Did you know, according to the 2014 Hunger in America Study, 58% of client households have a member with high blood pressure? In those same households, 33% have members with diabetes. In the senior population those numbers are even higher.
The clients we work with are more likely to have diet related chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. In an effort to improve health outcomes, food banks and Partner Agencies have started looking to nutrition. As a resource provider, we have the ability to provide clients with food that will benefit their health. What are some ways that we can build a better food box? Below are some suggested food items categorized by food group. Including all of the food groups in food boxes you distribute will provide the recipient with a variety of nutrients.
Fruits & Vegetables
Dairy & Dairy Substitutes
100% Whole Grains
Snacks can be a healthy part of your daily diet. They can provide a much needed energy boost between meals as well as vitamins, minerals and fiber. Follow these tips to keep your snacking smart!
• When: Don’t snack because it is a daily part of your routine; snack when you are feeling a little bit hungry. Some people reach the point of hunger several hours after a meal and some reach it much sooner. Have a bite if you’re hungry, but hold off if you aren’t.
•What: Think of snacks as small meals that contribute needed nutrients to your body. Try choosing a snack that contains foods from at least two different food groups: grains, fruit, vegetable, dairy or protein. Keep a variety of nutritious snacks on hand, such as whole grain crackers and cheese.
• How Much: Keep portion control in mind. Instead of eating straight from the package, portion snacks into single serving containers. Aim for around 150 to 250 calories.
Healthy snacks are an important part of a well balanced diet. Below are a couple of 3-ingredient, low-cost snacks which take very little time to prepare and can be enjoyed any time of day.
The average American consumes 3,500 mg of sodium a day, but the recommended amount is less than 2,300 mg a day. Many believe that eliminating the salt shaker fixes the problem, but the truth is that 77% of the sodium in our diet comes from processed, packaged and restaurant foods.
Why Limit Sodium? Sodium can increase blood pressure because it holds excess fluids in the body. Over time, high blood pressure can damage the walls of the arteries. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and kidney damage.
Ways to reduce Sodium:
Surprising Sources of Sodium
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Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee - The Martin Distribution Center
331 Great Circle Road Nashville, TN 37228 | 615.329.3491 (t) 615.329.3988 (f) © 2019 Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. All Rights Reserved.