National Nutrition Month: Making Healthier Choices
March is National Nutrition Month, recognized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It’s a month dedicated to highlight the impact and importance of nutrition in our everyday lives.
This year, the theme for National Nutrition Month is “Personalize Your Plate,” promoting nutritious meals to meet people's cultural and personal food preferences. One may do so by creating healthful eating patterns with the foods you already love and include your meal plan.
We are all unique with different goals, backgrounds, and taste preferences, so it makes sense that our food choices will reflect that individuality. Something that we like to highlight to our patients is that it is possible for anyone to incorporate the foods you love into a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some tips to reimagine traditional dishes:
- Cook with dried spices and herbs instead of salt to add flavor to your dishes
- Try different grains such as wild rice, whole-grain farro, and whole-grain barley to reap the benefits of whole grains
- Go meatless: Serve up beans or lentils for a heart healthful plant-based protein
- Cook with vegetable oils instead of solid fats such as butter when cooking to limit saturated fat
- Eat 100-percent whole-wheat bread instead of white bread for more dietary fiber, and increased vitamin/mineral consumption
- To decrease extra calories from fat, bake, grill, roast or steam your food instead of frying
- Sprinkle chia or ground flax seeds on cereal, salad, or toast to increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids
- For flavor, add lime, lemon, grapefruit, or pineapple slices to glasses of water
- Cook grains in a low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock for flavor
- To add variety, enjoy vegetables in different forms; raw, steamed, roasted, grilled or sautéed.
- Remember to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables and the remaining quarters of your plate with whole grains and protein foods, such as lean meat, skinless poultry, seafood or beans. With each meal, eat calcium-rich foods and drinks such as fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.
Registered dietitians often help their patients fine-tune traditional recipes and provide alternative cooking methods and other healthful advice for incorporating family-favorite foods into everyday meals. During National Nutrition Month, we encourage everyone to make informed food choices and develop sound eating and physical activity habits they can follow all year long.
Seek the advice of registered dietitians, the food and nutrition experts who can help develop individualized eating and activity plans to meet people's health goals. For more information or assistance from a Fisher-Titus registered dietitian, please call 419-660-2596.
Jenna Malott is a registered dietitian with Fisher-Titus. For help in reaching your health and wellness goals, contact your primary care physician for a referral for outpatient nutrition counseling.