Guest post from Bethany Village dietician Cathy Bourquin
March is “National Nutrition Month,” so this is a great time to review our eating habits to see if they are where they should be. In the past 30 years, there has been a huge amount of nutrition information and misinformation out there. So, what are you supposed to do?
There are a few basics that have stood the test of time. Let’s look at some quotes taken from articles available from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
“Think nutrient-rich rather than “good” or “bad” foods. The majority of your food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients…”
“Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups to get the nutrients your body needs.”
Variety includes fruits and vegetables, meat or other protein source (eggs, cheese, yogurt, legumes, nuts) breads, grains or cereals (includes noodles, rice) and dairy. Most well-planned meals should include these foods. If you do not tolerate dairy, look for other sources of calcium and vitamin D. You can now find other foods available fortified with these nutrients.
“Balance your calorie intake by getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Exercise helps “rev up metabolism, build and strengthen muscles and increase energy levels. Exercise also helps to lift your spirits.”
“Protein, along with regular strength building exercise, is essential for maintaining muscle, which we tend to lose as we age.”
Even if you have a physical limitation that prevents participation in strenuous activity, do what you can. For instance, there are activities that can be done in a chair. Walking and stretching are also good low-impact exercises. Start slow and build up to more activity. There are professionals available who can provide advice if you need it. Get involved!
“Put Your Best Fork Forward” is the Nutrition Month theme for 2017, a reminder that each one of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices. Making small changes during National Nutrition Month® and over time helps improve health now and into the future.”
For more information, visit www.eatright.org/nnm.