Your eating habits are the gateway to living a healthy life. Good nutrition does not mean to be only fit or in shape. Good nutrition aims to improve health by healthy eating and healthy food choices. Every year in March, we celebrate National nutrition month to promote our nutrition education through this annual nutrition campaign. In this guide from Mednow, you will learn more about National nutrition month and how to promote your health.
About March Nutrition Month
National Nutrition Month refers to an annual campaign in March created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It aims to emphasize eating healthier, making informed food choices, and building physical activity habits. In Canada, the government celebrates Nutrition Month every March to encourage people to have healthy eating habits. Additionally, the government has placed an emphasis on the fact that "healthy eating" differs between people depending on culture and food traditions, nutritional needs, and personal circumstances.
History of Nutrition Month
The first national nutrition was in 1973 for one week under the theme “Invest in Yourself—Buy Nutrition.”. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) used a presidential proclamation, TV and radio public service announcements, news releases, and bumper stickers to advertise for this campaign. They aimed to promote healthy eating habits as well as the dietitian profession.
Year after year, the National Nutrition Week had grown, and people had become more aware of the importance of healthy eating. Thus, the celebration expanded from a week to a month. In 1977, the American Dietetic Association introduced "Nutribird" to represent the campaign.
Nutribird was an animated mass media symbol of good nutrition. It had a body shaped like a head of lettuce and a carrot beak. It was featured on every promotional item, including t-shirts, stickers, and TV public service announcements. However, many dietitians did not like Nutribird because it was not a good image to the profession. So, after 1980, the journey of Nutribird has been ended.
In Canada, the first National nutrition campaign was launched in 1981 by the Canadian Dietetic Association (Dietitians of Canada) and all the provincial dietetic associations. It started as a National nutrition week and in 1982, they extended it to a month. Canadian dietitians aimed to increase the awareness of Canadian people about the importance of healthy eating and the profession. Each year, Dietitians of Canada develop a theme for the campaign. For instance, “Nourishing our Children’s Future” in 1994 and “Good for You!” in 2021. The theme of National nutrition month 2022 is “Ingredients for a Healthier Tomorrow!”
Additionally, the dietary guidelines of this year include:
- Eating a variety of nutritious food.
- Seeing a registered dietitian (RDN).
- Planning your meals and snacks.
- Creating tasty foods at home.
How to maintain your health?
Our ancestors said, "Health is Wealth." If you can maintain your health, you will be away from many conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. The following are some guidelines for promoting your health and nourishing your body.
Eat a variety of nutritious foods.
To eat healthier, you must include different nutrients from many foods into your diet; this is called a well-balanced diet. A healthy meal must include
Protein: It consists of amino acids, which are the building block of your muscles. Examples of protein are fish, poultry, meats, nuts, and beans.
Fruits and vegetables: They are rich sources of antioxidants and vitamins. They nourish our bodies and improve our health. You can eat some of them as a healthy snack: banana, broccoli, carrot, tomato, and orange.
Healthy fats: They are good alternatives to saturated fats. Also, they are critical for brain health and memory, promote good cholesterol, and reduce inflammation. You can find healthy fats in avocado, flaxseeds, nuts, fatty fish, peanut butter, and olive oil.
Whole grains: They are much better than refined grains and healthier. The whole-grain kernels consist of three parts. Each part has benefits. The bran is a fibre layer rich in B vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. The germ is the core rich in healthy fats and vitamin E. The endosperm is the interior layer rich in carbohydrates and proteins. Examples of whole grains are quinoa, oats, Kamut, barley, brown rice, and rye. Be vigilant when seeing the label "whole-grain food" on a product. It is not a guarantee that this product is healthy. When reading a label, look for some keywords such as “whole grain” and “no added sugars” as a general guide to determine if the product is right for you.
Visit a registered dietitian (RD)
Talk to your doctor to help you search for a registered dietitian. It is critical to contact RD to get the best holistic meal plan that meets your needs, especially if you suffer from a particular disease such as diabetes or heart disease.
With Mednow, you can book a free 15-minute consultation with an expert nutritionist online. Or take our quiz and let an expert nutritionist create your perfectly tailored total vitamin and supplement plan, customized for your unique needs, goals and physiology.
Plan your meals and snacks
Planning your meals and snacks will prevent you from impulse eating and consuming an excess of unhealthy foods. Healthcare providers are encouraging you this national nutrition month to try to make a weekly grocery list, cook delicious, nutritious recipes, and think of healthy snacks in advance to eat when away from home.
Create tasty foods at home
Healthy eating doesn't mean untasty. You can cook many delicious healthy recipes at home by Googling for new flavours and foods worldwide. Additionally, try to learn new cooking skills and how to make informed food choices.
Stay away from processed foods as much as possible.
Processed foods are packed with saturated and trans fats, high sodium, and added sugar, for instance, french fries, sweetened beverages, processed meats, cakes, and biscuits. According to this research, processed foods contribute to obesity, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and cancer.
Practice some exercises.
Exercising promotes blood circulation and heart health, strengthens your muscles, and prevents diabetes and high blood sugar. If you don't have time to go to a gym, try to use your car less frequently and walk for 15 or 30 minutes a day.
Stop or reduce smoking.
Smoking and vaping have been shown to cause health conditions including cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. This national nutrition month, consider speaking with your healthcare provider on ways to quit or cut down on smoking. We’re here to help.
Limit alcohol consumption.
According to this study, alcohol overconsumption is related to cancer and cardiovascular, liver, and pancreas disease. Canadian government guidelines state that you can have no more than two standard drinks per day for women and three for men.
National nutrition month Canada is an annual campaign each March to foster your nutritional education. Furthermore, It teaches you to make informed food choices through a registered dietitian. Finally, the campaign releases some dietary guidelines to encourage you to healthy eating and healthy eating habits.
This article offers general information only and is not intended as medical or other professional advice. A healthcare provider should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgement of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Mednow or its affiliates.Get Started