Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nutrition Awareness: National Nutrition Month®

Diet and nutrition are important to health. Establishing healthy habits about what to eat and how much to eat has been linked to lower disease risk. Diseases like heart disease and cancer and conditions like hypertension, high blood cholesterol, and osteoperosis are affected by what people consume and put in their bodies. March is National Nutrition Month®. 

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly American Dietetics Association

The campaign was initially a week long event that began in March 1973. Due to high public interest in nutrition, the campaign became a month-long observance in 1980.

To inform and educate the public about making informed choices about food and develop healthy eating and physical activity habits.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggest the following to "Get Your Plate in Shape"
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables including fresh, dried, frozen, or canned.
  • Choose foods that are made with 100% whole-grain.
  • Drink fat-free or low-fat milk instead of whole milk.
  • Choose a variety of foods for protein including seafood, nuts and beans, and lean meat.
  • Reduce consumption of foods high in sodium or those containing empty calories from fats and added sugars.
  • Practice portion control.
  • Opt for low calorie choices when eating out.
  • Exercise regularly.
To find more information on how to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet or how to eat healthy on the run and other such tips on establishing a healthy diet, visit

My Experience
I can't say that I always had the best diet or made the healthiest choices when it came to food, but after getting a Master's degree in Public Health, my perspective about diet and nutrition changed. Don't get me wrong, my family and I still eat junk food, and quite enjoy them actually, but we do so in moderation. I also try to find, and offer, healthier alternatives like kale chips and homemade popsicles made with fruit and yogurt. I practice  portion control, read nutrition labels, and purchase foods that are nutrient rich. Based on my family's medical history, eating healthy is definitely the right path for me. As I've mentioned before, I am a firm believer in preventive behavior, and making good choices about food is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle. There is so much to learn about making healthy food choices, that's why I am so glad that there are awareness campaigns like National Nutrition Month®.

What are ways you and your family eat healthy? What tips would you give someone on how to make healthy food choices?

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are solely mine.