Dish Up Good Taste and Flavor for Healthy Eating
March is National Nutrition Month and one of the keys in making nutritious choices is taste. Does it taste good? According to the dictionary taste is the ability to identify sweet, sour, bitter, or salty qualities of a dissolved substance through the taste buds, on the tongue. In addition to the four, a fifth savory quality, called umami is also recognized. Although each of these qualities is a factor of "taste," smell is a significant part of how we perceive what we taste, or the flavor of foods. Taste and flavor are often thought to be the same, but the specific flavor of most foods and beverages comes more from smell than it does from taste.
In considering favorite foods, it's the taste that makes people reach for more. Whether it is comfort food, snack food, fast food or home cooking, if the items don't deliver on taste, we're not satisfied. However making wise food choices can be a weighty issue. You don't have to completely cut favorites out of your diet. All foods can be part of a healthy diet; you can enjoy full calorie selections if you monitor the portions you're eating and include some type of physical activity in your schedule. Eat reasonable size portions of the foods and beverages you enjoy including choices that are nutrient-rich. For example if pizza with all the toppings is your downfall, opt for more vegetables or go meatless sometimes, and limit the size and number of pieces you eat. If grab and go sandwiches are your lunch of choice, choose whole grain breads and lean meats such as turkey or chicken. If dessert is you downfall, consider fresh seasonal fruit and Greek-style yogurt in exchange for indulgent sweets. On occasions when you're served a rich dessert--limit the amount you eat to just half of it.
Beverages and staying well hydrated also play an important part in developing and maintaining healthy eating habits. Drink plenty of fluids and if you love ice-cold soft drinks, stock up on 90-calorie mini-cans, keeping a few on ice and ready to pair with any foods you choose.
When grocery shopping, you can rely on the wealth of information on food and beverage package labels to help make nutritious choices. Though labels have included nutrition information for more than 20 years, "Facts Up Front" nutrition labeling brings the details to the front of the package, placing the important information from the Nutrition Facts Panel, typically found on the back of food and beverage products right on the front of the label in a simple, clear, and easy-to-use format.
In a recent online survey, conducted by Harris Poll more than nine in 10 grocery shopping decision makers agree that Facts Up Front makes nutrition information easy to find and use (93%), and that it is simple to understand (92%). "Facts Up Front" is the voluntary initiative of America's food and beverage manufacturers and food retailers in response to First Lady Michelle Obama's call to action will create a new tool that will help busy consumers make informed decisions while food shopping for their families.
These are just a few of the tools to help tip the scales toward healthier eating as you make wise food and beverage choices. It is not about eating well one month, but throughout the year, opting to put good tasting, nutrient-rich foods on your plate. Keep these guidelines top of mind as you choose what and how much to eat. Remember good nutrition is essential for your overall health and well-being.Take Away: You can enjoy any of the foods that bring you pleasure. As long as you opt for moderation in food choices and include physical activity as a regular part of your lifestyle, you don't have to eliminate foods you like from your diet.
Michelle J. Stewart MPH, RDLD/N, CDE is an experienced food and nutrition communication expert specializing in wellness with a holistic approach to living your best life. Michelle has been leading the way to a healthier you for more than 25 years. She is zealous when it comes to wellness from the inside out and empowering whomever she comes in contact with to take charge of their health and wellbeing. Her motto is "EAT LESS MOVE MORE" Sign up for her Free Report 10 Weight Loss Tips for Life when you visit http://thenutritionplanner.com
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