Why does National Nutrition Month Matter? Ask an Online RDN


There is an abundance of information available online about nutrition and health. Searching for “best nutrition tips” yields millions of results, covering topics such as toddler nutrition, sports nutrition, weight loss, and pre-workout nutrition. However, amidst the plethora of trends, there is also a lot of solid information available, which can be hard to sift through.

In honor of National Nutrition Month  (its 50th anniversary!), we want to offer strategies for making smart food and exercise decisions for better health. Rather than relying on absolutes like “never” or “always,” we will discuss simple ways to improve your health choices.

First, it is essential to recognize that everyone’s nutritional needs are different, based on factors like age, gender, weight, physical activity, and whether you are pregnant or postpartum. There is no one-size-fits-all nutrition plan.

To develop a personalized meal plan that fits your budget and needs, we recommend talking to your healthcare provider or scheduling an appointment with an online RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist).

When seeking information about nutrition, it is crucial to avoid fashion magazines and trends. Instead, we suggest consulting reliable resources like Harvard Health, Health At Every Size, The Ellyn Satter Institute, Nutrition Action, and Choose My Plate.

Beware of the shiny packaging, as it usually indicates high-sugar, high-salt, and high-fat products. Instead, prioritize ingredient awareness and stick to foods that you can pronounce. Shop the perimeter of the supermarket and avoid the inner aisles, which can be distracting.

Carbohydrates are often demonized, but they are essential for providing energy and creating antigens, little tags that allow our cells to recognize each other. Instead of cutting out carbs altogether, choose good carbs like whole-grain bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, fruits, and vegetables.

Proteins are also crucial for building and repairing tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, and forming the building blocks of muscle, bone, cartilage, skin, and blood. Opt for healthy protein sources like fish, lentils, beans, lean meats, and nuts. Replacing red meats with vegetable-based proteins like soybeans, tofu, quinoa, amaranth, and hemp is a great way to reduce cholesterol and save money.

Incorporate meatless meals into your routine, such as Meatless Mondays, and get creative with your protein sources.

Add color to your plate: Boost your fruit and vegetable intake, the more colorful the better. Incorporate shredded veggies (like zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower) into sauces, soups, chili, and meatloaf. Don’t overlook frozen fruits and veggies. The nutrients and minerals in them are just as good as fresh produce. In fact, research shows that the fiber and iron content in fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables remain the same. Make fruits and veggies your go-to snack or mid-morning treat.

Stay hydrated! Drinking water is essential for colon and gut health, and it’s important for your skin and overall well-being. You might be more dehydrated than you realize, so steer clear of sugary drinks like soda. Keep a water bottle at your desk, set a reminder to drink water, and track your water intake. Sip on water throughout the day.

Live in the moment. Enjoy life’s pleasures, from drinking margaritas at a friend’s wedding to savoring an ice cream cone with your grandchild in the park. Every moment, every bite, and every movement is nourishing, so make them count. As Brian Andreas once said, “Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life.” Celebrating nutrition is celebrating health, and celebrating health is celebrating life. Live well.

We could go on with more nutrition tips, but we’ll leave it here. Remember, good nutrition is the key to good health and a beautiful life.

Be well.