Your Journey to Wellness
A healthy lifestyle emphasizes a healthy eating plan, physical activity and actions that help you to maintain a positive outlook. Let’s get started…
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a vital source of disease preventing phytochemicals and antioxidants in our diet. Choose a variety of multicolored sources every week.
- Green (spinach, collards, broccoli, avocado, green grapes, asparagus, green apples)
- Yellow/Orange: (Butternut squash, oranges, apricots, cantaloupe, corn, mango)
- Red (red apples, tomatoes, red peppers, pomegranate, cherries, blood oranges, strawberries)
- Purple (eggplant, blackberries, raisins, blueberries, purple cabbage, purple figs)
- White: Bananas, potatoes, white corn, turnips, cauliflower, garlic, mushrooms)
Beans and peas
These foods are excellent sources of plant protein, and also provide other nutrients such as iron and zinc. They are similar to meats, poultry, and fish in their contribution of these nutrients.
- Black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), kidney beans, lentils, lima beans (mature), navy beans, pinto beans, soy beans, split peas
|100% Whole Wheat Bread||Amaranth*|
|Whole Grain cereal/bread||Corn*|
|*Denotes a gluten-free whole grain|
Studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. Benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least 3 servings daily. Whole grains have not had their bran and germ removed by milling. Whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium.
When shopping for whole grains look for the word “whole” as the first ingredient or second ingredient only after water.
Lean beef is an excellent source of protein, zinc, B12, B6, niacin, selenium and iron. Chicken and turkey breast are both low in calories, low in fat and supply an excellent source of protein and are sources of thiamin, B12, B6, folate and pantothenic acid.
- Choose lean cuts of pork, ham, lamb, pork, veal and beef such as 95% ground beef, sirloin, eye round roast, pork tenderloin.
- Poultry: lean ground chicken and turkey, skinless poultry
Nuts and seeds
Good source of healthy unsaturated fats, protein, vitamin E and fiber. Almonds, flaxseed, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, peanut butter, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts
The American Heart Association recommends eating 3.5 ounces of partially fatty fish two or more times per week to help prevent heart disease. These fish have the best combination of high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and the lowest amounts of mercury:
- Wild salmon
An important source of calcium, vitamin D and protein.
- Fat-free and low-fat varieties milk and yogurt
- Cheeses with less than 3 grams of fat per serving
Choose frozen meals with less than 400 calories and 15 grams of fat.
The MyPlate icon is just one part of the plan to help get Americans eating better and tackle the obesity epidemic. Unlike previous icons, the multicolored MyPlate breaks good nutrition down to the following basics:
- Eat Mostly vegetables and fruits
- Some lean protein
- Whole grains
- And low-fat dairy, which is shown to the side of the plate.
There’s no place on the new icon for desserts or other snack foods. Instead, these count mostly towards the daily “empty calories” allotment, which includes foods with added sugars and solid fats like butter or shortening.
Here are some of the key messages that are addressed by the MyPlate campaign.
- Enjoy your food, but eat less
- Avoid oversized portions
Foods to Increase
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
- Switch from whole milk to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
- Make at least half your grains whole grains
Foods to Reduce
- Compare sodium (salt) in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower numbers
- Drink water instead of sugar drinks.
How to use Wellness Factor Tags to find Prevention and Wellness Foods in our stores:
Shopping tip: Prevention & Wellness Attributes to look for on our Wellness Factor Tags at shelf
- Gluten Free: Identified by manufacturer as gluten free; aligns with FDA guidance document
- Organic: Meet industry standards for organic and carries organic status on product packaging
- Natural: Identified on package by manufactures as Natural; minimally processed, no artificial colors or ingredients
- 100% Juice: Identifies better choices in beverages in fruit-type categories
- Omega 3s: Represents foods that contain fatty acids found in fish that benefit heart healthy by reducing blood fats
- Lean: Represents foods that contain good source of protein and <10g or less total fat,<4.5g saturated fat and <95mg cholesterol per serving
Source of Calcium:
- Good Source: Contains >100mg Calcium per serving or per RACC and <190mg per serving or per RACC*
- Excellent Source: Contains >20% Daily Value of Calcium per serving or per RACC*; contains >200mg Calcium per serving or per RACC*
- Good source of Protein: Containg >10g Protein per serving and per RACC*
Source of Vitamin C:
- Excellent Source: >20% DV of Vitamin C per serving and per RACC*
- Good Source: Contains 10 - 19% DV of Vitamin C per serving and per RACC*
Source of Vitamin A:
- Excellent Source: >20% DV of Vitamin A per serving and per RACC*
- Good Source: Contains 10 - 19% DV of Vitamin A per serving and per RACC*
Source of Iron:
- Excellent Source: >20% DV of Iron per serving and per RACC*
- Good Source: Contains 10 - 19% DV of Iron per serving and per RACC*
* (RACC) Reference Amount Customarily Consumed. Source: FDA
Aerobic exercise improves blood sugar control and prevents heart disease and diabetes.
Replacing fat with muscle may be good for your figure, but do the benefits of weight training measure up to those of aerobic exercise? Not according to a new study published in theAmerican Journal of Cardiology. The study found that engaging in an aerobic exercise program improved risk factors for heart disease and diabetes in people with a combination of conditions known as metabolic syndrome, while engaging in a weight training program had no effect.
Exercise away metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is the name given to a set of conditions that often occur together and that, as a group, are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In this study, all of the 196 participants had evidence of metabolic syndrome and were given calculated scores based on their HDL (“good”) cholesterol, triglyceride, and fasting blood sugar levels, as well as waist circumference and blood pressure.
After a four-month prelude, during which participants were instructed not to exercise, they were divided into three groups: an aerobic exercise group, a weight-training group, and a combined weight-training plus aerobic exercise group. Aerobic exercisers did the equivalent of walking or jogging approximately 12 miles per week at a moderate pace, and weight trainers did three sessions per week of weight lifting exercises that involved the upper and lower body, for eight months.
Aerobic exercise has more benefits
The results were as follows:
- Fitness levels improved in all groups, and strength increased in the weight-training and combined exercise groups.
- The aerobic and combined exercise groups dropped in waist circumference, lost weight, and experienced reduced triglyceride levels, but the weight-training group did not.
- Metabolic syndrome scores improved similarly in the aerobic and combined exercise groups, but were unchanged in the weight-training group.
Another reminder to exercise, eat well, and lose weight
Metabolic syndrome is becoming more and more common in the US and the rest of the developed world. Obesity, especially abdominal obesity, and insulin resistance (when insulin no longer works efficiently to control blood sugar levels) are the most important components of metabolic syndrome. Scientists are still working out the causes, but prevention and treatment strategies are well established:
- Lose weight. If you are overweight, set an initial goal of losing 7 to 10% of your current body weight.
- Cut out sugar. Eat a low calorie diet that is low in sugars and refined grains, and high in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and nuts and seeds.
- Exercise. The current study adds to a wealth of evidence showing that aerobic exercise improves blood sugar control and prevents heart disease and diabetes. Work up to a minimum average of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day.
- Start each day by telling yourself to have a great day. Optimism can make even the most stressful situations more manageable.
- Stay in control of your actions /emotions.
- Stay organized and on task-solve little problems one at a time instead of one big one.
- Relax & stay focused: breathing exercises, walking, and healthy eating can help.
- Avoid sweets, fried foods, highly processed foods, and large meals. These foods take much longer to digest and can make you feel fatigued during your day.
- Eat 5-6 small meals daily. Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Snack. Eating small frequent meals can help increase physical & mental performance by decreasing fluctuations in blood sugar and providing small doses of energy throughout the day.
- Stay well hydrated with water. Strive for 64-ounces daily.
- Limit caffeine to two cups daily and cut back on soda, alcohol, and cigarettes.