National Nutrition Month is an educational campaign focusing on the significance of physical fitness as well as eating nourishing meals. Taking charge of your health contributes to overall well-being.
Our overall health is a balance of diet, exercise, rest, and hereditary traits. While we do not have control over heredity, we do control the other three. Nutrition is one of the biggest factors in our health. What we eat can significantly increase or decrease our risk factors for disease and injury. We are often bombarded by a variety of diet programs that aim to improve our health and keep us slim. Making sense of them all can become a daunting task. However, most studies agree that including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and proteins comprise a healthy diet.
6 Simple Steps to Better Nutrition
At the beginning of the year, many of us attempt lifestyle changes that include eating healthier meals and exercise. By March, our passion for this change will have either succeeded or is beginning to wane. National Nutrition Month is an opportunity to refocus and grab that healthy lifestyle. Some simple ways of redesigning a diet include:
Reducing or eliminating sugary drinks and sodas. They add unnecessary calories and help us pack on the pounds without much effort.
Pile on the vegetables. Vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients. They can be prepared in a variety of flavorful ways and help to fill us.
Serve smaller portion sizes. One way to do this is to use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate when serving your meal. Another option is to eat smaller meals more often.
Eat smarter snacks. That doughnut looks so good, but it will likely leave you unsatisfied very quickly.
Try a meal kit program. Many of these programs offer light meals. Since these kits are portion-controlled, it makes preparing meals with appropriate serving sizes easier.
When dining out, choose from the lighter side of the menu and only eat half of the dish. Take the rest home for another meal later.
Eating healthier comes with a lot of benefits that stick with you for the long haul. Combined with exercise, healthy eating makes our bodies stronger and improves our immune system. Together they also reduce our risk for chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. A healthy diet and exercise also make us stronger and help us to feel better about ourselves because our skin and hair are healthier, the aches and pains are fewer, and we have more energy.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalNutritionMonth
Take your first or millionth step toward a healthier you during National Nutrition Month. How many ways will you celebrate?
Set a nutrition and exercise goal.
Try healthier versions of your favorite dishes.
Add a new exercise routine to spice up your workouts.
Invite a friend to join you on the journey.
Speak with your physician to help you make smart changes.
Join a support group that will help you maintain your determination and reach your goals.
Share your tips, recipes, and progress using #NationalNutritionMonth to post on social media.
NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH HISTORY
The campaign originally began as National Nutrition Week and was first launched in 1973, with the theme “Invest in Yourself – Buy Nutrition.”
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) was an early advocate in getting the message to the public by organizing educational events held in schools and health care centers. By the beginning of 1980, due to an intense increase in popularity, the House of Delegates expanded National Nutrition Week to National Nutrition Month. ADA is now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and, with more than 70,000 members, is the world’s largest organization of registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians. This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” focusing on exercising regularly and making the best food choices.