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 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.
Fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins and minerals that are keys to good health.
Many people do not eat the minimum recommended two and a half cups a day of vegetables and fruits a 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 vegetables.
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 small 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.
View an interactive Google Map of Farmers Markets in Allegheny County.
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.