March is National Nutrition Month and this year?s theme is ?Get Your Plate in Shape.?? National Nutrition Month is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), formerly the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the world?s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. Tips from AND to get your plate in shape include:
??Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Eat a rainbow of colors daily.? Fresh, frozen, canned and dried may all be healthy choices.? If choosing canned veggies, reach for low sodium or those with no added salt. For canned fruits, choose water-packed or those packed in 100% juice.
??Make at least half your grains whole.? Check ingredients lists for 100% whole-grains and brown rice.?
??Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk. These have the same calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but with less fat and calories. If lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or a calcium-fortified soy drink.
??Vary your protein choices.? There?s no reason to eat the same thing every meal. Choose seafood frequently, at least twice a week, as well as nuts, beans, poultry, lean meat and eggs.
??Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars.? Choose water instead of sweetened drinks and fruit for dessert. Limit processed foods, which may be high in salt (sodium chloride). Nicknamed SoFAS, solid fats and added sugars, should be eaten only in moderation. They are found in higher calorie foods, such as desserts, cookies, cakes, pies and many processed meats. Choose liquid oils over solid fats.?
??Enjoy your food but eat less.?Many people eat more calories than needed, leading to weight gain. To get your personal daily calorie limit, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.? Avoid oversized portions.? Cook at home for most meals and, if eating out, choose lower calorie menu options and dishes that include fruits, vegetables and whole grains.?
??Be physically active your way.? Pick activities you like and start by doing what you can, at least 10 minutes at a time. Goals for the day include at least 60 minutes a day for children and teens and at least 2 ? hours a week for adults.??
Remember, getting your plate in shape helps you to stay or get in shape. Happy, Healthy National Nutrition Month!Posted by Theresa Stahl RD LDN on March 3, 2012