March 2, 2015
“Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle”
March is National Nutrition Month® and we are excited to share that this year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.” The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is promoting daily exercise and encouraging everyone to make healthier, lower calorie food choices. The combination of a balanced, consistent diet and exercise plan will help you maintain or achieve a healthy weight. Attaining a healthy weight helps to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics promotes eating a variety of nutritious foods ranging from fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low fat dairy. It is not about drastically limiting yourself, but rather eating food in moderation. Keep track of your portion sizes and use MyPlate as a tool to for a healthy meal. MyPlate encourages that you fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. MyPlate also emphasizes choosing whole grains, lean protein sources and low fat dairy products. Whole grains contain more nutrients than refined grains because they contain 3 layers called the bran, germ, and endosperm. Refined grains only contain the endosperm, thereby providing fewer nutrients. Lean protein choices include: lean cuts of meat, poultry, fish and beans. Low fat dairy items include: low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt. Another recommendation from MyPlate is to limit sodium intake by eating less processed foods and microwaved dishes. When it comes to food, fresh is always better!
Daily physical activity is just as important for achieving a healthy weight. For children and teens, 60 minutes of exercise is recommended each day. For adults, at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise is recommended each week. Make an exercise plan and stick to it! You could try common forms of exercise like running, jogging, power walking, weight lifting and aerobics. There are also many other options to explore that will still increase your heart rate. You could try dancing, rock-climbing or even swimming. Be creative with your cardio and commit to getting active.
A special thanks to our National Nutrition Month® sponsor: