It’s National Nutrition Month!

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“Put Your Best Fork Forward” is the theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month® which serves as a reminder that each one of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices. Making small changes during the month of March and over time, helps improve health now and into the future.

Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated — simply begin to shift to healthier food and beverage choices. This month is a great time to start by making smaller changes in your daily routine that can lead to larger results in your overall health and well-being.

• Here’s the easiest idea of all. Use a smaller plate! The size of dinner plates, muffin tins and pizza pans have grown. Cars have larger cup holders to accommodate the drink sizes stores sell. As everything gets bigger- bigger starts to seem like the norm, distorting how we think about a serving size or the “right” amount. One study found that modern portion sizes of popular foods added an extra 50 to 150 calories daily. While that might not sound like too much, an extra 100 calories per day can pack on an extra 10 pounds of weight in a year! Use a smaller plate. At home, serve your meals on littler plates and bowls. Your plate will look full, but you’ll be eating less.

• Load that plate up with fruits and vegetables…Vegetables and fruit are packed with nutrients and fiber, and they are low in calories and sweetened by nature! Enjoy a wide variety of them; try to include at least one dark green and one red or orange veggie daily. As a family, make a commitment to try a new fruit or vegetable each week. Dragonfruit anyone?

• Drink more water. Dozens of studies have explored the links between the consumption of sugary beverages and a person’s health, and they consistently show that increased intake of soft drinks is associated with higher calorie intake, weight gain and other obesity related illness. Make a simple change this month, and always have a bottle of water with you to quench your thirst. Liven it up by adding cucumber or citrus to it.

• Go lean and alternative…Meat and meat alternatives are a good source of protein, iron, zinc and other nutrients. Protein keeps you feeling full and can help stabilize blood sugars. Make lean choices and prepare them with little or no added fat. Enjoy alternatives like legumes (kidney beans, chick peas and lentils) and tofu often.

• Choose whole grains, and make at least half your grain choices whole grains. Examples of whole grains are whole grain wheat, whole oats or oatmeal, barley and bulgur. Whole grains are higher in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (natural plant compounds) than refined grains. Research shows that a diet rich in whole grains is heart healthy. Involve your family in this change as well. Enlist their help in searching out new recipes using whole grains and grains that might be new to you…freekeh, bulgar, quinoa, oh my!

And finally, this month, think about getting professional help! Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, also celebrated in March, increases awareness of registered dietitian nutritionists as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and recognizes RD’s for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives. Simple Nutrition’s Registered Dietitians are here to help you! See us for upcoming classes, personalized instruction and links to other wellness outlets in the Silver Valley. Our website is simplenutr.webs.com Like us on Facebook: Simple Nutrition- Silver Valley Registered Dietitians or follow our Instagram page- search: svsimplenutr Email: rdemilee1@gmail.com or call to schedule an appointment: 208.512.9028

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