Monday, March 12, 2012

National Nutrition Month-Get Your Plate in Shape

Before you eat, do you think about what you will put onto your plate? A balanced plate sets you on the path to success for your whole day - a day when one healthy meal leads to another, which leads to another.

Get your plate in shape this March during National Nutrition Month with these ideas from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables, plus beans and peas. Fresh, frozen and canned vegetables all count. Choose "reduced sodium" or "no-salt-added" canned vegetables.

  • Make at least half your grains whole. Choose 100% whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta and brown rice. Check the ingredients list on food packages to find whole-grain foods.

  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk. Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories.

  • Vary your protein choices. Eat a variety of foods from the protein food group each week, such as seafood, nuts and beans, as well as lean meat, poultry and eggs. Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate. Keep meat and poultry portions small and lean.

  • Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars.

  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Choose 100% fruit juice instead of fruit-flavored drinks.

  • Select fruit for dessert and eat sugary desserts less often.

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less. Avoid over-sized portions. Use a smaller plate, bowl and glass.

  • Cook more often at home, where you are in control of what's in your food.

  • When eating out, choose lower calorie menu options. Choose dishes that include vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
from Eat Smart, Move More NC