Tag Archives: nutrition advice

What is Nutrition?

Savor the Flavor of Good Nutrition

March is National Nutrition Month® and the focus this year is on Savoring the Flavor of Eating Right. What exactly is nutrition and what is the importance of it? Let’s dive a little more into these questions and how we can start making healthier, tastier and more nutritious food choices.

What is Nutrition?

Nutrition is the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth. Nutritional scientists study nutrients and nutrition to see how it affects humans and how the body breaks down and responds to food.

What is the Importance of Nutrition?

Our food choices have a direct effect on our health and growth. If we are not getting the right amount of nutrients, our bodies are not able to stay healthy or grow. Good nutrition improves your health and lowers your risk of developing certain health disparities such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Every time you eat, it is a chance to nourish your body and help it to stay at its strongest and healthiest. “The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”

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Savor the Flavor

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for 2016 is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” which encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives. How, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat. Develop a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods is the best way to savor the flavor of eating right!

Uncomplicated Healthy Eating

You don’t have to remember every single nutrient and the benefits that each of them gives. You don’t always have to count calories; you just need to simplify the way you think about nutrition.

  • Focus on eating whole foods rather than packaged processed food. These tend to be high in preservatives and sugar
  • Lean protein sources, quality carbohydrates and lots of fruits and vegetables. The more colors of the rainbow you eat with fruits and vegetables, the better it is for you!
  • Know good vs bad fats and watch out for them on the labels. Steer clear of trans fats and look for healthy poly and mono unsaturated fats when possible.
  • It’s okay to treat yourself occasionally. Cutting things out completely can lead to over eating of those foods in the future. As you start to make healthier choices as a part of your lifestyle, you will actually crave the healthy foods more than the unhealthy ones!

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Source: http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/resources/national-nutrition-month/national-nutrition-month

Building a Healthy Plate – Quality Carbohydrates

When building a healthy plate at meal time, you want it to be filled with one half non-starchy vegetables, one quarter lean protein and one quarter quality carbohydrate. Read on for part two on quality carbohydrates, in our three week series on building a healthy plate.

 

Perfect-Plate

 

 

Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of fuel. Without adequate carbohydrates in your diet you may find it hard to sustain your daily energy levels. For this reason, make sure you start out your day with a carbohydrate and continue to include a serving of a quality carbohydrate in each of your main meals throughout the day. When you think of quality carbohydrate most people usually think whole grains, however there are many other foods that are also considered carbohydrates like fruits, legumes and vegetables.

Since so many different foods can be categorized as carbohydrates there is a fine line between consuming the right amount to support your daily energy needs and overconsumption. Carbohydrates are basically sugars that breakdown in the body to form glucose. Although glucose is your body’s main source of energy for your brain, muscles and other essential cells, and is naturally regulated by insulin, overconsumption can lead to excess sugar in your body which may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

When portioning out your carbohydrates, aim to fill one fourth of your plate with quality carbohydrates. This ends up being approximately the size of your closed fist; 300 grams of carbohydrates a day is what you should aim for. When choosing your carbohydrates, pick those that are found in nature; whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Stay away from any processed carbohydrates or foods including refined sugars. When looking at the sugar content in food, try to stay away from any foods containing more than 10 grams of sugar. To put this in perspective, a can of Coke has about 40 grams sugar which is more than the recommended daily limit.

Here are some quality carbohydrates:

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