As March rings in National Nutrition Month, it’s another opportunity to make changes to your plate, habits and lifestyle. Since eating plays such an integral role in overall health, what better time than NOW to foster eating changes in your life?! Whether you have a plan for the month or not, here are a three simple nutrition changes that deserve consideration:
1) Monitor your salt intake. The average American eats well above the daily recommended intake of 2,300 mg per day. Note: 2,300 mg = 1 tsp of salt. Check labels for sodium and shoot for nothing over 480 – 500 mg of sodium per serving. When you add salt to home-cooked meals or at restaurants, taste the food first – it may not need salt, after all.
2) Drink fewer calories. Liquid calories account for a big part of the average Americans caloric intake. Not only does it contribute to overweight and obesity, but displaces other nutritional calories. Here are some ways to make lower-calorie beverage choices: choose skim/low-fat soy lattes versus full-fat frappaccinos and mochas with whipped cream. Drink mineral water with a twist of lemon, lime or orange instead of regular or diet sodas. Incorporate tea into your daily regimen – as it’s a great low-calorie, nutritious way to begin and end to the day (as long as you don’t add a lot of cream and sugar!)
3) Eat less meat and more plants. Not only will you be helping to save our planet by eating more plants, but people that eat more vegetables typically get more fiber, potassium and anti-oxidants in their diets when they forgo animal products. Designate meatless days each week, experiment with roasting different vegetables (asparagus, leeks, Brussels sprouts, string beans and squash), and capture the benefits of local foods by supporting farmers markets.
So, enjoy National Nutrition Month in a health-rewarding way! Remember, spring is almost here …:-
Please let me know what changes you plan to make this month….I’d love to hear.