The theme for National Nutrition Month — “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” — encourages us to eat right, but just how do we do that on a daily basis? Gayle Jennings, a registered dietitian with Memorial Medical Center, shares these four ideas to incorporate into your quest to eat right:
- Include five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and veggies are high in nutrients and low in calories. Substituting these for foods high in sugar, fat and salt can help you control weight and lower blood pressure. Choose deeply colored vegetables and fruits, such as spinach, carrots, peaches and berries. Eat whole vegetables and fruits instead of drinking juices. Fresh fruits and vegetables are wonderful, but frozen or canned without added salt, sugar or added fats are great options as well.
- Eat more chicken, turkey, fish and beans than red meat. Remove the skin from poultry before eating to reduce the fat content. Chicken and turkey should be ground without the skin. Choose fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout and herring. Prepare fish by grilling, baking, poaching or broiling. Vegetable-based meat substitutes, such as beans, tofu and other soy-based products can replace meats and chicken in your favorite recipes.
- Use heart-healthy oils. Use oils that stay liquid at room temperature. These plant-based oils are healthier. Examples are canola, olive, corn and safflower. Try to keep your overall intake of oils and fats within reasonable levels.
- Consume at least three servings of whole grains each day. Whole wheat, oats and oatmeal, brown rice, wild rice, corn, barley and popcorn are all good choices. Also try rye, buckwheat, bulgur, quinoa and sorghum. When shopping, select breads, cereals and grains that list whole grain as the first ingredient.
For more suggestions, tips and techniques, vist www.eatright.org/NNM