National Nutrition Month
I wanted to remind you all that this month we celebrate National Nutrition Month. We have been discussing many ways to eat better in previous posts and how you can make a significant difference with simple modifications. I want you to think about what you are going to implement this month. Everyone can practice better, healthier eating and physical fitness habits. Remember it’s not about changing everything your doing overnight, it is about making gradual implementations that you can stick to, that eventually will all add up to a healthier way of life.
Think over some of the things we have talked about and decide, what you can do, to improve the health and wellness for you and your family. Each stride is important, and every step in the right direction is going to get you to a healthier way of life.
I have personally been struggling with eating breakfast regularly, and I do know the importance of starting off the day right. I am going to pledge this month and the months to follow to work on starting my day off right, with a well balanced breakfast. What can you do this month to improve your temple of health for you and your family? Make a pledge and together we can work one step at a time to a healthier way of living.
Did you know that when a head of household made healthier habits their family was 80% more likely to adopt the same healthy habits. Be a leader in your household and lead those around you to a healthier choices. You have the Power! Now let’s make a difference!
National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information.
For more information go to: http://www.eatright.org/nnm/
Simple Tips from Registered Dietitians
Make It Easy to ‘Get Your Plate in Shape’
This National Nutrition Month
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During National Nutrition Month® and beyond, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) encourages everyone to include healthy foods from all food groups through this year’s theme: “Get Your Plate in Shape.”
“Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products contain the nutrients we need to maintain healthy lifestyles,” says registered dietitian and Academy Spokesperson Andrea Giancoli. “Make sure your eating plan includes foods from all the food groups and in appropriate portions. USDA’s MyPlate is a great tool to guide and help us be mindful of the foods that make up our balanced eating plan.”
Giancoli offers the following recommendations to “Get Your Plate in Shape”:
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange varieties, as well as beans and peas.
- When buying canned vegetables, choose “reduced sodium” or “no salt added” whenever possible. Rinsing whole varieties like beans, corn and peas can also reduce sodium levels.
- Dried and frozen fruits and those canned in water or their own juice are good options when fresh varieties are not available.
- Make sure every meal and snack has at least one fruit or vegetable or both.
Make at least half your grains whole.
- Choose brown rice, barley and oats and other whole grains for your sides and ingredients.
- Switch to 100-percent whole-grain breads, cereals and crackers.
- Check the ingredients list on food packages to find foods that are made with whole grains.
Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.
- Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and fewer calories.
- If you are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.
Vary your protein choices.
- Eat a variety of foods each week from the protein food group like seafood, nuts and beans, as well as lean meat, poultry and eggs.
- Eat more plant-based proteins such as nuts, beans, whole grains and whole soy foods like tofu and edamame.
- At least twice a week, make fish and seafood the protein on your plate.
- Keep meat and poultry portions lean and limit to three ounces per meal.
Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks like regular sodas, fruit-flavored drinks and sweetened teas and coffees. Choose 100-percent fruit juice.
- Compare sodium in foods and choose those with the least amount listed on the Nutrition Facts Panel.
- Season foods with spices or herbs instead of salt.
- Select lean cuts of meat or poultry and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
- Use heart-healthy oils like olive, canola and sunflower oil in place of butter or shortening when cooking.
Giancoli recommends cooking more often at home, where you are in control of what is in your food. “And don’t forget that exercise and healthful eating are crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” Giancoli says. “Choose activities you enjoy like going for a walk with your family, joining a sports team, dancing or playing with your children. If you don’t have a full 30 minutes, carve out 10 minutes three times a day. Every bit adds up and health benefits increase the more active you are.”
As part of National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ National Nutrition Month website includes helpful tips, recipes, fun games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources, all designed to spread the message of good nutrition around the “Get Your Plate in Shape” theme.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at www.eatright.org.