Eat Well - Live Well!
As consumers, we are often confused about who to believe about nutrition advice and what to eat. But, eating right doesn’t have to be complicated when we remember that the best advice is based on science. By eating well, we can help prevent up to 70% of the chronic diseases that affect our society today.
March is National Nutrition Month® as designated by The American Dietetic Association. This year’s theme is “Nutrition – It’s A Matter of Fact.”
“Eating well to live well” means choosing nutrient rich foods- foods that provide more nutrition (vitamins, minerals, fiber) than calories per bite. Consuming fruits and vegetables is just one way to get more nutrient rich foods in your diet. Depending on the time of year, fresh produce may not be the most cost effective so select canned or frozen vegetables that provide the most nutrition per bite. Read food labels to get the nutrition facts quick and easy. Think of the label as an “on the spot” consult every time you pick up a can. Look for:
- Serving sizes and number of servings per can or container.
- Calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat, and fiber content per serving size.
- Daily Values of the vitamins and minerals contained within the product.
- Ingredient list- as ingredients are listed in descending order of package content, starting with the item having the highest percentage.
For over 65% of today’s consumers, choosing food and beverages that are healthy is the biggest factor for buying certain foods. Think nutrient rich foods, rather than good and bad foods. Remember,
- Go for whole grains
- Make room for fruit in your diet
- Paint your plate with vegetables
- Spill the beans
- Brighter the color of the food, the more nutrition
Eating healthy meals doesn’t require increased preparation time in the kitchen or adding significant cost to your grocery bill. Think convenience by purchasing packaged salad greens and adding beans or a meat source along with additional vegetables or fruits to make a hearty dish. Complete the meal with the addition of whole grain bread or roll, and yogurt with fruit for dessert. My Pyramid (www.mypyramid.gov) is a guide to healthy eating.
- Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Think more nutrition per bite.
- A nutrient rich food means more food, not less.
- Remember the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time chose healthful, 20% treat yourself.
- You are what you eat. Eat to live, feel and be well!
To locate a registered dietitian in your area to help you make healthy food choices, click on www.eatright.org
For more information on how you can “get the facts on nutrition” contact your local Cooperative Extension Office.