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Healthy Eating
Recommendations For Soldiers

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Proper nutrition is vital to maintaining good health and mission readiness. In this article, you will find tips on making healthy food choices, whether at home or while deployed.

Why Nutrition Is So Important?

One of the most important indicators of physical strength and even one's mental health status is based on what is for healthy soldiers The old adage, "you are what you eat" is valid not only from a medical standpoint but also from the standpoint of reaching your weight and fitness goals, maintaining muscle mass, and combating disease. Making sure that you are getting the proper nutrition is recommended whether you are on or off duty. Although falling off the bandwagon is normal at times, making a commitment to a lifetime of healthy eating will serve you better than if you are unconscious about what you eat, and grab whatever is quick and easy. Making a conscious effort to always have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and fiber rich grains on hand is going to help you stick to whatever physical performance goals you have set out for yourself. Your body is just like a machine and the type of fuel you put into it is going to be reflected in your overall performance and well-being.

Foods To Avoid:

  • Avoid processed foods that are made with flour, oil, and sugar. Corn Syrup is no substitute for sugar. All forms of sugars will spike your blood sugar and interferre with your cortisol production, insullin levels and overall productions.
  • Avoid fried food. These types of foods tend to be high in calorie and low in nutritional density. It is the same as eating empty calories
  • Avoid canned foods. Eat fresh green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, and lean meats or legumes for protein that are cooked at home as opposed to eating foods that are canned. Canned foods lose their nutritional value during the preservation process.
  • Watch what you are drinking. Alcoholic beverages, soda, and fruit juice contains a lot of sugar and empty calories. Too much coffee or caffeinated drinks are also dehydrated and can drain your energy if you aren't drinking enough water.
  • Put down the salt shaker. Eating too much salt found in convenience food or packaged food can cause high blood pressure. Try enhancing flavors with different herbs and natural spices instead.

Foods To Increase In Your Diet:

  • When working out, be sure to increase the amount of proteins in your diet such as eating more fish, chicken, nuts, and beans.
  • Increase compled carbohydrates found in whole grain bread, cereals, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Eat plenty of healthy fats like what is found in nuts, eggs, avacados, and olive oils.
  • Take multivitamins and minerals to ensure you are replacing elctrolytes you might be losing.
  • Drink plenty of water - at least 8-10 ounces per day.

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Food is both food and medicine for the body. This fuel is key to your physical and mental performance, and helps maintain emotional control during field operations. Medically, food is necessary to help your body repair itself which is why protein is so important for muscle and joint health. 









Nutrition Tips

While healthy food options may be limited while deployed, the military has long understood the role of nutrition for service members. If you are deployed, keep these helpful nutrition tips in mind:

  • To boost energy, consume complex carbohydrates such as fruits and whole grain bread
  • To meet the demand for increased energy needs in the field, increase your intake of food to prevent fatigue
  • To meet the need for increased energy in cold weather and at high altitudes, try to eat healthy, nutritious snacks in between meals and drink more than your thirst may dictate since the sensation does not keep pace with water loss.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration; even mild dehydration can reduce your physical and mental performance

Daily Nutritional Recommendations:



Eat at least 3 – 5 servings of colorful vegetables and 2 or more servings of fruit each day.


Aim for 6 or more servings of whole grain products each day.


20 – 35 grams of dietary fiber are recommended daily, although a low-fiber diet may be preferred during some operations.


Aim to have 3 cups of low-fat dairy products, including milk, yogurt and cheese, each day.


Eat 7 ounces of meat or beans (legumes) each day, with lean or low-fat choices that are heavy on fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.





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