Budget Bites

​Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. Preparing meals at home gives you control over ingredients and cost. It all starts at the grocery store! Here are some tips for every aisle to help you eat healthy without overspending. PROTEIN: Go meatless! Plant proteins are often a cheaper option than meat and have the added benefits of fiber to help keep you full longer. If you aren’t ready to go completely meat-free, cut your meat portions in half and add a meatless protein, such as beans to chilis, soups, and tacos!

Gut Check-in

Dietary fiber is an essential plant-based nutrient found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Fiber helps normalize bowel movements by moving fluid and waste through the digestive tract. Fiber-rich foods have been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and other digestive diseases, lower cholesterol, help control blood sugar, and aid in achieving a healthy weight.

Beyond Fresh

You may have heard that fresh fruits and vegetables are healthier than their frozen and canned counterparts. Produce is flash-frozen or canned at the peak of freshness. Therefore, frozen and canned produce can have nutrient contents comparable to even the freshest produce! They are available year-round and are often more cost effective. The handout below shares tips for enjoying all forms of fruits and vegetables.​

Got Milk?

​Dairy is one of the five food groups outlined in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It contains many nutrients your body uses on a daily basis, such as protein, vitamin D, and calcium. Calcium has been shown to improve bone mass, and vitamin D helps maintain that mass. It is recommended you eat or drink three servings of dairy per day. One serving of dairy is equal to:

Taste the Rainbow

​A healthy diet is essential for a healthy immune system and disease prevention. Eating foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains provides your body with phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are found in plants and help the body function and fight disease. Research has shown that by diversifying the colors on your plate you can provide your body with a wide variety of nutrients.  Use these tips for eating more nutritious meals:

Eating for Energy

​The foods we eat can be broken down into two main categories: macronutrients and micronutrients. Your body needs macronutrients in large amounts to complete daily activities and for bodily functions. You may recognize macronutrients by their common names: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Most foods contain a combination but are classified by the macronutrient that is present in the highest amount. The amount of each macronutrient needed differs per person based on activity level and other considerations.

The Secret Life of Vegetables

​“Eat your vegetables!” The mantra of healthy eating is all around us. But how do you keep fresh vegetables around long enough to cook? Vegetables are alive. They continue breathing, or respiring, until they are cooked. The best way to keep them fresh is to slow down their respiration rate and avoid bruising. Keeping your vegetables fresh improves the nutritional value and flavor of your meals. You can save money, have more fresh vegetables on hand, and take advantage of bulk produce by knowing the best possible conditions for storing at home.

Grill with No Guilt

​Summer is the perfect time for grilling and cooking out with friends and family. It is also a time when a wide variety of fresh seasonal produce is available. Vegetables and fruits on the grill can add a unique, colorful element to your next cookout, while also adding vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients. Lean meats are a great source of protein and can be quick and easy grilling choices. Grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook because it adds flavor without having to add sodium or fat.

Decoding Nutrition Claims

​Have you ever bought a food because it was “all-natural” or “hormone-free”?  These claims are often used on food labels to draw attention to healthy sounding information while leaving out the item’s unhealthy qualities. While some claims are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), others are not. It can be hard to know which claims to believe and which may be misleading. The list below shows nutrient content claims that may be helpful when grocery shopping.