March is National Nutrition Month sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
This year’s theme, “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle,” encourages informed food choices and daily exercise to promote overall health. While there is no “super” food or exercise that is the magic bullet, a person’s day-to-day choices are the key to good health. Below are some everyday choices you can make that will help promote lifelong health.
• Smart snacking: Snacking can be a part of a healthy eating plan or a source of extra calories, sugar and fat. Planning snacks versus random snacking is the key; make a plan to eat fruits, veggies, whole grains and low-fat dairy instead of chips, soda and candy. Snack when you are hungry — not because you’re bored, stressed or frustrated.
• Move more: Many people do not get enough movement. Find activities you enjoy and that you can maintain. Make it social — join a walking group or fitness class, sign up with friends for a 5k run/walk, or participate in community sports. You can also sneak in exercise at your desk, take a 10-15 minute walk at lunch, or plan an active vacation like hiking or canoeing.
• Explore new foods: Don’t get stuck in a rut. Expand your food choices by choosing foods or recipes you’ve never tried. Don’t overwhelm yourself; simply try a new recipe or food once a week.
• Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables: Fruits and veggies not only provide vitamins and minerals, but also add color, flavor and texture to your plate. Don’t be afraid to use frozen or canned. They can be good alternatives to fresh fruits and vegetables. Add extra vegetables to soups, pasta salads and casseroles, or puree them into pasta sauces. Mix fruit into plain yogurt, oatmeal or cottage cheese.
• Evaluate your current lifestyle routines and pick one or two healthy lifestyle changes to make this year. Over time, these choices will help you “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle” and the health benefits will add up.
If you would like additional information, contact Health Promotions at 801-777-1215.