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article imageThis is national nutrition month

By Tim Sandle     Feb 28, 2014 in Health
National nutrition month has been running in the U.S. For this, people are encouraged to choose the most nutritionally-packed foods they can from each of five key food groups every day.
Eating nutrient-rich foods that provide the most nutrition per calorie is one of the best ways to "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right," according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Academy argues that Nutrient-rich foods and beverages provide vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients that offer health benefits with relatively few calories.
The Academy offers practical ways to add nutrient-rich foods and beverages to your daily diet. These include:
Make oatmeal creamier by using fat-free milk instead of water. Mix in some raisins, dried cranberries, cherries or blueberries, too.
Make sandwiches on whole-grain bread, such as whole wheat or whole rye. Add slices of avocado, tomato or cucumber to lean roast beef, ham, turkey or chicken.
When eating out, look for nutrient-rich choices, such as entrée salads with grilled seafood and low-calorie dressing, baked potatoes topped with salsa, grilled vegetables and reduced-fat cheese and yogurt parfaits made with strawberries and blueberries.
Drink nutrient-rich, low-sugar beverages such as low-fat or fat-free milk or 100-percent fruit juice.
Top foods with chopped nuts or reduced-fat sharp cheddar to get crunch, flavor and nutrients from the first bite.
Spend a few minutes to cut and bag vegetables so they are in easy reach of every family member: some ready-to-eat favorites include red, green or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower flowerets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas or radishes.
Serve meals that pack multiple nutrient-rich foods into one dish, such as hearty, broth-based soups that are full of colorful vegetables, beans and lean meat. Make chili with a dollop of low-fat yogurt. Serve these with whole-grain breads or rolls.
For dessert, enjoy a tropical treat by blending mango, plain low-fat milk, ice and a splash of pineapple juice, or stir chocolate syrup into a cup of coffee-flavored yogurt, freeze and enjoy.
A healthy vegetable stir fry
A healthy vegetable stir fry
David Kcdtsg
In terms of what to avoid, the Academy indicates limiting added sugars and reducing the major sources of solid fats.
Discussing this further, Academy spokesperson Debbi Beauvais said in a research note: “When your daily eating plans include foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, fat-free or low-fat dairy, beans, nuts and seeds in the appropriate amounts, you are able to get many of the nutrients your body needs, all with relatively low amounts of calories. Achieving balance and building a healthier diet can be simple and stress-free. Selecting nutrient-rich foods and beverages first is a way to make better choices within your daily eating plan.”
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