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Bite Into A Healthy Lifestyle

Image courtesy of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Image courtesy of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

March is National Nutrition Month®– a nutrition education and information campaign created annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

The theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

“Adopting a healthy lifestyle offers more than just weight loss alone, it can also promote your overall health and reduce your risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even some types of cancer,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Ximena Jimenez. “Now is the time to invest in a high-quality life, and eating right and staying active can make that happen.”

Jimenez recommends choosing nutrient-rich foods and beverages, and offers tips for healthful food choices:

  • At every meal, fill half your plate with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half the grains you eat whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread and pasta, quinoa, oats and brown rice. Check the food label, the first ingredient listed should be “whole grain” or “whole wheat.”
  • Choose healthy protein sources, such as lean meats and poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs and nuts and seeds.
  • Eat low-fat dairy foods. If you’re sensitive to lactose, try calcium-fortified soy beverages.
  • Limit foods with added fats, sugars and salt.

“In addition to eating foods that are optimal for your health needs, we all should try to include physical activity as part of our daily routine,” Jimenez says. “Adults should get at least 30 minutes and children at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Find activities you enjoy to make this less of a burden and more of a fun hobby.”

A registered dietitian nutritionist can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs. Find an RDN in your area and learn more about National Nutrition Month by visiting www.eatright.org/NNM.

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