March: “National Nutrition Month”

March 1, 2012 at 3:48 pm 3 comments

The theme for this year’s Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (formerly the American Dietetic Association) National Nutrition Month is:

The Academy suggests:

1.  Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.        

Include a variety of colors and textures.  You may Incorporate not only fresh fruits and vegetables, but also frozen, canned in water, or dried (think raisins, dates, cranberries), or 100% fruit juice.

2.  Make at least half your grains whole.

Be a nutrition label reader and check for whole grains as a primary ingredient.  Don’t trust the front label as these can often be misleading.  Choose whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, and brown rice.

3.  Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.

4.  Eat a variety of proteins.

This means, don’t eat chicken breast 5 nights/week.  There are so many lean protein options.  They include:

Fish

Eggs

Nuts

Legumes

Soy

Hemp

and lean cuts of poultry and meat.

One serving of protein is about the size of the palm of your hand.  And that means ONE palm, not two!  (or more)

5.  Cut back on sodium and empty calorie snacks, especially those that contain solid fats and added sugar.

Here are some suggestions:

Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Choose fruit for dessert.

Watch sodium which can be deceptively high in bread, soups and snack items.

Make pizza, dessert, and doughnuts “sometimes” foods.

Prepare foods in healthy oils such as canola or olive oil instead of in butter.

6.  Eat less and Savor more!

Portion sizes have become distorted.  Keep your portion sizes as they should be:

Protein:  size of your palm or a deck of cards        Fruits and vegetables:  about 1/2 cup

Eat at home more often.  This will give you a meal that is lower in salt, saturated fat and calories.

If you do eat out, choose low calorie menu items and have your dressing on the side!  You don’t have to eat all your gigantically portioned meal, either!

Recording what you eat can be an eye opener.  There are many websites with built-in databases of common foods and recipes.  Two favorites are www.myfitnesspal.com and www.sparkpeople.com.

7.  Be physically active.

Children and teens should aim for 60 minutes/day of physical activity.

Adults should exercise for about 2 hours and 30 minutes/week.

For more information go to:

www.eatright.org

www.kidseatright.org

www.ChooseMyPlate.gov

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