Eat Well – Eat Smart

Making healthier food choices starts with learning about new ways to eat — such as adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains or cutting back on foods that have a lot of sugar, salt, and fat. Eating well and eating smart means making variety and moderation a regular part of your day.

Healthy food can be delicious, as well as nutritious, and does not require you to follow a strict or rigid diet. Making small changes such as substituting certain foods with low calorie and low-fat alternatives is easy and can make a big difference. The goal is to try to become a better eater, and not focus on being a “perfect” eater.

Mindful eating encourages you to make choices that will be satisfying and nourishing for your body. You don’t have to “judge” eating behaviors, it is more important to savor the food you are having and notice how it makes you feel. Mindful eating can lead to healthier choices over time, learn more about it here.

MyPlate is the United States’ food guidelines. Eating well can start with small choices that build over time. It is recommended to make your grains whole grains. It is also recommended to choose low-fat or non-fat dairy options. Varying protein sources is also recommended.

Many people do not eat the minimum recommended two and a half cups a day of vegetables and fruits each day. For some people, the main vegetables they eat are the starchy ones such as potatoes, corn, and lima beans, rather than the deeply colored, nutritional superstars such as broccoli, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, and so on. Remember to vary your fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins and minerals that are key to good health.

Making healthy, mindful food choices can be part of dieting and losing weight to improve health. It can be very hard and discouraging to lose a lot of weight, but keep in mind that even losing a small amount of weight can bring health benefits. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, a weight loss of 15 -20 pounds can improve your blood pressure, lower your blood sugar levels, and possibly lower your cholesterol.

Many people do not eat the minimum recommended two and a half cups a day of vegetables and fruits.

Each year, the health department cultivates a comprehensive list of farmers markets in our county as part of its Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Visit ACHD’s List of Farmer’s Markets.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture offers a list and interactive map of Farmers Markets and Farm Stands that are participating in its Farmers Market Nutrition Program and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

little boy and father cooking to eat well

Did you know that a diet rich in iron, calcium, and vitamin C can help limit the absorption of lead? Find out more in our “Get Ahead of Lead” pamphlet on nutrition.

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank has a great collection of healthy eating and nutrition resources, including how to videos and guides. Check them out here!

Just Harvest works to end hunger by supporting local farmers markets and corner stores. Learn more about their Fresh Access and Fresh Corners programs to find healthy food in your area.

Did you know?

Giant Eagle has a Mobile Market that travels weekly to ten Pittsburgh-area communities that are experiencing issues with food access. This Mobile Market contains over 700 grocery items including meat, dairy, frozen and dry goods. In addition, fresh produce is always sold at half price.

SNAP and WIC are accepted.

Current locations include Sheradon, Larimer, Homewood, Mt. Oliver, Hazelwood, Glen-Hazel, Rankin, and Braddock. Check out the Mobile Market’s schedule here: Giant Eagle’s Mobile Market