March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
Have your healthy New Year's habits already begun to fade? Recharge your resolutions during National Nutrition Month® with help from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
In celebration of the 2015 National Nutrition Month theme, "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle," the Academy is encouraging everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
"Adopting a healthy lifestyle offers more than just weight loss alone, it can also promote your overall health and reduce your risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even some types of cancer," says registered dietitian nutritionist Ximena Jimenez. "Now is the time to invest in a high-quality life, and eating right and staying active can make that happen."
Jimenez recommends choosing nutrient-rich foods and beverages, and offers tips for healthful food choices:
- At every meal, fill half your plate with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
- Make at least half the grains you eat whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread and pasta, quinoa, oats and brown rice. Check the food label, the first ingredient listed should be "whole grain" or "whole wheat."
- Choose healthy protein sources, such as lean meats and poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs and nuts and seeds.
- Eat low-fat dairy foods. If you're sensitive to lactose, try calcium-fortified soy beverages.
- Limit foods with added fats, sugars and salt.
"In addition to eating foods that are optimal for your health needs, we all should try to include physical activity as part of our daily routine," Jimenez says. "Adults should get at least 30 minutes and 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."
A registered dietitian nutritionist can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs. Find an RDN in your area and learn more about National Nutrition Month by visiting www.eatright.org/NNM.