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Quinn on Nutrition: Put your best fork forward

March 13, 2017

Yay, itís almost time to spring forward into longer and warmer days. And itís also the time, says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), to "Put our best fork forward." It is March, after all, when nutrition experts get all excited about National Nutrition Month.

Iím pretty good at putting my fork forward. Maybe I need to put it away. Thatís not exactly the point, says the AND. It just means that every bite of food counts. If we need to take off some poundage, we can learn to take fewer or smaller bites of M&Mís or whatever we might be depositing into our fat stores. Or we can decide to take a few more bites of those foods that actually enhance our health and vigor.

Ready to spring into action? Here are some ideas:

Find out what the right amount is Ö for you. We all require essentially the same nutrients. But the amount varies widely. I may not fare as well, for example, if I eat the same volume of food as a college basketball player. A great tool to find which foods in the right amounts are best for each of us is free and easily accessed at www.choosemyplate.gov. It even provides an individualized daily check list for your particular age, sex and activity level.

Choose a different color fruit and vegetable each day of the week. Nutrition science has proven that variety does more than just make our plates look pretty. Each natural pigment that colors our food ó from artichokes to zucchini ó contains unique substances that protect our cells from going haywire and causing premature aging or disease.

Fruit parfait or gooey death by chocolate cake? I know, I know. Decadent desserts are fun Ö every so often. So is finding fun foods and recipes that keep from weighing us down. Google "fruit dessert recipes" and see what pops up.

Get nutrition information from reliable sources. Check out ANDís 2017 Good Nutrition Reading List under the National Nutrition Month tab at, www.eatright.org/resources/food/resources, that describes books and websites with nutrition information you can trust. Youíll find yours trulyís book on the list. Whew.

Oh, and if you need additional help, this is a perfect month to contact a registered dietitian nutritionist (RD or RDN credentials) for professional nutrition therapy. RDNís have earned advanced degrees in nutrition and other related fields from accredited colleges and universities and are considered the worldís food and nutrition experts. Find an RDN in your area at www.eatright.org.

And send me any questions or comments about nutrition this month. Weíll tackle them in this column one fork at a time.

 

 





 



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