Good Nutrition: An Introduction

Whether you cook for yourself or prepare food for another person, good eating habits will keep your body healthier and improve how you feel.

Water

Experts agree that water is the most important dietary addition for most people. Six to eight glasses of water a day is recommended to improve digestion, reduce constipation, prevent urinary infection, and control weight. Increase your water intake gradually to let your body adjust.

Food Choices

  • Include a variety of foods in your diet.
  • Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Limit sugar intake.
  • Use salt and foods containing sodium in moderation.
  • Increase fiber in your diet to prevent constipation and other digestive system disorders. Wheat bran, oats, whole grains like brown rice, whole grain bread, fresh fruit and vegetables, and legumes (cooked dried beans, peas, and lentils) are high in fiber.
  • Decrease fat in your diet.
  • Eat more fish, remove skin from chicken, and remove visible fat from meat before cooking, use low-fat or skim milk and cheese products, bake instead of fry, avoid foods with hydrogenated oil, palm oil, coconut oil or cocoa butter.

For additional information about nutrition, consult your doctor or contact your local hospital for the name of a nutrition expert. You can also look in the Yellow Pages of the telephone directory under “Nutritionists”.

Originally written and published by the Aging and Adult Services Administration Department of Social and Health Services, State of Washington. Reprinted with permission.

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

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