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Healthy Food Makes a Difference

Eating well can keep you and your family healthy! Committing to a healthy diet helps children grow and adults live longer while lowering the risk of developing chronic diseases, which can persist over a long period of time and have serious impacts on your health.

In the US, 6 in every 10 adults live with at least one chronic condition. Chronic conditions are some of the leading causes of death and disability. Learn more about the most common chronic conditions below.

Obesity

Obesity is a complex health issue that can occur due to a variety of reasons — including personal behaviors, genetics, and nutrition education. Obesity is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Type II Diabetes

More than 34 million Americans have diabetes, and the vast majority have Type 2 diabetes. When you have Type 2 diabetets, your cells don’t respond normally to insulin, which causes your blood sugar to rise. High blood sugar can cause serious health problems like heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Heart Disease

The term heart disease can refer to several conditions, the most common being coronary artery disease, or CAD. A variety of health conditions and behaviors — such as obesity, diabetes, smoking, and an unhealthy diet — can contribute to heart diseases, and can eventually lead to a heart attack, heart failure, or arrhythmia (palpitations). Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The Good News

The right eating habits can help you prevent and manage chronic conditions and improve your health! Learn more about how you can eat healthier below.

Representatives of companies participating in the Corporate Challenge are gathered together for a group photo.

Fruits and Vegetables

Did you know that enough fruits and vegetables can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk for heart disease? Yet only 1 in 10 adults eat enough fruits and vegetables each day. Adults should aim to eat three cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit each day.

What counts as one cup of fruit or vegetables? Click on the tabs below to find out!

  • One small apple
  • Twenty two grapes
  • One large banana
  • Eight large strawberries
  • One large bell pepper
  • Two carrots
  • One avocado
  • Two small tomatoes

Fiber

Fiber is an often overlooked piece of our overall health. The average person should consume between 25 and 38 grams of fiber each day. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Click on the tabs below to learn what makes them different.

Soluble fiber adsorbs water while we digest it. Increasing our intake of soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber can be found in fruits (especially citrus fruits), vegetables, beans, and oats.

Insoluble fiber remains unchanged during digestion. Insoluble fiber helps move material through the body, helping the body get rid of waste. Insoluble fiber can be found in the edible peels of fruits and vegetables and whole grain products like whole wheat flour.

A pile of bagels with seeds and seasoning
A pizza topped with olives and arugula

Sodium

A common misperception is that sodium and salt are the same thing. Salt is a compound found commonly in nature, while sodium is a mineral that is a component of salt. Over 70% of dietary sodium comes from packaged and prepared foods. Reducing consumption of sodium can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Look for food with less than 460 grams (or 20% daily value). This information can always be found on the nutrition facts label on all processed foods. Some examples of high-sodium foods are:

  • Sandwiches

  • Pizza

  • Burritos and Tacos

  • Savory Snacks (Chips, Crackers, Popcorn)

  • Burgers

Saturated Fats

Fat is a major source of energy that helps keep you healthy and an important part of a healthy and balanced diet. There are two main types of fats, unsaturated and saturated fats. Unsaturated fats are considered healthy as they are beneficial for your heart health. Saturated fats are considered unhealthy fats because they increase cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

Eat More of These (Unsaturated Fats)

  • Avocados

  • Nuts

  • Seeds

  • Olive and Vegetable Oils

Eat Less of These (Saturated Fats)

  • High Fat Cheeses

  • High Fat Cuts of Meat

  • Whole Fat Milk, Cream, and Butter

  • Palm and Coconut Oils

Four strips of bacon sizzle on a pan
A plate of chocolate cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles

Added Sugars

Lowering your intake of added sugars can help decrease your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Added sugars are sugars and syrups added to food during food processing or preparation to make foods taste sweeter. Some sugars occur naturally in whole, unprocessed foods such as milk, fruits, and vegetables. These are not considered added sugars. Some sources of added sugars are more obvious than others. Click on the tabs to learn more.

  • Cookies
  • Candies
  • Cakes
  • Pies
  • Pastries
  • Ice creams
  • Sauces and condiments (pasta sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce, creamy salad dressing)
  • Breakfast foods (flavored yogurt, breakfast cereal, granola bars, instant oatmeal)
  • Drinks (sports drinks, sweet teas, fruit juices)
  • Canned and dried fruit

Thank you to our Nutrition Intern, Emma Gooding-Lord, for preparing this valuable information to help keep our community healthy. Stay tuned for more nutrition content from Community Food Share!