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March is National Nutrition Month

In celebration of 2015 National Nutrition Month theme, “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle”, Registered Dietitians near and far are encouraging everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on eating fewer calories, making informed food choices, and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle results not only in weight loss, but also may promote overall health and reduce risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some forms of cancer. There is no time like the present to make your health top priority and invest in a high-quality life by eating right and staying active.

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Start eating right by selecting nutrient-rich foods and beverages. Some helpful food choices include:

  • At lunch and dinner, fill half your plate with a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Include more whole grains each day such as whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa, oats, and brown rice. The first ingredient on the food label should read “100% whole…”, “whole …”, “Whole grain”, or whole wheat”. Do not let the brown or dark color fool you.  Read the label.
  • Choose healthy high-quality protein sources, such as lean meats and poultry, seafood, beans, eggs, nuts, and seeds. There is need to give up pork or beef to promote a healthy lifestyle.   The key is selecting lean cuts and proper portion size
  • Low-fat/non-fat dairy is a very component of health promotion. If you are sensitive to lactose, which is in higher quantities primarily in cow’s milk,  try calcium-fortified soymilk
  • Limit foods added fats, sugars, and salt

whole grains                    dairyEating foods that are optimal for your health is only one important part of the equation.  Physical activity as part of your daily routine is the second part of the equation.  The combination of nutrition and exercise are most successful in improving health outcomes that either one alone.  Adults should get at least 30 minutes and children at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.  What is the most effective form of exercise to promote good health?  Answer: The type of exercise that you enjoy doing! Exercise should be fun not a burden.

 

Sandra Murray Gultry is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified personal trainer. She is owner of It’s All About Choices, a private practice that specializes in weight management, proper fueling for physical activity, nutrition education, disease prevention and/or management in Orlando, Florida.  Visit www.ActionChoices.com. Contact her at (407) 680-3023 or SandraYourRDN@ActionChoices.com

Photos by: eatright.org, The Midlife News Bulletin, and Plateful of Yum

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