(PCM) National Nutrition Month® is a public education campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Started in 1973 as “National Nutrition Week”, the campaign has sought to help generations of Americans make informed choices about food and nutrition and develop habits for a healthy life.
Each year National Nutrition Month® celebrates good eating with a new theme. The first ever theme was “Invest in Yourself… Buy Nutrition”. In 2016 the theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” to showcase how food can be delicious as well as nutritious.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is a trade organization for professionals such as dieticians and nutritionists. If you have dietary concerns – if, say, you want to change your eating habits to lose weight, or to accommodate a newly diagnosed food allergy, illness, or an eating disorder – a nutritional specialist can help you come up with strategies to address your specific needs and lifestyle. You can find nutritional specialists working with institutions like hospitals or health clinics, or as independent consultants. Such services are often (though not always) covered by insurance programs.
However, the basic principles for healthy eating are available to you for free, thanks in part to the Academy and other health organizations. The government’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, for example, is published through health.gov. It advocates a varied diet that is:
- RICH IN vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products and proteins (which can include legumes, nuts, seeds and soy products as well as eggs, lean meats, poultry and seafood) and
- LOW IN saturated and trans fats, as well as added sugar and salts.
These recommendations, combined with regular exercise, are the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
March is an excellent time to practice the principles of healthy living; with more daylight and nicer weather we can explore new opportunities to get up and get active. Plus, the seasonal bounties of spring and summer are just around the corner: what seasonal fruits and veggies are you looking forward to most?
National Nutrition Month® invites you to savor the flavor, and revel in a healthy new you. Happy National Nutrition Month!