Healthy eating and smoking cessation go hand-in-hand

BLOOMINGTON – In honor of March being National Nutrition Month, make a plan to hit your health goals by eating better and stopping smoking.

Patricia Colon

“There are many reasons to eat healthy and quit smoking,” said IU Health Community Health Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Patricia Colon, MPH, CHES®. “Both can help you lower your cholesterol and improve your lifelong health.”

And smoking cessation has the added benefit of making food taste and smell better.

IU Health Bloomington Community Health Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Stacey Matavuli has five tips on maintaining a healthy diet and managing weight as you quit smoking:

  1. Focus on Five: Consume five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. A serving is generally ½ cup cooked or canned, 1 cup raw, or a tennis ball sized fruit. 
  2. Choose High Fiber: Focus on increasing whole grain consumption to make half your grains whole. Select foods that list “whole” as the first and primary ingredient on the ingredient list. Examples are whole wheat flour, whole corn, whole beans, etc.
  3. Eliminate drinking calories: Eliminate or reduce calorie containing beverages including sugar-sweetened drinks such as soda, sweet tea, sports drinks, juices and alcoholic beverages. Our bodies do not regulate these calories the same as calories we chew leading to an excess consumption of energy beyond what the body needs.
  4. Fuel Your Body: Eat at regular intervals daily to avoid reactive eating and manage hunger cues. Consider eating at least three fuel groups per meal for balance and variety.
  5. Avoid the Fad: Trendy diet recommendations will assist with weight loss temporarily, but finding a sustainable eating pattern and ways to improve your eating for the long haul will serve up long-term success!

Get free assistance from the Indiana Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit for more information.

For more on local tobacco prevention and control efforts, visit Tobacco Free Coalition of Monroe County on Facebook.