One of the most important keys to our health is good nutrition, and this month, we “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” as we celebrate National Nutrition Month.
Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the campaign focuses attention 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 — that’s the best way to savor the flavor of eating right!
Here are some tips from the Academy for cutting back on sugar, sodium and saturated fats and making healthier choices that don’t skimp on flavor:
- Read food labels and avoid buying foods with added sugars like high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, evaporated cane juice, invert sugar, molasses, sucrose, brown rice syrup, honey, agave or maple syrup.
- Drink water, low-fat or fat-free milk and 100-percent fruit or vegetable juice instead of sugary beverages.
- Choose snacks with no added sugar. For example, eat plain yogurt instead of flavored yogurt with whole fruits such as berries or pears.
- Grill fruits such as pineapple or peaches for a naturally sweet and healthier dessert.
- Use the Nutrition Facts label to compare sodium content of foods and choose products with less sodium.
- Buy frozen or canned products without added salt.
- Buy fresh poultry, seafood, pork and lean meat rather than processed meat and poultry.
- Cook meals from scratch to control the sodium content of dishes.
- Buy fewer jarred sauces and pre-flavored products.
- Flavor foods with citrus, herbs and spices instead of salt.
- Saturated fat is found in foods such as meats, whole milk, cream, butter and cheese. Unsaturated fat, which includes polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, is found in foods like oils, fatty fish, nuts and seeds.
- Drink fat-free or low-fat milk (1-percent) instead of 2-percent or whole milk, and eat low-fat cheese instead of regular cheese, oils instead of butter and lean rather than fatty cuts of meat.
The Academy’s website includes helpful articles, recipes, videos and educational resources to spread the message of good nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds.