Step Up to Nutrition and Health
The food and physical activity choices made today—and everyday—affect your health and how you feel today and in the future. Eating right and being physically active are keys to a healthy lifestyle. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans can lead the way to a healthier you.
Make smart choices from every food group
Give your body the balanced nutrition it needs by eating a variety of nutrient-packed foods every day. Just be sure to stay within your daily calorie needs.
A healthy eating plan
- Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
- Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
- Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
Get the most nutrition out of your calories
Choose the most nutritionally rich foods you can from each food group each day—those packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients but lower in calories.
- Focus on fruits. Eat a variety of fruits—fresh, frozen, canned or dried. For a 2,000 calorie diet, you need 2 cups of fruit each day.
- Vary your veggies. Eat more orange and dark green vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli and dark leafy greens. Include beans and peas such as pinto beans,
kidney beans, split peas and lentils more often.
- Get your calcium-rich foods. Have 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk—or an equivalent amount of low-fat yogurt and/or low-fat cheese every day (1 1/2 ounces of cheese equals 1 cup of milk). If you don’t or can’t consume milk, choose lactose-free milk products and/or calcium-fortified foods and beverages.
- Make half your grains whole. Eat at least 3 ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day. Look to see that grains such as wheat, rice, oats, or corn are referred to as “whole” in the list of ingredients.
- Go lean with protein. Choose lean meats and poultry. Bake it, broil it or grill it, and vary your protein choices with more fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.
- Know the limits on fats, salt and sugars. Read the Nutrition Facts label on foods. Look for foods low in saturated fats and trans fats. Choose and prepare foods and beverages with
little salt (sodium) and/or added sugars.
Find your balance between food and physical activity
Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness—plus it helps control body weight, promotes a feeling of well-being, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
- For even greater health benefits and to help control body weight, be physically active for about 60 minutes a day.
- Children and teenagers should be physically active for 60 minutes every day, or most days.
Play it safe with foods
Prepare, handle and store food properly to keep you and your family safe.
- Clean hands, food-contact surfaces, fruits and vegetables. To avoid spreading bacteria to other foods, meat and poultry should not be washed or rinsed.
- Separate raw, cooked and ready-to-eat foods while shopping, preparing or storing.
- Cook meat, poultry and fish to safe internal temperatures to kill microorganisms.
- Chill perishable foods promptly and thaw foods properly.
For more information about:
- Finding Your Way to a Healthier You, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Personal Health Manager and Work–Life Balance
With a wide range of online tools and information, you can better manage every aspect of health and wellness for you and your family with programs that are for UT employees, retirees and their dependents. Start by taking the health risk assessment to better understand your current health condition, identify potential issues and reinforce what you’re doing right! See below some of our resources/services:
Online Personal Health Manager provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield- your source for health and wellness information, such as
- Quitting Smoking (Ask A Life Coach to get support and answers to your smoking-related questions)
- Ask A Nurse
- Planning nutritious meals
- Recording workouts
- Keeping track of health records
- Addressing financial concerns
- Addressing relationship and family matters
- Earning Blue Points
Visit the Personal Health Manager at Blue Access® for Members today, and stay with it to manage your stress.
- Visit http://bcbstx.com/ut/
- Log onto Blue Access
- Select Personal Health Manager Icon
- Go to the top center banner
If you would like a specific topic discussed or have a question you would like answered in a future issue of this newsletter, please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UT System Employee Benefits Website: www.utsystem.edu/benefits/
UT System Retirement Programs Website: www.utretirement.utsystem.edu
Your Local Benefits Office: www.utsystem.edu/benefits/contacts.asp#1