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Nutrition From The Ground Up


Sarah Klein-Mark, R.D.

We all know that a healthful diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but it is common to have trouble figuring out what to do when planning a complete diet overhaul.  During March National Nutrition Month, the American Dietetic Association reminds everyone that an easy way to focus on improving eating habits is to start with the basics: Build Your Nutritional Health From The Ground Up.

Making small changes in your diet can have a dramatic effect on your health.  Start slowly by building the foundation of your diet with whole, fresh foods working toward a healthier life.
Here are simple ways to build your nutritional health from the ground up:

• Focus on fruits and vegetables – Add a serving each day to one meal and increase it every few weeks; opt for fresh, frozen, or organic
• Shop locally – Farmer’s markets to community-supported agriculture offer  many options to find new, fresh foods in your area
• Choose nutrient-dense foods – When making choices, focus on foods that have more vitamins and minerals per serving rather than foods that contain empty calories
• Test your taste buds – A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy and includes beans, nuts, poultry, fish, and lean meats; try expanding your palette by trying a fish you’ve never eaten or an exotic fruit
• Trick yourself with treats – Eating a healthful diet doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of your favorite treats, which you can enjoy in moderation; you can also substitute healthier versions for dessert (yogurt with berries, chopped nuts, and a drizzle of honey) and snacks (trail mix with unsalted nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate pieces)

Most people realize the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. But getting the best and most accurate information isn’t always easy. Registered dietitians (RDs) are the food and nutrition experts. RDs are committed to helping you enjoy a healthy life by providing guidance in appropriate food choices. Find out if it’s time to seek the assistance of a registered dietitian.

Sarah Klein-Mark, R.D., is a registered dietitian at Flagstaff Medical Center, specializing in outpatient nutritional counseling.

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