5 Dietitian Tips to Make Healthy Eating a Lifelong Habit

Molly Hembree | The Upside blog by Vitacost.com

by | Read time: 4 minutes

Although good nutrition is best celebrated year-round, March is designated National Nutrition Month and gives us even more reason to rejoice in the power of nourishing food. Our eating patterns can influence quite a bit about our health: chronic disease risk, management of health conditions, how we age, and as fuel for physical fitness pursuits or simple everyday movement.

Being aware of a few key strategies to make the most of how we eat can help fuel the path towards optimal nutrition. Here we explore five weekly messages in this month’s National Nutrition Month campaign called “Fuel for the Future.”

A Woman Unloads Fresh Product from Paper Grocery Bags to Represent Nutrition Tips.

5 Nutrition Tips to Fuel for the Future

1. Eat With the Environment in Mind

Our choices matter. This includes viewing our dollars and fork as being a vote towards better food, whether this be for our bodies, our communities or our environment. Adopt the mindset to tread lightly on the planet by choosing sustainable eating practices. Research from the EAT-Lancet Commission associates eating more plants, rather than animals, with reduced resources needed to grow food, decreased pollution and generally better food production practices. Take this a step further by selecting foods grown locally, purchasing produce in-season, seeking out foods sold in less packaging and/or growing your own herbs, fruits or vegetables.

2. See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

The #1 expert in food and nutrition is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD or RDN). Dietitians have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited education program, have undergone supervised practice, passed a national exam and adhere to continuing education requirements. Dietitians possess various specialties, from sports nutrition to kidney (renal) health, intuitive eating, oncology and weight management. Review the expert knowledge areas of our team of dietitians and their telenutrition services when you schedule an appointment to address your nutrition goals.

3. Stay nourished and save money

PSA: Health is wealth! Unfortunately, that isn’t the narrative we hear repeated and contradicts the (cringeworthy) refrain “eating healthy is expensive.” With a little planning and some grocery budget tips, good nutrition can protect our health and keep money in our wallet. When designing meals, take inventory of what is in your pantry, fridge and freezer before taking a trip to the grocery store. Try to have more than just fresh goods on hand: canned fruit, frozen vegetables and dry items like nuts and seeds are shelf-stable and can be bought when on sale without the pressure to eat immediately. If you qualify, take advantage of food assistance programs and centers in your community to supplement wholesome food for your home.

4. Eat a variety of food from all food groups

Unique foods offer unique nutrition. This means that although kale and cauliflower are terrific foods, we aren’t in tip-top shape if these are the only vegetables we eat. Expand your horizons through color, flavor and texture across all food groups and add variety to your diet. Throw bell peppers and mushrooms on your pizza, stuff tacos with lentils and jackfruit and up your oatmeal game with almonds and cranberries.

5. Make tasty foods at home

It’s easy to rely on convenience foods and products at meal or snack time, but this may leave you coming up short on nutrition, flavor and even money. Elevate your kitchen competence by following new recipes, checking out a cooking class, introducing a new cultural dish or finding creative ways to use leftovers. Another way to enjoy meals? Dine with friends and families more frequently and encourage them to bring their favorite go-to dishes to share, which may simultaneously inspire you to build onto your recipe collection.

This month, focus on nutrition by eating environmentally friendly, working with an RD/RDN, budgeting money through food choices, eating a variety of food and cooking in the home.

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