“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.”
National Nutrition month is a nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It is an annual campaign every march and this year their focus is “Savor the flavor of eating right.” What does that even mean, right? Their goal is to “encourage people to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the great flavors and social experiences food can add to your life.” But, how do we do that? We can do that by making conscious and well thought out decisions about where and what we eat. Also, taking time to actually savor our food by making the conscious decisions about what we eat. We have to remember that we eat every day; it is possibly the most important part of our days so why not eat things we thoroughly enjoy. The taste of food adds pleasure to eating, it is why we eat. Who wants to intentionally eat something that doesn’t taste good? It is best to eat a greater variety of foods and learn how to include your favorites in an overall healthy eating style.
Healthy eating habits and fitness should be a year round thought and concern, National Nutrition Month is a friendly reminder to continue to take pride and be conscious of our food and activity choices. It falls in March, in between winter and spring, which I think helps people who may have taken the winter holiday party season to binge and to get back on track for the spring and summer months.
Some tips for “Savoring the Flavor”
- 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.
- 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.
- When eating out make healthy, conscious choices. And if that is hard, cook for yourself.