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Healthyroads Offers Six Tips for Eating Healthier During National Nutrition Month in March

SAN DIEGO   (February 27, 2012)  –  Feeling crunched for time to enjoy a healthy meal? Being "on the go" can make it difficult to eat a nutritious meal, but good nutrition is essential for keeping your body performing at its peak potential. Your nutrition affects every part of your body, from your bones and muscles to your skin, hair and eyes. During National Nutrition Month, total population health management company Healthyroads, a subsidiary of American Specialty Health Incorporated, urges Americans to increase their awareness about the benefits of good nutrition and enjoy more nutritious foods.

"A well-balanced diet is a cornerstone of good health," said Elizabeth Thompson, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian and vice president of Healthyroads Coaching ® programs. "Fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products provide the nutrients we need to maintain healthy, active lifestyles."

"A good way to start eating healthier is to substitute more nutritious foods for less healthy items," Thompson added.

Healthyroads offers the following six tips to help consumers choose more nutritious foods:

Choose Heart-Healthy Grains

Replace refined white grains with nutrient-dense whole grains, such as:

  • -- Whole grain cereals, like granola
  • -- Whole wheat pasta
  • -- Brown rice
  • -- Multi-grain breads.

Eat more Fresh Fruits and Veggies

Most adults should have the equivalent of 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit each day. Dark green, leafy veggies like kale and broccoli provide a lot of nutrients and are easy to steam or sauté. Fresh fruits like apples, berries and bananas are packed with vitamins and make great snacks and desserts.

Power up with Protein

Protein is a key building block of muscles, tissue, bone, blood and other organs. But some proteins, like red meat, also contain a lot of solid fats, so choose your proteins carefully.

  • -- Go with lean proteins, like seafood or ground turkey when choosing to eat meats. Avoid bacon, sausage, marbled red meats and other fatty proteins
  • -- Snack on protein-rich nuts like walnuts, pistachios and almonds.

Trim the Fat

It may be easy to grab a quick cheeseburger when you're on the go, but it's not quick or easy for your body to digest. Reduce the fats you consume by:

  • -- Choosing a veggie burger or salad instead of meat burgers
  • -- Substituting low-fat or non-fat milk and yogurts for regular dairy products
  • -- Grilling, baking or steaming your foods instead of frying or using heavy oils.

Ditch the Sugars

Foods that are high in sugar are also often high in calories that can lead to weigh gain. Research shows that being overweight or obese increases the risks for diabetes. Reduce sugar intake by:

  • -- Tossing out the sodas and substituting sparking water
  • -- Trying sugar-free desserts (sugar-free pudding or yogurt, or fruit salad, for example)
  • -- Substituting protein snacks, like almonds, for sweet desserts

Make it Fresh

Cook meals at home from fresh, whole foods, instead of eating out or eating prepackaged meals. That way you can better manage the levels of salt, sugar and other hidden additives that are so prevalent in restaurant or processed foods.

Eating nutritious foods is an easy way to improve you overall health. Jump start your new healthy eating habits during National Nutrition Month in March, and you’ll reap the benefits for a lifetime.

About Healthyroads, Inc.

Healthyroads, Inc., a subsidiary of national health services company American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH), offers a wide range of total population health services solutions--including award-winning telephone-based lifestyle and condition coaching programs, member engagement promotion programs, program management, health risk assessment, biometric screenings, claims analytics, risk stratification, outreach, incentive management programs, competitive challenges, worksite wellness programs, and/or an integrated online wellness portal, Healthyroads.com. Healthyroads offers these programs to more than 6.1 million members nationally. ASH provides total population health services, specialty provider benefit administration, and fitness and exercise services to health plans, insurance carriers, employer groups, and trust funds. Based in San Diego, ASH has more than 800 employees and serves over 25.9 million members. For more information about ASH health and wellness programs, visit ASHCompanies.com or call (800) 848-3555. Follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ASHCompanies or www.Twitter.com/Healthyroads , and like Healthyroads on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Healthyroads !

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