It’s National Nutrition Month; Choose to Eat Healthy Now and Year Round
From Noel Konken, a Clinical Dietitian at Lee Health.
March is National Nutrition Month.
Each year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates this month as a time to educate the public on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
In case you didn’t make eating healthier your new year’s resolution, now is the time to make a positive change.
This March, make a commitment to yourself to develop healthy habits.
It’s easier than you may think to begin incorporating small steps that often make a significant impact. The key to nutritious eating is to think of this as a lifestyle change and not something temporary to achieve a temporary goal. Instead, think of this as a life-long change. It is best to refrain from extreme dieting to prevent short-lived results.
Some simple ways to start eating more nutritiously include the following:
- Eat mostly whole foods with a focus on more plant-based foods (fruits & vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts & seeds)
- Aim to fill at least half of your plate with vegetables & fruit
- Include whole grains, such as oats, barley, brown rice, wild rice or quinoa
- Vary your protein sources and keep portions of fish or lean meat to 3-4 ounces; incorporate beans, lentils, soy products, nuts & seeds more often
- Keep saturated fat and cholesterol low; avoid trans fat
- Limit salt (sodium) and added sugars
- Balance your calorie intake with your physical activity
Proper nutrition is an essential part of the foundation of a healthy lifestyle and helps us reach key health benchmarks. For most of us, a healthy and balanced diet includes a variety of foods, which together provide sufficient protein, carbohydrates, fat, and other nutrients our bodies need.
Drinking enough water is also very important for your health. Most of your fluid needs are met through the water and beverages you drink. You can get some fluids through the foods that you eat – especially foods with high water content, such as many fruits and vegetables.
Movement is important as well. Make sure to keep up your fitness routine or use National Nutrition Month as a motivator to start. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere and even short walks help.
You can always visit www.leehealth.org/health-and-wellness to get more health and nutrition tips.