National Nutrition Month
March is recognized national nutrition month. A time focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing good eating habits and an overall healthier lifestyle.
As the phrase goes eat to live- rather than live to eat. The food we eat fuels our bodies, so what are you filling your tank with?
Lezlie Miller, Monument Health Registered Dietitian, says, “Studies have shown the average American diet is mostly consisted of fats and grains, so we actually eat less than the recommend fruits and vegetables than we should .”
Foods high in fat and salt or sugar typically get eaten up more than your ordinary head of broccoli – because well it just tastes better. The trick is trying to get vegetables to taste more appealing – Lezlie recommends flavoring with spices as the healthier choice over butter and salt. There are benefits to eating the rainbow.
Lezlie says, “They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber which are protective for our heart and other organs in our body and promotes better eating habits and overall it can also be packed with antioxidants which can be better for heart health and brain health.”
With a recommended plate of half fruits and veggies, try to sneak in more produce into your daily diet – it’s crucial to a healthier you.
“Trying to add them (veggies) into casseroles is one way to kind of sneak in some vegetables, also having them as snacks, pairing celery with peanut butter or carrots with hummus – you can also make it fun by adding some vegetables on top of your pizza , adding it to pita pockets, just things like that,” says Lezlie.
It’s hard to kick a fat food/fast food habit once its starts. The trick to better eating is to be prepared. Take a day of the week to meal prep and make healthy meals and snacks to take with you to work or on the road.
Lastly, drink plenty of water each day, limit soda and sugary drink intake, and watch your portion size.
Lezlie says, “We kind of eat with our eyes, so if you are not familiar with portion sizes, grab out some measuring cups, kinda of look at some of the guidelines, like for protein it’s usually a deck of cards, or if you have a smart phone it’s usually the size of your screen.”
Lezlie also says you can enjoy those not-so-healthy dishes in moderation.
Gov. Kristi Noem has proclaimed March Adult Nutrition Month in South Dakota.
ANM addresses the challenges of the aging population by promoting health and improving quality of life for our most vulnerable South Dakota citizens.
Click here for the government my plate recommendations.
Click here for the Eat Right website for recipes and videos.