March is National Nutrition Month which 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. Texas has been helpful in promoting good nutrition for our citizens.
Since Texas has a diverse geography, this means that bountiful amounts of naturally grown foods which are delicious and wholesome can be found throughout our state. Our farmers grow nutritious vegetables and fruits in our well-kept Texas soils which allows for these crops to have healthy amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that 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 visit Texan Grown Products.
However, 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 food to steer clear from is added sugar. Foods with added sugar are often highly caloric and have harmful effects on our organs. Additionally, 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. However, these sweeteners can be replaced with products such as raw honey or stevia which are better alternatives to use in baking or iced/hot tea and coffee.
Another food group to be cautious with is artificial trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated oils. Trans fats have been linked with raising bad cholesterol and lowering good cholesterol. This can lead to health risks such as high blood pressure which can cause poor blood circulation in our bodies. The regular consumption of trans fats have also been shown to lead to diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity.
Taking advantage of all the wonderful whole foods our state has to offer are beneficial in many ways because making smarter nutritional choices can go a long way. To learn more about nutrition visit USDA Nutrition. In addition to this, you can visit the Texas Department of Agriculture. For more information about National Nutrition Month and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 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 Aransas County and Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted at email@example.com or at 512-463-0672.