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Knowledge is key to eating healthy

Posted March 7, 2015

Recipes pack emotion, nutrition

Have your healthy New Year’s habits already begun to fade? Recharge your resolutions this March during National Nutrition Month. While a healthy lifestyle can certainly help you get the body you always wanted, the benefits extend well beyond your appearance, say experts.

“Adopting a healthy lifestyle offers more than just weight loss alone; it can also promote your overall health and reduce your risk of chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even some types of cancer,” says registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson, Ximena Jimenez. “Eating right and staying active is an investment in a high-quality life.”

In time for National Nutrition Month, Jimenez is offering a few ways you can “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” the theme of this year’s annual focus on nutrition.

Make Informed Food Choices: A healthy lifestyle is about so much more than just choosing to eat more fruits and vegetables. While this is important, it’s also essential to make informed food choices based on your individual health and nutrient needs. Knowing which nutrients your body needs, the foods that contain them, and how much fits into your healthy eating plan, are all part of making smart choices. A registered dietitian nutritionist can educate you and guide your food choices while keeping your tastes and preferences in mind.

Choose Sensible Snacks: Sensible snacks are a part of any healthful eating plan. If you choose carefully and plan ahead, snacks can prevent overeating at mealtimes and throughout the day. For children and adults, alike, snacks can supply foods and nutrients that we might miss in meals. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and low-fat dairy foods.

Get Plenty of Physical Activity: Daily physical activity is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, and unfortunately most Americans don’t include enough exercise in their daily routines. Regular physical activity strengthens bones and muscles, reduces the risk of chronic illness and fosters overall wellbeing.

Consult an Expert: Registered dietitian nutritionists draw on their experience to develop a personalized nutrition plan for individuals of all ages. RDNs are able to separate facts from fads and translate nutritional science into information you can use. An RDN can help you adopt a healthy diet, reach and maintain a healthy weight, and ultimately reduce your risk of chronic disease.

To help, the Academy offers tips, games, tools and nutrition resources at www.EatRight.org/nnm.

Don’t let your 2015 resolutions fall by the wayside. Use National Nutrition Month as an opportunity to revive your goals for the long-term.

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