March is National Nutrition Month

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With the holidays behind us and spring/summer approaching, many people are deciding to make a change for a healthier lifestyle.

The first thing most people decide to do is an extreme restriction in calories; which is usually not the best way to make a lifestyle
change. As a Registered Dietitian, we try to teach goals that are achievable and truly become a lifestyle habit and not just a fad.

Below are a couple of quick tips that can help you in achieving your optimal healthy lifestyle.

The Dietary Guidelines encourage Americans to eat more:

  • Whole Grains: Increase whole grains by choosing whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice and whole wheat pasta.
    Make at least half your grain servings whole grains.
  • Vegetables: eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark- green, red and orange vegetables plus beans and peas. Most
    adults need 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day.
  • Fruits: add fruit to meals and snacks- fresh, frozen or canned- to get about 2 cups each day.
  • Low-fat or fat free milk, yogurt and cheese or fortified soy beverages: include 3 cups per day for calcium, vitamin D,
    protein and potassium.
  • Vegetable oils such as canola, corn, olive, peanut and soybean: these are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Use in moderate amounts in place of solid fats.
  • Seafood: include a variety of seafood more often in place of some meat and poultry.

It seems busy schedules can be a roadblock to achieving healthy lifestyles. Below are a few tips to follow if you find yourself
eating out

  • Take time to look over the menu and make careful selections. Some restaurant menus may have a special section for
    “healthier” choices.
  • Think about your food choices for the entire day. If you’re planning a special restaurant meal in the evening, have a light
    breakfast and lunch.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. No more than one drink for women and two for men. Alcohol tends to increase
    your appetite and provides calories without any nutrients.
  • Pass up all-you-can-eat specials, buffets and unlimited salad bars if you tend to eat too much.
  • Try a smoothie made with juice, fruit and yogurt for a light lunch or snack.
  • In place of fries or chips, choose a side salad, fruit or baked potato. Or, share a regular order of fries with a friend.

An overall healthy lifestyle should include some type of physical activity. Recommendations include 150 minutes a week for most adults. Whether you decide to walk, run, bike, or swim; choose something that is enjoyable and exciting to you!

Healthy eating and routine exercise are needed all year round; but many of us need a friendly reminder to get ourselves back on track. Be kind to your body and reacquaint yourself with healthy eating habits and fitness. Replace your unhealthy habits with smart health choices for a healthier body.

Happy Registered Dietitian Day— March 14, 2018