Happy March and a very happy National Nutrition Month®! Each year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics creates a campaign related to nutrition education and a way to celebrate nutrition experts and healthy habits. For 2020 the theme is “Eat Right Bite by Bite.” Think about that – what does that saying mean to you?
To us, this theme reminds us that every bite counts. Whether it’s a bite of broccoli or a bite of a donut, every bite of food plays a role in providing us daily energy and nutrients to keep us going. All three macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates, and fat – are necessary to create a well-balanced meal and a tasty bite.
- Protein helps to build and repair muscles, hair, and fingernails. It is also involved in the production of hormones, improving your immune system, and a ton of other bodily functions. Protein also helps us feel more satiated after our meals.
- Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Every night, the carbohydrates stored in our body get depleted, which is why it is important to include carbohydrates in our meals (especially breakfast) – we must replenish our stores! Complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, are high in fiber, which assist to maintain a healthy digestive system and improves heart health. Try to make at least 50% of your grains, whole grains.
- Fats are nothing to be afraid of! They are the most concentrated source of energy and help us feel fuller longer – and fats add flavor. Fat helps to protect and insulate our internal organs and absorb fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). Healthy fats, like unsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids promote heart health and help reduce inflammation.
How do you feel about snacks? These smaller bites (or sometimes large bites) help improve concentration, focus, creativity, and keep our energy steady. Snacks can also help us meet our daily dietary needs and are a great way to add in some additional fruits and veggies. If we go too long without a “bite” of food, our blood sugar and energy dip. Mindful munching keeps our hunger and appetite in check to prevent extreme hunger later in the day.
“Bite by Bite” supports the idea that small steps and small changes leading toward a healthier you, have a cumulative effect. Sometimes the smallest changes have the biggest impact.
For the month of March (and really any time after that!) share with us some of your favorite “bites.”