to 30 minutes, leads to overeating and feeling uncomfortably full afterwards.
- Leave Some Food on Your Plate.This is especially important if you grew up in the "clean plate club." By leaving even a few bites, you can focus more on your internal signals of satisfaction and less on eating food just because it is there.
- Don't Eat Out of a Bag or Box.When you eat out of a package, you are likely to keep eating until it's all gone – no matter how many servings the package actually contains. Pour one serving into a small bowl.
- Choose Your Glass Wisely.When glasses are short and wide, we tend to fill them with more fluid and to drink more. Use a slender glass for any beverage except water.
- Rethink Your Drinks. High-calorie beverages like soft drinks, juice drinks, energy drinks, specialty coffees and alcohol add calories just like solid foods. Whenever possible, replace these drinks with plenty of water.