Healthy Eating

5 tips to "Eat Smart"

The American Heart Association has designated November as Eat Smart Month to encourage Americans to take their first step towards adopting healthier eating strategies. With the holiday season and temptation of treats and sweets creeping in, it can be a challenging time to follow healthy eating practices. However, it is also the perfect time to learn a few tips and tricks to help you eat smart and feel confident in your choices this month.

Do you ever think about what is on your plate? Did you know that there is a way you can organize your plate so that you know you are getting all the nutrients you need with every meal?

USDA created MyPlate as a guideline to make healthy choices easier. It is important to know that everything that you eat and drink affects your health and that the right balance of both will have a positive impact on your current and future health. Everyone’s path to eating healthy is influenced by many factors including preferences, stage of life, food access, culture, traditions, and personal decisions that are made. MyPlate allows you to create a healthier eating style that meets each of your individual needs. Watch the short video to learn how you can use MyPlate to create your own healthy eating style.

Here are few more tips and tricks to help you eat smart this month!

  1. Choose whole grain – look in the ingredient list for whole grains listed first or second.
  2. Choose less sodium foods—Use the nutrition facts label. The % listed is the % daily value of each nutrient. As a guide 20% DV is considered high and 5% DV is low. 
  3. Choose less sugar—use the nutrition facts label to find foods with low amounts of added sugar. Eat fresh, frozen, dried or fruit canned in water or natural juice.
  4. Choose to consume enough water—Carry a water bottle with you. Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. 
  5. Visit for more ideas! 

How will you choose to eat smart this month? Visit our Facebook post and let us know! 

This article was written by Katherine Erickson as part of her dietetic internship program at CentraCare - St. Cloud Hospital. Katie is originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Stout. In her career she hopes to improve the health of people and communities with preventive nutrition practices.