Since 1973, March has been named National Nutrition Month. That makes March a great time to focus on nutrition as we move out of winter with its abandoned crash diets, bitter cold, sedentary living, and too many chocolate and candy hearts into spring with more fresh fruit and vegetables and warmth and sunshine.
Information about nutrition seems to change about as frequently as Lady Gaga changes outfits during a concert, and just as many times the nutrition changes are just as interesting as Lady Gaga’s attire. However, the basics have held true and constant throughout the years. So where can we catch up on the latest in nutrition? Let’s find out.
Nutrition advice comes from many different sources, from scientific studies to celebrities and everyone in between, but the nutrition expert remains the registered dietitian. Dietitians are trained in all aspects of nutrition including the basic nutrients that make up foods, how these nutrients are digested and absorbed, and the way the organs process these nutrients. They know all about the chemical structure and function of vitamins and minerals. In addition, they are trained to run food service operations and track all the health codes that must be followed to keep consumers safe.
Dietitians also must keep their knowledge up-to-date by attending continuing education courses and reading journal articles. Many times, personal trainers or fitness professionals take a course in nutrition and may even call themselves nutritionists, but these courses do not require the same rigor or time as the courses required to become a registered dietitian. If you are seeking nutrition advice, always look for the letters RDN (registered dietitian nutritionist) or RD (registered dietitian) behind the nutritionist’s name.
Here are what registered dietitians and registered dietitian nutritionists would like you to know this month.
- Discover the benefits of a healthy eating style.
- Choose foods and drinks that are good for your health.
- Include a variety of healthful foods from all the food groups on a regular basis.
- Select healthier options when eating away from home.
- Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount of food and types of food that are right for you, as ChooseMyPlate.gov encourages us to do.
- Keep it simple. Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated.
- Make food safety part of your everyday routine.
- Help to reduce food waste by considering the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
- Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
- Consult the nutrition experts. Registered dietitian nutritionists and registered dietitians provide sound, easy-to-follow, personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences, and health-related needs.