Go Further with Food During National Nutrition Month
March is National Nutrition Month - a good time to reflect on how and what we eat. The theme this year is "Go Further with Food." According to the USDA, the average American "consumes between 150-170 pounds of refined sugars per year." An estimated 160 million Americans are considered overweight or obese. And according to a recent CNBC story, a family of four throws away approximately $1,500 of food each year. Amazing, isn't it?
Greene County Medical Center's registered dietitian, Annemarie Laughery, did some research on eatright.org and gives us the following ways to improve our food habits:
Eat for a Healthy Weight
- Focus on achieving overall good health - not just short-term weight loss
- Set realistic goals, make changes step-by-step and track your progress
- Balance your plate with a variety of foods: include foods from all five food groups (different food groups offer different nutrients) with the right number of servings from each group
- Focus on energizing foods: foods high in sugar and low in dietary fiber offer a quick boost of energy, but won't last long. For sustained energy, choose foods with dietary fiber, lean protein and healthy fats.
- Be mindful of portion sizes
Choose Foods with Less Added Sugar
- Identify added sugar on the ingredient list: white granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, molasses and sucrose
- 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines of Americans recommend less than 10% of calories come from added sugar (2000 kcal diet = <50 grams of added sugar)
Decrease Food Waste
- Plan meals based on the food you already have on hand
- Get creative with leftovers
- Place foods that spoil quickly within sight
- Donate extra foods that are still safe to eat to a local food pantry or shelter
- Consider composting
For more information about nutrition and meal prep, visit www.eatright.org.