Modifiable health risk behaviors: Poor Nutrition

Continuing the four part series on modifiable health risk behaviors, in Part 2 we examine poor nutrition!

What are modifiable health risk behaviors?

Modifiable health risk behaviors are the behaviors we engage in and we have the power to change.

Poor Nutrition

Diet is the major aspect of our life where we have control. We each have personal preferences from the types of food we like to our specific eating habits. Somehow it seems like todos nuestro ninos, novios y esposos  no le gustan verduras como brócoli. What happens if you can’t get those picky eaters to get their veggies despite all your effort?

We’re all different and we don’t all enjoy the same things. One thing to remember is that our differences don’t give us an excuse to ignore the nutritional value of our diets.

Nutrition isn’t just about eating healthy in order to lose weight or to maintain your dress size, it’s important to your body functions down to a cellular level. When your cells are nourished properly, your body performs at a high level. When you cells aren’t nourished properly, your body suffers and you can feel it; it’s that dragging feeling you get after you ate too many chorizo con huevos breakfast burritos and just want to lie down for a nap.

Nutritional Needs

Water- If you feel thirsty, your body is already low on water. Have you heard that before? H2O is your best friend and an essential component to your overall nutrition. Every cell in your body needs agua and without it, you may feel dizzy, nauseous or even pass out. The recommended amount of water is usually 6-8 glasses a day to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can become a serious condition very quickly, so drink up! You’ll notice clearer and more radiant skin when you do!

Vitamins & Minerals- I’m not necessarily talking about daily multi-vitamins and dietary supplements, but about vitamins and minerals from the foods you consume.  Here is a great list of what you need and how to get it from natural sources. Also, be wary of any dietary supplements and vitamins you are taking.  Unfortunately, those expensive vitamins tu hermana recommended may not be effective and could be harmful to your health. Did you know that “Manufacturers and distributors do not need FDA approval to sell their dietary supplements”? Be very careful and read all labeling before deciding on a product.

Food Groups- Remember that time we talked about nutrition? To recap, the foods you need are divided into grains, oils, fats, proteins, fruits, vegetables and dairy. The USDA recommends varying your vegetables, eating more fresh fruits,  making half of your grains whole, lean proteins, and consuming calcium rich and low in fat dairy. You want to limit your oils and fats, but make sure you don’t eliminate them completely from your diet.

Dietary Fat- Do you know the difference between saturated fat and unsaturated fat? Knowing which types of dietary fats are superior to others can help you from gaining weight and feeling sluggish. Fat is actually important to your diet and you need to consume small portion in order to keep your skin, hair and cholesterol levels healthy. Fats also play a major role as a source of energy and helps your body absorb vitamins.

Caloric Content- Have you ever tried counting calories to lose weight? If you have, you know how frustrating it is when you’ve hit your daily limit and you’re still hungry! Caloric content can be a great resource for maintaining and losing weight if it’s managed in the right way. The key is eating foods that will give you energy and keep you feeling full longer. Foods that are high in fiber and low in fat will easily become your best friend! The type of foods are really what matter when it comes down to caloric content.

Change your behavior and modify your health risks.

-The Healthy Latina


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