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Fall into Healthy Eating Habits

It's no trick: autumn's harvest can be a treat

Now that fall's here, the days are getting shorter, and the weather is getting cooler. Between Halloween's candy jar and holiday dinners, it's easy to gain weight. But gaining too much weight can increase your risk of developing health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Adopting healthy eating habits this fall can reduce your risk of gaining weight and contracting weight-related health conditions.

Take advantage of seasonal produce

Eating seasonally is a key element to eating good quality fresh produce all year round. From September to November, the harvest provides a variety of delicious healthy produce. Seasonal squash and sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, while apples and pears are rich in fiber. Now is the time to incorporate these foods into your meals and enjoy the benefits of eating healthy. To help you add more nutritious meals to your routine, check out VA's Healthy Teaching Kitchen video recipes.

The Autumn Vegetable Bake uses turnips, carrots, onions, parsnips, and sweet potatoes to make a low-calorie nutritious dish. These veggies are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, as well as other antioxidants. Also, using olive oil, a healthy fat, and garlic powder ensures your meal will be a delicious addition to any meal.

More to eat this fall

Other nutritious seasonal recipes can be found in VA's Yummy Benefits Cookbook and Yummy Benefits Cookbook Version II. For a healthy alternative to heavy cream soups, use fiber-rich pumpkin to cook Curry Pumpkin Soup. Read the full recipe in Yummy Benefits Cookbook Version II.

Avoid calorie dense mashed potatoes that are cooked with whole milk and butter. Instead, opt for Mashed Cauli Potatoes. By using low-calorie cauliflower that is loaded with Vitamin C, you have a nutritious take on the traditional autumn meal. Read the full recipe in Yummy Benefits Cookbook Version II.

Keep yourself accountable

Keep a food journal to track your seasonal eating habits. Recording your daily meals can help you make mindful healthy choices when it comes to what you eat. Veterans with a My HealtheVet account can use track health tools such as the online body weight and food journal to record and view their progress

Read More

Managing Your Weight with Healthy Eating 

Strive for a Healthy Weight 

Seasonal Recipes: Fall | MyPlate (USDA)

Updated March 22, 2021