National Nutrition Month: Strategies to "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle"

News Bite: "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle" is the theme for National Nutrition Month 2015. RDNs around the world celebrate Registered Dietitian Day on March 11th and National Nutrition Month throughout March. This year's theme encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that focus on making informed food choices, consuming fewer calories, and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

The theme is fairly general, so let's see if I can extract some strategies for each topic.

Make Informed Food Choices: To me, this means Understanding What's In Your Food! A food’s nutrition facts label doesn’t begin to describe what’s actually in the food. You MUST read the ingredients!!

I have a list of ingredients I always suggest avoiding, and if I see it in a food product, I choose a food without it: Hydrogenated Oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite, Enriched Flour, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Artificial Color, and Soy. Although there are many other weird ingredients in food, if a person avoids these biggies they’re off to a good start. 

Consume Fewer Calories: There are several effective strategies for going about this.

First, eat less sugar. It's high in calories, not to mentioned linked to all kinds of chronic health problems. But how does one go about eating les sugar? Don't buy it! Don't keep it in your house because if it's not accessible and available, it's a huge effort to go to the store to get it. 

Second, at every meal, fill half your plate with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Essentially, the healthy, lower calorie fruits and vegetables take the place of higher calorie, less nutritious foods. 

Third, Choose healthy protein sources, such as lean meats and poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, nuts and seeds.

Get Daily Exercise: The combo of making good food choices and including physical activity as part of our daily routine is crucial in so many ways--maintaining weight, losing weight, reducing your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even some types of cancer.

Exercise Recs for Adults: at least 30 minutes every day.

Exercise Recs for Children: at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.

Find activities you enjoy to make this less of a burden and more of a fun hobby.

Making the right food and nutrition choices is a necessary part of biting into a healthy lifestyle.

What strategy will you focus on this month to bite into a healthier lifestyle?  

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

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