National Nutrition Month is held annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Attention is focused on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. We’re celebrating this month by sharing more wellness and healthy eating tips. It’s never too late to take control of your health!
Read on for some quick tips to kick off March as National Nutrition Month.
Eating breakfast raises the body’s energy level and restores blood glucose level to normal after the overnight fast. It also contributes to better memory and concentration, lower levels of bad cholesterol. In addition, it also lowers the chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight.
Start your day with a healthy breakfast that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Try making a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, low-fat cheese, salsa and a whole wheat tortilla or a parfait with low-fat plain yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal.
Load up on Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and veggies add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber to your plate. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal. An easy way to ensure you are getting enough vegetables and fruit is to make half your plate fruit and vegetables. Experiment with different types, including fresh, frozen and canned.
Reduce Added Sugars
Foods and drinks with added sugars can contribute empty calories and little or no nutrition. Eating too much added sugar can have many negative health effects. An excess of sweetened foods and beverages can lead to weight gain, blood sugar problems and an increased risk of heart disease, among other dangerous conditions.
Become vigilant on reviewing ingredients lists and Nutrition Fact Labels to identify sources of added sugar in the foods you eat. Focusing your diet on whole, unprocessed foods will help to automatically decrease the amount of sugar in your diet.
Focus on Healthy Snacks
Snacking helps keep you from getting overly hungry in between meals and then overeating at your next meal. Healthy snacking can sustain your energy levels and helps keep your blood sugar levels even. This is especially helpful for diabetics, but also beneficial for people without diabetes, since large spikes and dips in blood sugar levels may make insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure more likely over time.
Let Forage Foods help you with your snacking needs. We can tailor a custom snack delivery program that consists of nutrient-dense foods to keep you fueled throughout your work day.
Drink More Water
Quench your thirst with water instead of drinks with added sugars. Drinking water does more than just quench your thirst — it’s essential to keeping your body functioning properly and feeling healthy. Nearly all of your body’s major systems depend on water to function and survive. The Mayo Clinic recommends a minimum of 11.5 cups of water per day for women and 15.5 cups of water per day for men. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, especially if you are active, an older adult or live or work in hot conditions.
Experiment with Plant-Based Meals
Expand variety in your menus with budget friendly meatless meals. Plant-based diets or Flexitarian diets are becoming more popular with many food manufacturers adding additional plant-based foods to the market to satisfy growing consumer demand. Many recipes that use meat and poultry can be made without. Vegetables, beans, and lentils are all great substitutes. Try including one meatless meal per week to start.
Watch Portion Sizes
Use half your plate for fruits and vegetables and the other half for grains and lean protein foods. Complete the meal with a serving of fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt. Measuring cups may also help you compare your portions to the recommended serving size. Using a digital food scale can also help you maintain the recommended portion sizes.
How are you planning on making March National Nutrition Month? Give us a shout to let us know what your plans are to up your nutritional game or to let us know how we can help you make National Nutrition Month something you celebrate all year long!