March is National Nutrition Month sponsored by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and its Foundation. LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames says the observance reinforces the importance of nutrition as a key component of health, along with physical activity.
This year’s theme is "Eat Smart, Stay Healthy." Reames says healthy eating helps you get the most out of life.
"A healthy lifestyle is the key to looking good, feeling great and being your best at work and play. It all starts with a healthy eating plan," the nutritionist asserts. Individual needs and preferences determine your personal food choices. Match your food choices to your lifestyle and individual requirements, choosing enough to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Actively pursue variety. Reames advises expanding your range of choices and exploring new tastes, within and among food groups. Eating a wide variety of foods not only promotes optimal nutrition, it provides the pleasurable aspects of eating.
Make moderation your goal – you decide how much and how often.
"Healthy eating doesn't mean feeling deprived or guilty," Reames says, adding, "Look at the big picture, what you eat over several days – not just one day or one meal – that's important.
Develop a personal fitness plan that fits your lifestyle. The key is to find a variety of activities you enjoy. You don't need expensive equipment or complicated fitness programs.
For additional information about eating healthfully using the Food Guide Pyramid, contact the extension home economist with the LSU AgCenter in your parish. Also, log on to the Family and Consumer Sciences section under the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service at the LSU AgCenter Web site: www.lsuagcenter.com.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture