March is National Nutrition Month, a time for reflection and focusing on your personal nutrition and the nutrition of those around you. Eatright.org, a component of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, provides strategies and suggestions for making healthy, informed decisions when it comes to food (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2020). Tips include:
1. Include Healthful Foods From all Food Groups.
If broccoli is your favorite vegetable, try to incorporate something else this month, perhaps kale or squash. If you find yourself eating a lot of grains, try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables. Our bodies need assortment of foods (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2020)!
2. Hydrate Healthfully
Most Americans are dehydrated, yet our bodies are made of 70% water. One tip to improve your hydration is always to keep a reusable water bottle with you. Setting water goals has also been proven to increase an individual’s water consumption (Shoemaker, 2019), (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2020).
3. Learn how to read Nutrition Facts Panels
Nutrition labels tell you what is in your food. A few tips: The ingredients are listed in descending order. The first ingredient is the most prominent (Ellis, 2019). Also, if you can not pronounce the ingredient, it is probably not a real, naturally occurring food. Do you know what methylxanthine is? Ask yourself does it grow? Where does it come from? Is it manufactured? Do a quick google search! It’s a common ingredient found in chocolate (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2020).
4. Practice Portion Control
Listen to your body. When you eat slowly, you can truly determine when your full and stop. A suggestion to help you eat more slowly is to use a small fork (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2020).
5. Take Time to Enjoy Your Food.
When you stop and slow down, you truly find how good food tastes (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2020). Stages include pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and termination (Boston University School of Public Health, 2019). Our bodies need food to perform at their best. Whether you reside on campus, at home or on your own, think about what steps to you need to take to move from contemplation, to preparation and to take action? Perhaps it may require more planning or setting aside time to grocery shop or cook. Consider the positive impact this will have on your wellbeing.
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- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2020). National nutrition month. Retrieved from https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month
- Boston University School of Public Health. (2019). The transtheoretical model (Stages of Change). Retrieved from http://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/MPH-Modules/SB/BehavioralChangeTheories/BehavioralChangeTheories6.html
- Ellis, E. (2019). The basis of the nutrition facts label. Retrieved from https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/nutrition-facts-and-food-labels/the-basics-of-the-nutrition-facts-label
- Shoemaker, S. (2019). 12 simple ways to drink more water. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-drink-more-water