March is National Nutrition Month® and it is a great time to remind
us all of the importance of making informed food choices and developing
sound eating and exercise habits.
Hoag Orthopedic Institute's registered dietitian nutritionist, Reema
Kanda, RDN has put together these 7 helpful tips to help you making eating
right a simple lifestyle choice every day.
7 Steps to Simplify Your Eating & Exercise Habits:
Discovering the benefits of numerous healthy eating styles. Research continues to support healthy eating patterns in prevention of
chronic diseases. Seek out the services of a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
(RDN) who can teach you and your family about the importance of evidenced-based
eating styles. Nutritionists can also design an eating program that is
tailored specifically to you and your family. To learn more about what
the current research suggests about what a healthy eating style entails, visit
ChooseMyPlate.gov current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Choosing foods and drinks that are good for your health. The “Got Milk” slogan does not literally have to be about
milk-based dairy food and beverages. If you dislike dairy sources like
milk, yogurt, and cheese, consider non-dairy substitutes like plant-based
milk alternatives that are fortified with the infamous bone builders,
Calcium and Vitamin D. So the next time you hear “Got Milk,”
remember you have options, and you can work with a nutritionist to help
decide what choices are right you and for your body.
Including variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups daily. Think about designing your plate with the food groups that go beyond vitamins
and minerals for your body. Plant-based foods like whole grains, legumes,
nuts and seeds, and fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients that
are important in cancer prevention. Be sure to include your favorite colorful
fruits and vegetables you enjoy throughout the various seasons and incorporate
them into your meals and snacks.
Selecting healthier options when eating away from home. Start by going online and looking up menu options in advance to determine
if your favorite restaurants provide a range of healthy options. Many
restaurants and fast food chains now have nutrition information on their
websites. I recommend “smart swaps”, such as choosing salads;
vegetable-based soups, or cooked vegetables as a side dish, and opting
for grilled or roasted lean proteins instead of fried or breaded options.
Being mindful of portion sizes by eating and drinking the amount that's
right for you. Eat slowly, chew your foods, and listen to your body. Slowing down can
give your stomach a chance to tell your brain it is full. Don’t
forget to enjoy the flavors. There are myriad distractions around us,
therefore mindful eating takes practice.
Making food safety part of your everyday routine,
help to reduce food waste
by considering the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store. Read more in the blog,
“Go Further with Food.”
Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week. Finding time may be a struggle, but being more active can be as simple
as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away, walking
or bicycling to the store, and cleaning the house or working in the yard.
For adults, the recommendation is 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity
physical activity each week. Try brisk walking for 25 minutes six days
a week or try brisk walking for 15 minutes at a time, twice a day, for
5 days a week. For bone strengthening benefits, be sure to include both
aerobic and muscle strengthening activities.
Happy National Nutrition Month!
Reema Kanda is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
at Hoag Orthopedic Institute, Irvine CA.