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March is National Nutrition Month - Put Your Best Fork Forward

March is National Nutrition Month and we are serving up healthy tips and recipes all month long. Check back every week this month for tips and tricks to help you along your journey to a healthier you.

Clinical Nutrition Manager, Remi Hayashi, MS, RD, reminds us the theme for 2017 is "Put Your Best Fork Forward", which acts as a reminder that each bite counts. Making just small shifts in our food choices, can add up over time. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest starting with small changes in order to make healthier lasting changes you can enjoy. This theme inspires us to start with small changes in our eating habits – one forkful at a time. So whether you are planning meals to prepare at home or making selections when eating out, Put Your Best Fork Forward to help find your healthy eating style.

Here are the guidelines from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

2. Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.

3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns.

4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain.

5. Support healthy eating patterns for all. Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.

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