March is National Nutrition Month
Splash some color on your plate! It's National Nutrition Month and the theme is "Eat Right with Color." This month Granville Health System and the American Dietetic Association want you to make healthy choices by incorporating a colorful variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy into your meals every day.
National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign to promote nutrition awareness and education. It focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
"The American Dietetic Association encourages all Americans to take time during National Nutrition Month to look at their eating patterns and begin to make the small improvements that, over time, add up to significant health benefits, " says Granville Health System’s Clinical Nutrition Manager, Joy K. Weisner, who is a registered dietitian and a licensed dietitian nutritionist.
Eat Right with Color
This year's theme, "Eat Right with Color," provides an easy way to focus on improving eating habits — simply include plenty of color on your plate!
"Adding a splash of colorful seasonal foods to your plate makes for more than just a festive meal. A rainbow of foods creates a palette of nutrients, each with a different bundle of potential benefits for a healthful eating plan," says Joy Weisner, who offers up this quick fruit and vegetable color guide.
For more tips visit the National Nutrition Month section on the American Dietetic Association website. Plenty of resources are available, including recipes, interactive games, nutrition education resources and the NNM blog.
See additional tips from Joy Weisner below.
- It takes about 2,000 steps to make a mile. Spring is a great time to invest in a pedometer to track the length you walk every day. Remember that small changes can make a big difference. Have a contest with friends to see who can do the most miles by the end of the week and have a fun reward for the winner.
- Following a low carbohydrate or diabetic diet often makes you feel as though you cannot have any breads or starches. However, it is mainly the portion size of those foods that you need to pay attention to. In general, a serving of starch is 1 piece or 1/2 cup and the average diabetic meal plan contains 3-4 servings of carbohydrate at each meal period and a serving for a bedtime snack.
- The average American consumes 2 to 4 teaspoons of sodium (salt) per day. Dietary Guidelines suggest no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day (or about 1 teaspoon). Here are some tips to cut back on salt:
- Think fresh--eating highly processed foods adds more salt to your diet
- Learn to enjoy the natural taste of food
- Ask for low sodium foods when you eat out or shop
- Recognize other forms of sodium on food labels such as sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite, and sodium ascorbate
- Pay attention to condiments and seasonings-use fresh herbs and natural food flavors such as onion, garlic, and bell pepper to season your food
- It takes 3,500 calories to make one pound, so to lose 1 pound per week, you will need to cut approximately 500 calories per day from your diet. That may sound like a lot: However if you look at the calorie content in high sugar, low nutritional value foods and beverages such as regular soda, sweet tea, pies, cakes, and cookies, you can usually cut out 2-3 servings of these foods per day to meet your goal.
- Trying to lose weight? Here’s a new website that will assist you to do just that-a free "weight-loss coach" online. Go to traineo.com, enter your information, and they will help you achieve your weight loss goals.
National Nutrition Month 2011 Recipes
Low-Fat Oven-Fried Chicken
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
6 skinless chicken breast halves or 6 skinless chicken thighs (1 3/4 to 2 pounds)
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon margarine, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Combine the yogurt, paprika, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic in a large bowl; mix well. Coat the chicken with the mixture. (The chicken may be covered and refrigerated overnight or baked immediately.)
3. Prepare a shallow roasting pan or jelly roll pan with nonstick pan spray. Combine the bread crumbs and margarine in a shallow dish. Coat the chicken with the crumbs; place in the pan.
4. Bake breasts for 25 minutes, thighs for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender.
Serving size: 1 thigh or breast half
Nutrition Facts per Serving:
Calories: 240 Calories from fat: 69 Fat: 8 g
Saturated fat: 2 g Cholesterol: 69 mg Sodium: 721 mg
Carbohydrates: 16 g Fiber: 1 g Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 26 g
Exchange list approximations: Starch 1 Meat, lean 3
Spicy Black Beans
2 cups (4 servings)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
One 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1⁄3 cup prepared hot salsa or picante sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Sauté the garlic until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the beans, salsa and lime juice. Simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir in the tomato; sprinkle with cilantro.
Serving size: 1⁄2 cup
Nutrition Facts per Serving:
Calories: 138 Calories from fat: 25 Fat: 3 g
Saturated fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 196 mg
Fiber: 7 g Sugars: 4 g Protein: 7 g
Carbohydrate: 22 g
Exchange Approximations: Starch 1 1⁄2 Fat, monounsaturated 1⁄2
Both recipes are from The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes by The American Diabetes Association and The American Dietetic Association. Copyright © 1999, 2007 by The American Diabetes Association and The American Dietetic Association. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.