March is National Nutrition Month. To celebrate, Bryn Mawr Wellness asked me, Joy Saudaragas MA, RD, LDN from the Joy of Nutrition, to explain why Nutrition is so important.
National Nutrition Month® is an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The aim is to help everyone learn about making informed food choices and develop healthy eating and physical activity habits.
Why is nutrition so important?
Making smart food choices should go hand-in-hand with implementing good exercising habits. Eating well is good for us in so many ways. Some of the benefits are:
- Helps to strengthen your immune system
- Reduces risk of some diseases such as type two diabetes and heart disease
- Gives you more energy
- Helps improve your mood and overall wellness
Tips for better nutrition
There are many ways that you can eat better and make healthier choices. This is a HUGE subject and one that we can’t cover in one article! Here are five top tips to get you started on eating healthier:
- Eat more fruit and vegetables. Less than 1 in 7 seven adults in this country are eating enough fruit, which drops to less than 1 in 10 when it comes to vegetables.
- Try to eat more protein to help maintain balanced blood sugars.
- Reach for the whole grain varieties in store for added fiber and fullness!
- Try putting in place a meatless Monday. It’s a great way to up your intake of veggies and fiber, a win-win.
- Plan ahead. Spend a few minutes on a Sunday planning out your food for the week. You’ll make better choices, especially when eating on the run.
If you’re struggling, ask for help
It can be daunting to change the way you eat. But, don’t let that stop you. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists such as myself are passionate about helping others eat well. Now, not all nutritionists are created equal.
The term nutritionist isn’t a regulated term. As a result, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist with no formal training or certification. This can cause a lot of confusion for clients. It’s essential that you find a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
You see, to hold the title of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), there are a lot of requirements. An RDN must have completed the specific set of coursework outlined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. These courses can be completed at the undergraduate or graduate level, depending on prior education. On top of completing the specific coursework, they must also complete a 900-hour supervised hands-on internship and must sit for and pass a national comprehensive examination. Registered Dietitians must also obtain continuing education credits and are held to a professional code of ethics.
It’s time to embrace National Nutrition Month
What are you waiting for? It’s time to take that first step… or bite of that apple! Use the tips above to get started. Utilize the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website which is filled with lots of excellent articles. You can also follow my Facebook page where I share food ideas. And, if you don’t already, make sure you follow the Bryn Mawr Wellness Facebook page as they also share food ideas, along with all things wellness!
Happy National Nutrition Month!