Expert healthy dieting doesn’t have to be a lofty expensive goal / Public News Service

March is National Nutrition Month and North Dakotans are reminded of ways to better manage their health through personalized diet plans that emphasize flexibility without all the pressure.

In a post-pandemic world, people may be trying to kick the unhealthy eating habits they developed during the early stages of COVID-19. Or perhaps the crisis has inspired them to pay more attention to preventing diseases and improving their health.

Bailey Holmquist, a registered dietitian based in Fargo, said cutting back on processed foods should play a role. There are certain proteins that you should take into account.

“I tell my patients, ‘Do what you can, but if we can get good grass-fed meat, pasture-raised eggs and wild-caught fish,’” Holmquist outlined. “So that we get the most nutrients from those animals.”

But if such items aren’t in your budget, or you don’t have time to look for them, she recommends buying whatever protein is most readily available. Canned beans are considered a good additional option. And there is affordable peanut butter made from healthy ingredients. Holmquest emphasized that it’s not about being perfect with your diet, but about focusing on consistency.

Holmquest also pointed out that specific healthy eating guidelines don’t work for everyone, and it’s important to figure out what your body can handle.

“If someone has kidney disease and they hear ‘protein,’ that’s not a good thing for them to hear,” Holmquest noted. “Because protein is very, very hard on the kidneys, if someone has reduced kidney function.”

As for fresh fruits and vegetables, she recommends rinsing them before using them, which helps remove any pesticides used to grow them. As for meal planning, Holmquest suggested keeping plenty of your favorite nutritious items in your kitchen, which will make it easier to whip up something healthy on a busy evening.

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