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March is National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month® was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and celebrated each March. The campaign seeks to shed light on the importance of making healthy food choices and creating active lifestyles. Below is a list of 30 tips from Providence Place’s Clinical Dietitian, Andrew Pfaff, RD, LD. Begin to incorporate some of these small changes this month to create a healthier you!

  1. Avoid sugary and processed foods. Shop in the produce aisles at the store and consume more fresh fruits and vegetables. 
  2. Consume healthy fat from fish in your diet twice/week. An excellent example of this is salmon!
  3. If you are looking to lose weight, it is suggested you lose no more than 1-2 pounds/week! Losing at this slow rate will allow you to keep off that weight more effectively. 
  4. Hydrate yourself! Drink 8 cups of water/day. It may sound silly, but if you find that you have difficulty keeping track, make a chart and mark it off as you drink a glass.
  5. Avoid canned fruits and vegetables; use fresh or frozen produce instead.
  6. Avoid trans fats in food. These fats are some of the least healthy for you!
  7. Consider supplementing your diet with a multivitamin. If you are not currently taking one, feel free to ask your doctor!
  8. If you consume “TV dinners” in your diet, note that they can contain a lot of sodium. Aim for dinners that contain less than 600mg of sodium per serving.
  9. There are twice as many fast-food restaurants today than there were in 1970. Limit the amount of times you dine out or carry-out.
  10. Limit the amount of fried foods that you consume. When food is fried, it introduces a lot of unhealthy fats.
  11. Salads can be a healthy choice but be careful not to add too much dressing to them! Dressing can be high in fat. Consider limiting to 2 Oz per serving of salad.
  12. You can still have your snack of choice in moderation! Limit your snack of choice to a small portion a couple of times/week. 
  13. What about nuts? Nuts can be healthy for you but in moderation! Limit your serving of nuts to a small handful as they still contain fats.
  14. Some healthy snacks that are good sources of protein include: peanut butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, and hummus.
  15. Eating small frequent meals throughout the day is another strategy to use when wanting to lose weight at a healthy rate. Try consuming 6 small meals throughout the day.
  16. If you are a soda/pop drinker, consider swapping out that soda for a glass of water. Even swapping this out every other time will be a much healthier choice. 
  17. Eat foods that are high in fiber as they will help to keep you regular, allow you to feel more full, and help to lower cholesterol. Common examples of foods high in fiber include: fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 
  18. Limit the amount of deli meat you consume or switch to lower sodium deli meat. Oftentimes deli meat has a lot of salt for preservation purposes. If you or a family member are shopping at the deli, feel free to ask if they have a low-sodium option of your meat of choice.
  19. We have all heard that exercise if good for us. Pair a healthy diet with 30 minutes of exercise/day (within your limitations).
  20. Consider switching from white bread to whole wheat bread. Whole wheat bread contains more fiber. Fiber help to keep you regular, lower cholesterol, and help lessen the effect of blood sugars on your body if you are a diabetic. Make sure you look for the word “whole.” If bread just says wheat it is nutritionally comparable to white bread.
  21. Limit the amount of fruit juice you consume. Juice can be good for you in small amounts, but it has a lot of sugar in it!
  22. Choose non-starchy vegetables over starchy ones. Starchy vegetables have more sugar in them. Starchy vegetables include: potatoes, corn, peas, sweet potatoes, and squash.
  23. While milk can be a good source of protein and calcium, it still has fat in it, so consume in moderation. Consider switching to skim milk or 1% milk if you desire.
  24. If you like yogurt for an evening snack, consider Greek yogurt over regular. Greek yogurt has more protein. 
  25. While potassium is good for you, some individuals need to limit this in the diet. High potassium foods include: potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, and oranges. 
  26. Consider keeping a food journal. This is a good way to track what your typical daily intakes are. You can use this information with a doctor or a Dietitian to help you develop a meal plan.
  27. Limit the amount of red meat in your diet. Consider eating more chicken, turkey, and healthy fish. 
  28. Experiment with your diet a bit and add non-meat protein sources such as quinoa and/or brown rice dishes as a main entree.
  29. Social media applications such as My Fitness Pal may be good tools to track nutrition and will allow you to monitor your diet more effectively.
  30. Be careful following “fad” diets that you see on TV or read about online. Some of these may give you short-term desired results but may be harmful over time. Consult your provider or Dietitian for more information.
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