Stillwater News Press

Health & Environment

March 29, 2014

Live Well 03-30-14

Minor changes in diet can change your shape

As March comes to an end, National Nutrition Month concludes, and with spring readily approaching, Shape Your Future encourages Oklahomans to turn over a new leaf and take steps to become healthier.

Shape Your Future, a statewide health initiative funded by Oklahoma Tobacco Endowment Trust and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, participates in National Nutrition Month by encouraging Oklahomans to eat more nutritious foods. Poor nutrition causes serious negative health consequences, including obesity, heart disease, some cancers, stroke and diabetes.

In fact, obesity-related deaths are increasing at an alarming rate, as more than 30 percent of adults and more than 14 percent of adolescents are obese in Oklahoma.

Additionally, 10 percent of Oklahoma adults have diabetes, 6.5 percent of Oklahoma adults are pre-diabetic and heart disease still remains the number one killer of both men and women.

“Healthy eating paired with physical activity can help improve the health and well-being of our state,” said Tracey Strader, executive director, the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust. “As adults, one of the best ways we can encourage our children to form healthy habits that will last is to improve our own health, and enjoy good food and fun activities together.”

To enjoy the “Taste of Eating Right,” Shape Your Future has posted dozens of recipes on its website,, that provide a healthy twist on classic recipes, all while not sacrificing flavor.

Recipes include potato salad, baked tomatoes, meat loaf, pasta primavera, green beans, barbeque pulled chicken sliders and more.

“Becoming healthier is not nearly as difficult as we all think,” said Miranda Manning, registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for the Center for the Advancement of Wellness through the Oklahoma State Department of Health. “It is all about making small, easy-to-achieve changes in diet and physical activity.

Many seem to think that to become healthy you must deprive yourself, but in reality, small changes can make a huge difference.”

Shape Your Future’s easy tips to make you and your family healthier include:

• Avoid oversized portions.

• Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

• Eat a variety of foods from all food groups.

• Consume more low fat (1%) and fat free dairy products like yogurt, cheese and milk.

• Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals—and choose the foods with lower numbers.

For more nutrition tips and recipes visit

Choose today to live a full, healthy life. Choose to live well.

Becky Taylor is a prevention specialist with Oklahoma State University Prevention Programs.

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