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Eat Smart Day

Eat Smart Day, held on the first Wednesday of November, encourages all to be mindful of what they are eating so they make healthier food choices. The holiday is not only about eating healthily for one day, but about starting with small changes and committing to healthier eating going forward. Eating smart is especially important as the holidays and winter months approach, when it's easy to overlook healthy meals and weight gain is common.

Eat Smart Day kicks off Eat Smart Month, both of which began in 2017 and are part of the American Heart Association's Healthy for Good Movement™. Eat Smart Day was preceded by National Eating Healthy Day, which had similar goals and was held on the first Wednesday in November from 2009 through 2016. For a number of years, the American Heart Association provided a toolkit with materials for celebrating National Eating Healthy Day. During Eat Smart Month they have provided "holiday hacks to inspire simple but important healthy habits."

Observing Eat Smart Day is part of a preventative approach to health that can decrease risks and increase the survival rate from heart disease, cancer, and other ailments and disease, leading to a healthier and longer life. Fruits and vegetables are an important component of eating smart, as are whole grains, healthy fats, healthy proteins, dairy, nuts, and seeds. Herbs and spices can be used in place of salt, and foods with a low sodium content can be purchased in place of those high in sodium. Replacing unhealthy snacks with nutritious ones and drinking plenty of water are some other components of smart eating.

How to Observe Eat Smart Day

You could start eating smart by making one new healthy eating choice and building on it with another tomorrow. Check the American Heart Association website for information about smart eating, about the Healthy for Good Movement™, and for healthy recipes. Encourage your family, friends, and coworkers to eat smart, and share information and resources with them about healthy eating. You could even host a party where guests bring and share healthy foods.

Put whole, nutrient-dense foods on your shopping list. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and healthy fats. Get your protein from eggs, broiled fish, or organic beef. Snack on nuts, seeds, and yogurt. Replace salt with herbs and spices. Purchase foods that have the American Heart Association Heart-Check mark on them. Put down the high-calorie drinks and drink water instead. These are some of the main ways you can get on a path to smart eating!

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