Sharon Roth Maguire, a geriatric nurse practitioner and Senior Vice President of Quality and Clinical Operations for BrightStar Care®, has some basic advice for staying on track. "Eating healthy is a lifestyle," says Maguire. "When you incorporate smart meal options into your daily routine, healthy lifestyle choices become a habit. Sometimes it's as simple as making slight modifications to your diet and choosing certain ingredients over others." In addition, Maguire notes "Awareness, as in awareness of what you're eating, is a big first step. Understanding how to read nutrition labels on food products is an important way to make better and certainly more informed choices."
In honor of National Nutrition Month, Maguire has provided five tips for leading a healthy lifestyle through smart meal choices:
- Drink Your Calories Wisely: There are a plethora of calorie-laden beverage choices, so don't fall for consuming extra empty calories. While water reigns supreme as the healthiest way to quench your thirst, taking your coffee with low-fat milk instead of cream or cutting down on sugar in your tea are easy ways to cut back on calories. Not to mention tea and coffee are both rich in antioxidants.
- Grill is the Name of the Game: Properly picking how to prepare your poultry can have big implications in regards to calorie, carbohydrate and fat intake. Choosing grilled chicken over fried can save you nearly 100 calories and 10 grams of fat on average.
- Mustard Over Mayo: When it comes to condiment decisions, mustard over mayo should be the mantra. "Mustard has virtually no calories," says Maguire. "On the other hand mayo packs a punch of nearly 10 grams of fat per serving. Even low-fat mayo is the losing choice when compared to mustard."
- It's All in the Sides: The accompaniments to your entrée can have a big impact on your overall meal. "A good rule of thumb when picking side dishes is to include at least three different colors on your plate," says Maguire. "For instance, a side of sautéed spinach and glazed carrots will add more balance to your plate than choosing mashed potatoes and a biscuit."
- Screen for Ice Cream: Everyone deserves a treat now and then but why not choose a diet abiding dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth? When selecting your favorite frozen snack, be sure to check the labels for sugar and fat content as there can be a distinct discrepancy among brands. Also, don't forget frozen yogurt is another figure-friendly way to indulge a little bit!
Brighstar through its web based Partners In Caring program and Care Together platform offers guidance on how to read labels. Through our condition-specific transitional care program, Brighstar Clinical Pathways, clients are taught by specially trained CNAs how to read nutrition labels to better understand how to manage their health.
About BrightStar Care®:
Founded in 2002 as a family business, BrightStar Care® provides the full continuum of homecare and childcare, including adult and elder care, newborn care, babysitter, and nanny services. BrightStar delivers skilled person-centered care to clients one-on-one in their home or wherever and whenever they need care through its more than 250 independently owned and operated locations nationwide. The Gurnee, Illinois, based company also offers medical staffing services for individuals, families, healthcare facilities, and anywhere healthcare staff is needed. For more information, visit them online at www.BrightStarCare.com, on Facebook at "BrightStar Care" or on Twitter @brightstarcare.
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