Today is Thursday, July 20, 2017

Get Health Sumner

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As summer quickly approaches, help us celebrate during the month of May by participating in the "Get Healthy Sumner Month."

Brought to you by the Sumner County Health Department, this month-long event's goal is to encourage Sumner County residents to begin taking small steps to live a healthier lifestyle. This includes being more active, making smarter food choices, and refraining from tobacco and drug use.

As part of the overall goal of moving toward a healthier lifestyle, we are presenting a series of articles about healthy nutrition. But be sure to also look out for all the activities, programs, and events sponsored by the Sumner County Health Department during the month of May!

The food/beverages we consume are important for a variety of reasons. One main function is providing our body with fuel for everyday activities. But there are many nutrients provided by foods/beverages, and they serve multiple purposes:

  • Carbohydrates (some foods rich in carbohydrates are fruits, milk, yogurt, grains and cereals, and vegetables like corn and potatoes)
  • Protein (some foods rich in protein are chicken, turkey, beef, fish, milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, nuts, dried beans)
  • Fat (some foods rich in fat are olive, canola and corn oils, peanuts/peanut butter, lard, coconut, meats and dairy, and even avocados)
  • Vitamins, minerals, and substances like antioxidants are found in abundance in fruits and vegetables

Each of these nutrients has a part to play in keeping our bodies healthy. For those who are calorie conscious, carbohydrates, protein, and fat gives us calories. But ALL the nutrients are important for best health and body functioning. It takes a little effort and education to supply our bodies with the correct balance, and from the healthiest food sources. The best approach is to change a few small habits at a time, to reach your goals!

During the month of May, let's look at a few changes we can make to our diets, to meet healthy eating goals.

In today's day and age, we face a supermarket full of processed foods/beverages. Many of these items can be high in added sugars. And we crave that sugar! In our culture we also love foods with fat in them, but often too much of the unhealthy saturated fat. Added sugars and saturated fat are ok in small amounts, but, when consumed in higher amounts on a regular basis, they can have a negative effect on our health. Fiber is beneficial to our bodies in many ways; however lots of Americans struggle to meet the daily recommendations (25-35 grams per day). So stay tuned this month to learn more about subtracting added sugars, filtering out saturated fat, and filling up our diets with more fiber.

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