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March to better nutrition

By Dr. Maria Rometo
Extension Agent II
So, how are your New Year’s resolutions going? Getting tired of going to the gym and trying to stay away from sweets or salty snacks? Maybe you can find a little inspiration in knowing March is National Nutrition Month®, a yearly effort by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help you stay motivated and on that new eating plan.
Here’s how the Academy describes the aim and importance of the month in a recent news release:

The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. In addition, National Nutrition Month® promotes the Academy and its members to the public and media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientific-based food and nutrition information.

The theme for 2016 is Savor the Flavor of Eating Right, which encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives. How, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat. Develop a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods – that’s the best way to savor the flavor of eating right!

Remember, eating right doesn’t mean you are giving up taste and it certainly shouldn’t mean that it’s complicated. Re-start your healthy eating resolution by making simple transitions into enjoying healthier beverages and foods. These recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, can help get you started:

  • Emphasize fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products.
  • Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
  • Make sure your diet is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
Use the National Nutrition Month® website to help you along the way. The site contains great information and ideas to assist you in developing a new eating plan and healthier lifestyle. And don’t forget to check out our classes and programs to help you with nutrition and staying healthy, at sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu.

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