The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend making small changes to eating patterns to include healthier ingredients while cooking at home. Choosing a variety of healthful foods across and within all food groups helps reduce the risk of preventable, lifestyle-related chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
“Evidence shows that making dietary and lifestyle changes can prevent diseases before they occur,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Angel Planells. “During National Nutrition Month and beyond, make small, healthier food choices – one forkful at a time.”
Planells encourages everyone to eat more of these foods:
- Vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans, peas and others
- Fruits, especially whole fruits
- Whole grains
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy including milk, yogurt, cheese and fortified soy beverages
- Protein foods including seafood, lean meats, poultry, nuts, soy products, beans and peas
- Oils including canola, corn, olive, peanut, sunflower and soy
“It’s important to create an eating style that includes a variety of your favorite, healthful foods,” Planells says. “Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to maintain.” To find a personalized plan that works best, Planells suggests consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist. RDNs can provide sound, easy-to-follow nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.
As part of National Nutrition Month, the Academy’s website at eatrightpro.org includes articles, recipes, videos and educational resources to spread the message of good nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Consumers can also follow National Nutrition Month on Facebook and Twitter (#NationalNutritionMonth).