Elizabeth S. Reames, Claesgens, Mark A. | 2/28/2007 1:20:52 AM
Consumers are encouraged to go "100% Fad Free" during March Nutrition Month, sponsored by the American Dietetic Association. This year’s theme reinforces the importance of nutrition as a key component of good health along with physical activity, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.
Fads and nutrition misinformation can have harmful effects on your health and well-being, as well as your wallet, Reames adds.
The nutritionist offers several tips to get you started and keep you going toward a healthy lifestyle:
– Be adventurous and expand your horizons. Variety is the "spice of life" in your food choices and is essential for good nutrition and health. Choose foods based on flavor, texture and colors and that are healthful. Explore the wide world of nutrition by trying a variety of foods.
– Treat your taste buds. You decide how much and how often. Choose foods sensibly by looking at the big picture; it’s what you eat over several days, not just one meal or day, that counts. So enjoy all your favorite foods, just try eating them in moderate amounts.
– Maintain a healthy weight. Managing your weight plays a vital role in achieving and maintaining good health and quality of life. Carrying excess weight may put you at greater risk for health problems. The good news is that healthy eating and regular physical activity make it easier to achieve lifelong weight management and long-term health.
– Balance food choices with your lifestyle. Choosing the right balance of foods helps you get the right combination of nutrients. So balance your food choices with your physical activities to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Be creative and enjoy a variety of ways to stay active to feel your best. There’s no need for expensive equipment or complicated fitness programs. Start by making a list of physical activities that fit your lifestyle and schedule one every day.
– Follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans which has been published jointly by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Guidelines provide authoritative advice for people two years old and older about how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases. They serve as the bases for federal food and nutrition education programs.
– Develop a personal eating plan by using MyPyramid recommendations from the USDA, found at www.MyPyramid.gov.
For additional information about eating healthfully, contact the LSU AgCenter Extension agent in your parish.