Nutrition-Bites-Small-changes-count-too

Nutrition Bites: Small changes count, too

New Years Resolutions – the notorious promise for self-improvement that gets broken in a week. Most resolutions are lofty goals that require a quick overhaul of everyday life. Here's the good news: Making a few small, manageable changes can make a difference in your health and make your resolution count.

See if one of these resolutions works for you:

1. Make one change each month
Small changes add up to make a big difference. Changing 12 habits, one each month, will create a healthier lifestyle at a pace that is realistic. Try changing from 2% milk to skim milk, cut back on soft drinks, cut down on desserts, or find a healthier snack food.

2. Eat less meat, more plants, and more fish
Less meat – Eating meat everyday may increase cholesterol, and lead to heart disease.
More plants – Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibers, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. These nutrients can help lower cholesterol, decrease the risk of cancer, promote weight loss, and provide the body with many other benefits.
More fish – The USDA recommends eating 2 servings of baked or grilled fish each week. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help prevent heart disease.

3. Commit to cooking at home more often
According to the American Heart Association, one normal restaurant entree contains a total days worth of calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium. Just by cooking at home, meals will most likely have less calories, and be healthier overall.

4. Get creative with social events
Center your social life on activities, not food. Instead of grabbing a bite to eat with friends, try going for a walk, having a potluck, or checking out a class that everyone will enjoy (like painting).

5. Give the gift of health
Help family and friends who make New Years Resolutions by giving a gift to support their mission. Try a new pair of walking shoes, work out clothes, cooking supplies, or a gift card for a fun activity (like renting a kayak or bike).

By Kelsey Shanklin, MS, RD

(Nutrition Bites is a new feature that will appear regularly in the Tulane PRC’s e-newsletters and will cover nutrition and health tips from Kelsey Shanklin, MS, RD. If you have any suggestions for Nutrition Bites topics, please contact Naomi Englar at nking2@tulane.edu or 504-988-7410.)

Topics:   nutrition , diet , obesity , community health , physical activity , health communication

Other Related Posts

Tulane-partners-with-The-Food-Trust-in-launching-Center-for-Healthy-Food-Access-

Tulane partners with The Food Trust in launching Center for Healthy Food Access

Food Environment Research

Published: February 21, 2017

Food helps bring people together. But accessing healthy food is a challenge, particularly for people living in underserved neighborhoods. While improvements have been made across the country to bring healthier food to more people in more places, a new coordinated national effort – which includes New Orleans and Tulane University – is seeking to build upon the work of organizations, institutions and businesses by sharing lessons learned, sparking inspiration and testing groundbreaking ideas. Diego Rose,…

Read More

Residents-urged-to-get-Movin-for-LIFE

Residents urged to get Movin' for LIFE

Physical Activity Research Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 21, 2017

The Tulane University Prevention Research Center (PRC) is encouraging residents of New Orleans to walk more with a new campaign that highlights maps of walking routes throughout the city's Ninth Ward. An outdoor advertising campaign using billboards, bus shelters and street poles was also conducted from January to February 2017 as part of a five-year initiative called Movin' for LIFE (Lasting Improvements for Fitness and Energy). The initiative is led by the PRC with input…

Read More

Louisiana-promotes-toolkit-for-daycare-centers-to-reduce-screen-time-

Louisiana promotes toolkit for daycare centers to reduce screen time

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 21, 2017

Children spend an average of seven hours per day using electronic devices including TV, videos, DVDS, computers, tablets, and other handheld devices. Too much screen time can lead to reduced physical activity, thus increasing a child's risk for being overweight or obese. In 2015, Tulane Prevention Research Center faculty co-investigator, Jeanette Gustat, PhD, MPH, partnered with Louisiana Department of Health and the Louisiana Department of Education to begin looking at strategies to reduce screen time…

Read More

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 21, 2017

I gave up on magazine subscriptions a long time ago. I just never could find the time to keep up with the reading. So, I was pleasantly surprised recently when I received three magazines in the mail in one day. Pleasantly because they were free, and surprised because all three were about health, more or less. I thought I would scan quickly through them and into the recycling bin they would go. But I found…

Read More

Community-Partner-Updates

Community Partner Updates

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 20, 2017

See what our Community Advisory Board (CAB) members and partners have been up to! Click on the photo for a gallery of pictures, view a video and read updates. To find out more about our partners, click here to visit our Community Partners page. PHOTOS 1-4: FitLot built its first outdoor fitness park along the Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans in late January, thanks to volunteers – including Saints NFL punter Thomas Morstead – working…

Read More

Legislative-Updates

Legislative Updates

Policy & Education

Published: February 17, 2017

New members join Louisiana Obesity Commission At its January 2017 meeting, the Louisiana Obesity Prevention and Management Commission voted in two new members: Partnership for a Healthier Southwest Louisiana Southwest Louisiana and the Louisiana State University AgCenter. They will hold two seats designated for community-based groups. The January meeting also resulted in the co-chair nomination of Denise Holston of the LSU AgCenter to join current co-chair Melissa Martin of the Louisiana Department of Health's Bureau…

Read More

Staff-Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 17, 2017

Dr. Jylana L. Sheats, PhD, MPH is a behavioral scientist and educator with a passion for working with racial/ethnic and vulnerable populations to reduce health disparities and promote health equity. Within the broader fields of nutrition and physical activity, her research is focused on: 1) examining psychosocial, social, environmental, and policy-related determinants of obesogenic behaviors and chronic diseases; 2) developing and testing technologies to deliver obesity and chronic disease-related behavior change interventions; and 3) utilizing…

Read More

CDC-staff-visit-Tulane-PRC

CDC staff visit Tulane PRC

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 16, 2017

For a little over three days in late January, the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) hosted three staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The out-of-town guests who visited New Orleans all work for the CDC’s Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research Centers Program, the network that funds all 26 PRCs around the country. The site visit included meetings with the Tulane PRC staff, community partners, government health officials, and Tulane University administration…

Read More

Nutrition-Bites-Tips-on-how-to-eat-healthier-and-save-time

Nutrition Bites: Tips on how to eat healthier and save time

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 16, 2017

In a perfect world, all your responsibilities – personal and professional – can be completed with time to spare. In reality, responsibilities need to be prioritized, and what often falls by the wayside is personal health. While there may be nothing wrong with eating the occasional junk food to indulge a sweet tooth, this indulgence can often begin a junk food cycle, in which any individual with a busy schedule can become a victim. So…

Read More

Active-Steps-Staying-active-during-Mardi-Gras-season

Active Steps: Staying active during Mardi Gras season

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: February 16, 2017

You've made your New Year's resolution to exercise more often. You've made it through January and you've settled into your new exercise routine – congratulations! As those pounds slowly come off and your energy gradually increases, you're feeling really good. But then it's February, and King Cake and Mardi Gras season are fully upon us. How can you balance having fun with staying active? While it's important to maintain a regular workout routine, sometimes the…

Read More

canary