Regardless of age, race and ethnicity, or health status, Putnam County residents can benefit from integrating more nutrients into their meals. Following a nutritious diet can help support your health and wellness. The USDA provides resources in conjunction with MyPlate as a nutrition and dietary guideline. MyPlate includes five serving categories: fruit, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy, each with a recommended serving. Nutritional needs vary, depending on physical fitness, age, and chronic health condition so be sure to consult with a healthcare provider before making changes to your nutritional intake.
To maintain a lifestyle with a nutritious diet, consider limiting foods and drinks that may contain excess sugar, saturated fat, and sodium. Consider subbing sugar with natural sweeteners, such as fruit juices or honey, or artificial sweeteners that do not add any calories to your diet. Trade out oils and fats to cook with nutrient-dense avocados, olives, or peanut butter. Salty foods can be tasty, but a simple swap for foods labeled “low sodium” can satisfy a craving without increasing cardiovascular health risks. Follow this link from the FDA to help understand nutrition labels: www.fda.gov/food/new-nutrition-facts-label/how-understand-and-use-nutrition-facts-label. Understanding how to read food labels can help you and your family cultivate and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, shopping for nutritious foods can be challenging, especially when it comes to cost. Thankfully, the USDA and MyPlate have provided a tool called ShopSimple as a way to find budget-friendly and nutritious foods. Putnam County also has a variety of options for nutritious foods for individuals and families experiencing food insecurity, including food panties. Visit https://map.thefoodpantries.org/, then select “Putnam” to find a list of local food pantries.
Now is a great time to explore local farmers markets as fresh produce is available right in Putnam County from Spring through Fall. The Putnam County Cornell Cooperative Extension has an extensive list of farmers markets and farmstands throughout the county. For a map of farmers markets and farmstands in Putnam County, provided by the Cornell Cooperative Extension, visit: Putnam County NY, Food Resources.
Local Farmers Markets:
- Hudson Valley Regional/Brewster Farmers Market
- Cold Spring Farmers Markets
- Putnam Valley Farmers Market