By Elena Epstein
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is encouraging everyone to embrace their individuality and add a healthy twist to foods you already love.
March is National Nutrition Month and a great time to put a a healthy spin on our daily eating habits.
“We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds and tastes, so it only makes sense that our food choices will reflect that individuality,” said registered dietitian nutritionist Roxana Ehsani, a national spokesperson for the Academy in Las Vegas, Nev. “It’s possible for anyone to incorporate the foods you love into a healthy lifestyle.”
Ehsani recommends tips to reimagine traditional dishes:
- Cook with dried spices and herbs instead of salt to add flavor to your dishes
- Try different grains such as wild rice, whole-grain farro and whole-grain barley to reap the benefits of whole grains
- Go meatless: Serve up beans or lentils for a heart healthful plant-based protein
- Cook with vegetable oils instead of solid fats such as butter when cooking to limit saturated fat
- Eat 100-percent whole-wheat bread instead of white bread for more dietary fiber
- To decrease extra calories from fat, bake, grill, roast or steam your food instead of frying
- Sprinkle chia or ground flax seeds on cereal, salad or toast to increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids
- For flavor, add lime, grapefruit or pineapple slices to glasses of water
- Cook grains in a low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock for flavor
- To add variety, enjoy vegetables in different forms — raw, steamed, roasted, grilled or sauteed.
“Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables and the remaining quarters of your plate with whole grains and protein foods, such as lean meat, skinless poultry, seafood or beans,” Ehsani says. “With each meal, eat calcium-rich foods and drinks such as fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.”