NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH: America, Take the Test!
During National Nutrition Month®, celebrated each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to “Put Your Best Fork Forward” by making small, healthy shifts in food choices when cooking at home.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend making small changes to eating patterns to include healthier ingredients while cooking at home. Choosing a variety of healthful foods across and within all food groups helps reduce the risk of preventable, lifestyle-related chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
“Evidence shows that making dietary and lifestyle changes can prevent diseases before they occur,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Angel Planells. “During National Nutrition Month and beyond, make small, healthier food choices – one forkful at a time.”
Planells encourages everyone to eat more of these foods:
- Vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans, peas and others
- Fruits, especially whole fruits
- Whole grains
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy including milk, yogurt, cheese and fortified soy beverages
- Protein foods including seafood, lean meats, poultry, nuts, soy products, beans and peas
- Oils including canola, corn, olive, peanut, sunflower and soy
“It’s important to create an eating style that includes a variety of your favorite, healthful foods,” Planells says. “Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to maintain.”
To find a personalized plan that works best, Planells suggests consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist. RDNs can provide sound, easy-to-follow nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.
As part of National Nutrition Month, the Academy’s website, www.eatright.org, includes articles, recipes, videos and educational resources to spread the message of good nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Consumers can also follow National Nutrition Month on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EatRightNutrition and Twitter at https://twitter.com/eatright.
All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy’s Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian may optionally use “registered dietitian nutritionist” instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 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 at eatright.org.
On a separate note, it is important to point out that Kentucky is one of the unhealthiest states in our nation; but, a few healthy lifestyle choices could change this. First, eating normally proportioned helpings of nutritious foods including at least five fruits and vegetables a day can lower weight and reduce heart disease and diabetes. Second, exercising about 30 minutes per day can lower blood pressure. Third, avoiding the use of tobacco products can reduce several types of cancer. Finally, making sure you get your needed preventive screenings can detect diseases early and greatly increase your chances for a positive health outcomes, while receiving your recommended vaccinations can prevent acquiring disease in the first place.