National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I would like to discuss the importance of making informed food choices by developing sound eating habits and through physical activity. Texas has been helpful in promoting good nutrition for our citizens.
Because of the diversity of Texas’ geography, bountiful amounts of naturally grown foods that are delicious and wholesome can be found throughout our State. Our farmers grow nutritious vegetables and fruits in our well-kept Texas soils. This enables these foods to have healthy amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants our bodies need to function properly. Specific foods rich in these nutrients are broccoli, blueberries, spinach, cauliflower, tomatoes, peaches, squash, onions, tree nuts (pecans, almonds, etc.), oranges, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and many more. To learn more about Texan grown products.
There is not a one-size- fits all approach to nutrition and health but there are some major ingredients and processed foods to avoid. The most prominent of these is added sugar. This product is very common in many items found at the grocery store. Foods with added sugar are often highly caloric and have harmful effects on our organs. Foods with high fructose corn syrup and other artificial sweeteners have been linked to severe health problems like obesity, cardiovascular (heart) disease and type two diabetes. These sweeteners are replaceable! Using foods like raw honey or stevia are better and are very beneficial alternatives to use in baking or iced/hot tea and coffee.
Another food group to be concerned with is artificial trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated oils. The negative side effects of this group are raising bad cholesterol and lowering the good cholesterol. This could lead to health risks such as high blood pressure which can cause poor blood circulation in our bodies. The regular consumption of Trans fats has also been shown to lead to possible diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity.
Taking advantage of all the wonderful whole foods our state has to offer are beneficial in many ways. Making smarter nutritional choices can go a long way. To learn more visit USDA Nutrition. Also, visit the Texas Department of Agriculture. For more information about National Nutrition Month please visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
If you would like to review more about the legislature, please visit the Texas Legislature online at www.capitol.state.tx.us/. If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 512-463-0672.