It is common knowledge that a healthy diet and regular exercise are key to promoting and maintaining physical and mental health. Proper calorie consumption and the ingestion of is imperative for our bodies to have enough energy to function properly. Vitamins and minerals are the keys that unlock that energy from the calories. Vitamins and minerals also boost the immune system, helping the body to fight off illness and infection. However, too many of the wrong types of calories can lead to obesity and related health issues. The Hip Hop Public Health team utilizes the traffic-light model of GO SLOW WHOA in order to simplify the guidelines for identifying calorie and nutrient-dense foods.
GO foods are foods that are high in vitamins and minerals and relatively low in empty calories from sugars and/or fat. These foods can and should be eaten very often. These foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk. SLOW foods are foods that are high in vitamins and minerals but they tend to have more empty calories from sugars and/or fat. These foods should only be eaten sometimes. SLOW foods include lean meats, refined grains, vegetables with added cheese or sauce, dried or canned fruits, and 100% fruit juice. WHOA foods are foods that are poor in nutrients and are higher in empty calories from sugars and/or fat. These foods include fried chicken, French fries, chips, sweets like candy and cake, pizza, cheeseburgers, and soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. WHOA foods should only be eaten every once in a while. Use GO, SLOW, WHOA to make smart food choices for your overall health and to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
The Hip Hop HEALS program has successfully communicated these guidelines to thousands of children and their families here in New York City, and our team looks forward to sharing this information throughout the country and the world. The goal of Hip Hop HEALS is to help individuals to make the healthiest choices possible when eating out or at home. Please contact us to have Hip Hop HEALS come to a school near you!