5 hot tips to help you make small changes that stick #NutritionMonth

Nutrition Month 2016Working as a registered dietitian in education and nutrition communications gives me a unique perspective of seeing the difference nutrition professionals can make. Focusing on one meal a day during Nutrition Month 2016 is a great approach to make changes that you can stick with. Here are my top 5 picks to can help you make small lasting changes – one tip at a time.

  1. Fat confusion reigns
    Misinformation continues to surround dietary fat. People are muddled about the relationship between dietary fat and chronic diseases, so Nutrition Month is a great opportunity to help clarify the message. Saturated fat landscape is changing but it’s NOT a free for all – check food source first. Dietitian’s TIP: All liquid veg oils are OK – pick your favourite to cook with.
  1. Sugars slip up
    Added or free sugars are in the public ‘Danger Zone’. It’s true we don’t need added sugars as part of a healthy diet but it’s important to know that sugars can enhance the taste, aroma and texture of many healthy foods. There are natural sugars found in all fruit, dairy, and wholegrain breads and cereals, foods that are important for our health. Did you know that added and naturally occurring sugars are broken down the same way, and once digested the body really can’t tell the difference?  Dietitian’s Tip: It’s a good start to cut down on sugary foods but it’s still okay to leave some sweet foods in to keep it real.
  1. Veggie Believers
    Increasing your veggie intake is a great step toward healthier eating. In my wellness classes I look for unique and memorable ways reinforce the importance of eating more veggies. See if you can find inspiration in this perennial hit “I’m a Veggie Believer,” music video by Carl Winter, UC Davis.  More great ideas on how to make it easier for you to boost your veggie and fruit intake are available at Half Your Plate a program. Dietitian’s Tip:  Find ways to boost your veggie intake and stick with it.
  1. Worksite wellness works
    According to a poll by Ipsos Reid, 45% of Canadians say that eating healthy meals and snacks while at work is challenging.  You can help kick-start mindful healthy eating at your workplace! Invite a Registered Dietitian (RD) for a lunch and learn session or find an RD in your area for consultation. (Your healthcare benefit package may cover the costs too!)  RDs are the only regulated health professionals in the field of nutrition. Dietitians are qualified to offer you trust-worthy, science-based food and nutrition advice tailored to your health goals, preferences, and lifestyle. Dietitians Tip: Working with a Registered Dietitian (RD) makes a difference!
  1. Cook!
    You probably love to hear it when something you already do is good for you. Well here is one – if you cook you’re good to go! Knowing your way around the kitchen with some cooking skills will set you up for success in health, and you’ll never be without friends when food is a way to show your love and caring for others. The health benefits of cooking your food are real (even if you are using some processed ingredients). Dietitians Tip: Try recipes approved by dietitians to inspire healthy eating you can stick with. Visit  Cookspiration, Dietitian Recipe Ideas or try some of my favourite recipes.

Thanks for reading and Happy Nutrition Month!
Lucia

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