By Jaclyn Brice
Ministry Medical Group
To many living in the Northwoods, March is a month that we could go without. If the “winter blues” haven’t set in yet, they are definitely starting to as the weather is still cold and snowy, and we are dreaming of the warm sunny days ahead.
Did you know that March is also National Nutrition Month? If so, did you know that outside of it being an entire month dedicated to nutrition awareness and education about healthy eating, it also has a more descriptive theme? This year, the theme of the national campaign is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” The movement focuses on the importance of making informed food choices, developing sound physical activity and healthy eating habits.
Here are some of the recommendations made by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help “Savor the Flavor” and make healthier choices become habits.
MAKE DESSERT SPECIAL
Save dessert for a special night or choose a piece of fruit or yogurt parfait to satisfy your craving. Cut back on foods high in sugars, salts, and solid fats like ice cream, candy, and sweetened drinks.
ENJOY YOUR FOOD, BUT EAT LESS
Use a smaller plate, take smaller portions, ask for a to-go box and pack away half of your meal right away while dining out or share a meal with someone.
RETHINK YOUR DRINK
Drinking water instead of sugary drinks such as energy drinks, juice and soda can help you manage your calorie intake. On average a 12 oz. soda = 10 sugar packets
LEARN WHAT’S IN FOOD
Study the ingredients list on the Nutrition Fact Labels. The foods listed first are the foods with the highest concentration in that food.
BE ON YOUR GUARD AT THE SALAD BAR
Although salad bars are becoming less and less popular you can often find them at dining courts, grocery stores, hospitals and some restaurants. Be careful when picking foods on a salad bar because while some are great like veggies; toppings like bacon, fried noodles, and croutons can really add the fat and calories. Opt for fat-free and low-fat dressings.
Jaclyn Brice is a Certified Health Coach with Ministry Medical Group