Those with epilepsy are extremely sensitive to the world around them making lifestyle choices, especially diet, an integral part of treatment and well-being. Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial to functioning and feeling your best inside and out. Improving nutrition and diet quality starts with balanced meal planning, maintaining energy balance and drinking enough fluid. To maximize nutrient intake you need to make sure you are eating a variety of foods.
“Eat the Rainbow” - add a variety of different colored fruits, vegetables and grains. Healthy meal planning guidelines emphasize lean protein, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, whole grains, and encourage at least 5 servings per day of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Here are five great tips to help you stay on track:
- Make half your plate vegetables. Focus on non-starchy, colorful vegetables that are easy to grill ex: eggplant, zucchini, summer squash & leafy greens.
- Cut back on foods with solid fats, added sugar and added salt. The best way to do this is to avoid over-processed packaged food. Stick with whole foods like grains, vegetables, fruits and lean protein and always check labels.
- Make half your grains whole. Try out some new grains like: quinoa, faro and wheat berries.
- Choose lean protein. Focus on lean poultry, beans, fish and low fat dairy and limit red meat.
- Try new foods. The more variety you have in your diet, the more likely you are to get essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients.