During the month of March the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages individuals to focus their attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating habits during National Nutrition Month. By eating right, you also increase the opportunity to protect your vision by adding sight-saving nutrients to your daily diet. Fruits, vegetables, and fish make for delicious, healthy meals and snacks that contain nutrients and powerful antioxidants that are essential to maintaining healthy eyes.
Here are some easy tips to help you succeed in eating healthier during National Nutrition Month and beyond:
Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk
Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of essential nutrients and calcium as whole milk, but with less fat and fewer calories.
Make at least half of your grain intake whole grain
Choose barley, oats, brown rice and other whole grains for your sides and meal ingredients. Switch to 100% whole-grain breads, cereals and crackers as well.
Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables
Eat an assortment of vegetables, especially dark-green, red, and orange colored varieties as well as beans and peas. Purchase "reduced sodium" or "no salt added" canned vegetables when possible. Rinsing fresh vegetables can also reduce sodium levels.
Cut back on empty calories and sodium from added sugars and solid fats
Drink water instead of soda, fruit-flavored drinks and sweetened teas and coffees. Choose 100% fruit juice whenever possible.
Alternate your protein choices
Eat a variety of foods each week from the protein food group like nuts, beans, and seafood as well as lean meat, eggs and poultry. Also try to incorporate more plant-based proteins into your diet like whole grains, nuts, beans and whole soy foods such as edamame and tofu.