March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating.
It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated — simply begin to shift to healthier food and beverage choices. These recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans can help get you started.
- Emphasize fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products.
- Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
- Make sure your diet is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
Make Your Calories Count
The majority of your food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients, and lower in calories. Making smart food choices can help you stay healthy, manage your weight and be physically active.
Focus on Variety
Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups to get the nutrients your body needs. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen or canned. Eat more dark green vegetables such as leafy greens and broccoli and orange vegetables including carrots and sweet potatoes. Vary your protein choices with more fish, beans and peas. Eat at least 3 ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day.
Know Your Fats
Look for foods low in saturated fats and trans fats to help reduce your risk of heart disease. Most of the fats you eat should be monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils. Check the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels for total fat and saturated fat.