Happy Nutrition Month! Did you even know it was Nutrition Month? It's probably not as noteworthy of an event as your birthday or some other special holiday. However, it is a time to remind everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. For the past 40 years, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has promoted National Nutrition Month in March. This year's theme is "Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day."
We all eat. We like to eat. Most of us eat several times each day. Sometimes we're busy and eat something in a hurry. Sometimes we plan and cook a meal for our family. Sometimes we find ourselves enjoying a meal out in a restaurant. We have lots of choices when it comes to eating, but when it comes down to "eating right," it comes down to making good choices about a nutrient-rich diet.
So how do your eating choices stack up? All the foods we eat over the course of a week, a month or a year impact our health. We're all going to have that occasional "treat" or day when we splurge. But if we can make most of our days be well-balanced, include the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and exercise good judgment when it comes to portion sizes, we will be on the right track to making lifestyle choices that can affect our health now and in the future.
One good tool to use as a guide to good eating is the MyPlate graphic. USDA's MyPlate replaced MyPyramid as the government's primary food group symbol as an easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits within the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. You can find information and tips to good eating at www.choosemyplate.gov.
You really can eat right, your way, every day. Happy Nutrition Month!
Cheryl Rude is a registered dietitian at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center.
In addition to her column, you can also find nutrition tips and ideas on the blog she writes at www.averastorycenter.org.