First of all, to dispel a myth, Registered Dietitians are not the food police. Chances are they love food just as much, if not more than you do.
Secondly, today is Registered Dietitian Day! Registered dietitians are food and nutrition experts extensively educated and trained in providing evidence-based information and guidance. Take today to hug a dietitian, or better yet, think about finding one to help you reach your nutrition and wellness goals.
RD Day, as it’s nicknamed, is nestled nicely in the middle of March which is National Nutrition Month®, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). This year’s theme is ‘Get Your Plate in Shape.’
Since you’ve probably heard the don’ts (in regards to sodium, solid fats and added sugars), I’m going to skip to the delicious do's of getting your plate in shape!
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. This will get increasingly easier as more produce comes into season in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties! Remember, a variety of colors means a variety of nutrients.
- Make at least half your grains whole. Or even better, make all of them whole grains! Which grains are whole grains? Oatmeal, quinoa, barley, bulgur, whole wheat flour (or bread), millet, wheat berries, amaranth, brown rice and more. When serving, keep grains to about ¼ of your plate for better portioning.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk. This is an important tip for yogurt also! Dairy can contribute additional saturated fat in the diet. By choosing reduced-fat varieties you can get the same great nutrients with less fat.
- Vary your protein. When eating meats, aim for leaner cuts. Remember to include fish and experiment with vegetable proteins like soy, nuts and beans!
- Include heart-healthy fats like olive oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and seeds in your day in moderation.
- Enjoy your food but eat less. You can still enjoy foods you love, but eat them in moderation.
Getting your plate in shape can help get you and your family healthy. Making mindful choices about what goes on your plate is essential in helping you feel your best. In honor of National Nutrition Month® and Registered Dietitian Day, take a second look at your plate and think about what you can do to make it more healthful.
To find a dietitian in your area, visit http://www.eatright.org/programs/rdfinder/
What changes are you going to make this National Nutrition Month®?