March is National Nutrition Month, here’s what you should know

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Happy National Nutrition Month (NNM)! The American Dietetic Association 2016 theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” The ADA encourages everyone to “enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures of great flavors and social experience food can add to our lives.” Mindful eating of how, when, why and where we eat of nutritious and flavorful food is the way to savor the flavor. Not only should we savor the flavor, but we should work in the new dietary guidelines that were released in January. Take a look…Follow a healthy eating pattern across your lifespan.Focus on variety, nutrient density and amount.Limit calories from added sugars, saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.Support healthy eating patterns for all.What’s a healthy eating pattern? A healthy eating pattern includes a variety of colorful veggies, beans/peas, fruits, grains — half from unprocessed or whole grains, fat-free/low-fat dairy products, oils and a variety of protein foods-lean meats, etc. It keeps each saturated fats, trans fats and added sugars to 10% of your calories(each) and sodium to 2300 mg.The “Secretaries” (of USDHHS and USDA) also go on to say that it’s just not a consumer’s responsibility to make these healthy choices, but that governments, communities, businesses and “other segments” of society should encourage, and support healthy nutrition choices.These dietary guidelines seem to so politically correct and relieve the eater their responsibility of the choices they are making. Who’s handing over the money and holding the fork? It’s interesting to me that some critics believe that these guidelines are a disappointment. Critics believe that more should have been said on how to get us to follow the recommendations such as eliminating red and processed meat, refined grains and increased rules in food processing.I do not want food police or to be the food police. People get really testy when you mess with their food choices. The overweight as well as the people that can maintain their weight while enjoying a Coke and Doritos daily are going to have a lot to say if their beloved foods are banned. Let’s face it, people love their Little Debbies, Mt. Dew and Doritos. However, I am in agreement that SNAP participants should only be allowed to use government funds for healthy food and their personal money for candy, pop and chips. Maybe it’s another way to reduce assistance.Fact: the CDC states that half of adult Americans have a chronic disease associated with nutrition. Another fact — 69% of adult Americans are in the category of overweight and obese. We are heavy, chronic disease is a problem and we know we need to cut back. Healthy body weight needs to be achieved.My husband Paul pointed out an interesting story about weight loss the other day. Mark Haub, a professor of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University lost 27 pounds in 2 months improving all his blood fats as well. You’ll never guess how he did it. He limited his calories to 1,800 a day. He ate a protein shake, a multivitamin plus 1,200 calories of a variety of Doritos, Oreos, sugar cereals, Little Debbies and Hostess products. Much to Paul’s disappointment, I’m not endorsing Professor Haub’s diet, but it does bring up an interesting fact: it’s all about calories in and calories burned. They need to be equal to maintain your body weight. To lose weight you need to reduce your intake and/or increase your exercise. 3,500 calories = 1 pound, so daily you would need reduce your calories in or increase calories burned by a total of 500 calories. You will feel more satisfied and full if you eat a day’s worth of lean protein, veggies, fruit, low-fat dairy and whole grains than a few ho-hos, a bag of Doritos and a protein shake.To the farmer and farmers’ family these guidelines mean simply to: Maintain a healthy body weight by eating in moderation or start to make some changes to get closer to your goal weight. The easiest way to do thatUse a 9-inch plate to help cut portions. It’s a mind thing. Smaller plates filled full makes you think you are eating more.Limit processed foods (anything that has a list of more than three to four ingredients)Cut back on sweets and added sugars…drinks, candy, sugar cereal and baked goods.Keep your portion sizes of lean red meat to 3 ounces, about the weight of a deck of cards. Paul is revolting about this!Choose low-fat dairy products — skim milk cheese, yogurt and milk.Choose the least refined grains you can find and make half whole grain. Think less processed. Choose barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgar (cracked wheat), milet, oatmeal, wild rice, popcorn and whole wheat bread, pasta and crackers.Fill your plate with colorful “naked” fruits and vegetables.Exercise—farmers are less physical than they were even a decade ago. Technology improves our lives but sucks activity out of it.A varied diet of protein, fiber and good fat will help keep you full, satisfied and healthy. Does it mean you can’t enjoy sweets, alcohol and Doritos? No, it’s basically about balancing your food choices with moderation, exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight to help prevent all those awful chronic diseases.Eat well and healthy!– Shelly Irish Colcannon and Thyme Leaf Soup www.cookinglight.comThis soup reinterprets an Irish classic: colcannon, a dish of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. Garnish with extra thyme and black pepper. 2 tablespoons butter, divided2 1/2 cups diced peeled baking potato (about 14 ounces)1 cup diced onion (about 4 ounces)1/2 teaspoon salt, divided1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth2 cups water3 tablespoons water8 cups thinly sliced savoy cabbage (about 1 pound)1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves  Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add potato, onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook 6 minutes. Add broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until potato is tender.Combine 3 tablespoons water and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large Dutch oven; bring to a simmer. Add cabbage and thyme. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.Place half of potato mixture in blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. Add potato mixture to cabbage mixture; cook over medium-low heat until thoroughly heated. Makes 6 1 1/3 c servings. Nutritional info per serving 130 cal, 4.1g fat; 2.5g sat fat; 4.2g pro; 21g carb; 4.5g fiber; 10mg chol; 442 mg sodium Best Irish Soda Bread                          Elaine Magee, MPH, RD  1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 large egg (higher omega-3 if available) 2 cups lowfat buttermilk 2 Tbsp. lite pancake syrup or maple syrup 2 tablespoons canola oil 1/2 cups currants (optional)  1. Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with canola cooking spray. 2. Add flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda to large mixing bowl and beat on low to blend well. 3. Add egg, buttermilk, pancake syrup, and canola oil to an 8-cup measure (or medium sized bowl) and whisk to blend well. Stir in currants if desired. 4. Add buttermilk mixture all at once to the flour mixture in mixing bowl and beat on low just until moistened. Pour mixture into prepared pan. 5. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of bread comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Yield: Makes 12 servings WLC Advice: journal as 2 slices “whole grain bread” Nutritional Information: 168 calories, 5.5 g protein, 29 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fat, .6 g saturated fat, 1.6 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 19 mg cholesterol, 2.3 g fiber, 370 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 18%.last_img

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