Hi, my name is Jessie Groth, and I am a Registered Dietitian with Guckenheimer. We’re excited to bring you our “Health Hacks” series, where Guckenheimer’s dietitians give you the research, reason and resolution to nourish a healthy life. This episode, we take a look at hacking the common New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier.
It’s no surprise that after a season of merry-making and indulgence, health and fitness goals top the New Year’s Resolutions list. But did you know that one statistic shows only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions? So many of us are excited by the New Year and a chance to start fresh – so why are we so unsuccessful? Most resolutions fail when they are general and non-specific – we have good intentions to lose weight or eat better, but don’t know where to start. As a result, we end up biting off more than we can chew and eventually throw in the towel. Let’s instead, cut them into more manageable pieces, and focus on simple, achievable, sustainable goals that can turn into long-term habits. When it comes to “eating healthier” here some health hacks to inspire your own resolution planning.
Resolution 1 – Up your Omega-3s: Omega 3-fatty acids have been tied to numerous health benefits, from improving risk factors for heart disease and fighting inflammation, to decreasing age-related memory loss. Research also suggests omega-3s can help improve your mood – a boost we all can use during the short, dark days of winter. Aim to get two servings of fatty fish per week, such as salmon, sardines, trout, or tuna. Not a cook? A little bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper are all you need when it comes to baking or grilling fresh fish. Need a quick, budget-friendly idea? Try tuna or salmon cakes. Not a fish lover? Opt for walnuts and flax, which are good non-fish sources of omega 3s.
Resolution 2 – Pile on the veggies: Vegetables are teeming with micronutrients and fiber, add color and texture to our plates. Yet, according to a 2017 report by the CDC, only 9.3% of Americans eat the daily recommended 3 or more servings of vegetables. If you’re of the mindset that “vegetables don’t taste good” try roasting them! Start with a preheated oven at 425, and cut the vegetables into uniform pieces – this ensures they cook evenly. Coat with a high-smoke point oil such as olive or canola, and season with salt, pepper, and any other favorite spices. Avoid overcrowding your pan – if vegetables are packed like sardines, they will steam rather than roast leading to a mushy outcome. And remember to toss the vegetables around halfway through cooking to ensure even browning. Lastly, roast until you toast – you know you are done when you see some golden-brown crispness on the outsides of your vegetables – evidence of the tasty caramelization of their natural sugars waiting for you to take a bite!
Resolution 3 – eat less meat: Plant-based diets are a growing trend. Eating plant-based support our planet’s health and our own; research indicates it is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Not ready to go cold turkey? The good news is a 2018 study that followed 9,600 people over a 26 year period found a diet rich in plant-based foods and low in meat – without strictly following a vegetarian or vegan diet – may offer protection against obesity in middle-aged and older adults. Commit to a meatless meal a few times per week, or use a small amount of meat as a condiment to enhance a primarily plant-based meal.
Whatever health-based resolution you have your heart set on this year, make it specific, simple, and enjoyable – find out how the change fits in your life and you will be well on your way to becoming a healthier you! Thanks for watching. Check out our other videos on Vimeo, and follow us on Instagram at Nutrition_at_guckenheimer.