The concept of having “good nutrition” does not have to be an all or nothing endeavor. It doesn’t have to be hard. If you make small changes — bit by bit and bite by bite — it adds up to living well and having a positive relationship with food. Nutrition isn’t just for one demographic—food is vital to everyone, no matter our age, creed, or culture, and we can all focus on eating well to feel well.
Along with raising awareness of the importance of nutrition, the campaign aims to help people understand that even small goals and changes can have a cumulative effect on your health. Nutrition does not have to be “all or nothing.” It doesn’t have to be hard. If you make small changes — bit by bit and bite by bite — it adds up to living well and having a positive relationship with food. Nutrition isn’t just for one demographic—food is vital to everyone, no matter our age, creed, or culture, and we can all focus on eating well to feel well.
What is Nutrition?
By definition, nutrition is “the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.” Food is nourishment and sustains us for survival, but it’s that and so much more. Food is social — it unites us at the table and is the center of our celebrations (think: birthday parties, graduations, and weddings). It is a unifier and helps us share our culture with others. Perhaps most importantly, food can improve our health, prevent disease, and even help us live longer lives when we eat the right way.
How to Get Proper Nutrition
Figuring out the best foods to buy, prepare, and eat can often be a challenge—particularly when you’re faced with so many options at the grocery store! Sometimes, life throws challenges at you to make it even harder: whether you have a busy job and little time to cook at home, have a fussy eater at home, or are trying to manage a chronic condition such as diabetes, a balanced, nutritional diet can be difficult to maintain.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides evidence-based nutrition information and advice for anyone who wants to make healthy choices about food and beverages in their daily lives. You can view those guidelines here.
The general idea is to focus on forming healthy “eating patterns” — the combination of all foods and beverages you consume over time. To develop a healthy eating pattern, you’ll want to eat:
How to Find Nutrition Information
Today, Americans have more access to food-related information more than ever before. Unfortunately, much of the information available online can be conflicting, confusing, and sometimes even false. It’s important to seek out information and advice from reliable, credible sources, such as registered dieticians.
Some trustworthy online resources include:
Looking for an expert to help you develop healthy eating habits? The American Academy of Nutrition provides a wealth of information and resources on healthy eating including links to finding a dietician in your area.
Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices
When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating is important. It goes hand-in-hand with physical activity. That’s why it’s important to get active in your day-to-day life to keep your body moving. You don’t need to be an athlete in order to engage in physical activity. Even something as simple as a small walk each day can go a long way in supporting your health and keeping you fit. As you start to feel better as you move and eat well, you’ll continue to feel motivated in making good choices for yourself with nutrition and your physical activities.
Remember: nutrition does not have to be overwhelming. Start by setting small goals for yourself and making small changes to work your way up to eating healthy. Educate yourself about proper nutrition and try to get your family on board.
Proper nutrition is a lifestyle, not a fad diet. Every day, do your best to be mindful of your eating habits, cook at home more often, sit down and really enjoy your food, eat meals with others, read food labels to understand what you’re eating, and limit foods high in sodium, sugars, and saturated fat.
Here’s to National Nutrition Month, and eating your best to feel your best!