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Healthful eating goals come in all shapes and sizes. Some people strive to drink more water each day, while others seek to fit more fruits and vegetables into their diets. Still others try to limit their sugar or sodium intake.
No matter what your goal may be, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is offering a simple mantra as part of National Nutrition Month: focus on what makes the most sense for you and your lifestyle.
With a theme of "Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day," National Nutrition Month encourages consumers to develop a healthful eating plan that incorporates individual food choices and preferences. Here at BWH, the Nutrition Department is offering tips and resources to help BWHers make healthy choices that fit their lifestyle as part of the month-long campaign.
"We are very excited to be celebrating National Nutrition Month at the Brigham," said Kathy McManus, RD, BWH's Nutrition director. "Helping patients, staff and consumers choose healthy foods each day is a critical part of our mission as dietitians. National Nutrition Month highlights the importance of nutrition in preventing and treating chronic disease."
Every Wednesday this month, BWHers from Nutrition are staffing an information table outside of the cafeteria from noon to 1 p.m., with resources for eating healthfully away from home, information about gluten-free and Mediterranean diets, cooking demos, games and a chance to win prizes.
BWH Nutrition offer these tips as you think about what healthy eating means for you:
Personalize your eating style. The easiest way to get the nutrients your body needs is to eat healthy foods you enjoy. Finding good-for-you foods that please your palette makes eating healthfully special and exciting.
Eat for your lifestyle. Athletic, vegetarian/vegan, corporate and family lifestyles all have special nutritional needs, but eating right can be easy and tasty with attention to those foods that best help get you through the day.
Incorporate cultural and ethnic traditions. Foods from around the globe often incorporate an abundance of unique, flavorful and nourishing ingredients. Keep traditions alive, and bring the world to your family's table.
Keep health concerns in mind. A healthy eating plan can help prevent and treat a variety of health concerns. With modification and moderation, you can still enjoy many of your favorite foods while meeting your nutritional needs and health goals.
Make Harvard School of Public Health's "Your Healthy Eating Plate" (pictured at right) your guide in choosing healthy food. To create a healthy plate, fill half of your plate with your favorite fruits and vegetables; the more veggies and the greater variety, the better. Keep protein healthy by choosing fish, poultry, beans and nuts. Limit red meat, and eat whole grains, such as brown rice and whole wheat bread. Use healthy oils, such as olive and canola, for cooking, on salads or at the table. Limit butter and avoid trans fat.
For more information about healthy eating, visit eatright.org.