As life goes on, our bodies change and so should our eating habits in order to meet our individual nutrition needs. Whether adopting a plant-based, Keto, or Mediterranean diet, the food that we eat determines how we feel, and implementing nutritious food habits can make a significant difference in maintaining optimal health.
With only a week left of National Nutrition Month, an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to encourage people to make informed food choices and develop healthful eating and physical activity habits, this is a great time to establish a balanced diet that optimizes the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients each of us uniquely need to live a healthy and happy life.
This year’s theme, Personalize Your Plate, open up an array of opportunities for those of us who find it more challenging to follow a particular rigid diet. See next how to start eating like a pro with these 3 steps.
- Nutrition needs change over time: Aging is an inevitable process that all human beings will go through in life. This natural process is often associated with multiple health challenges that can be prevented by adopting nutritious food habits along with wellness practices. This is true not only at an advanced age but at all ages. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers great resources to obtain information about nutrition by age. Click here for details.
- Include cultural foods: Part of this year’s National Nutrition Month’s goal is to promote the creation of nutritious meals to meet individuals’ cultural and personal food preferences. This is especially important nowadays when the demographics in the U.S. keep shifting, placing Hispanic groups, for example, at 18.5% of the country’s population, followed by blacks and Asians. Source: United States Census. Culture plays an important role in food habits so when personalizing a diet, incorporate some of your traditional and dear dishes – making sure to prepare them in healthful ways. It would surely help you stick to the plan!
- Choose the right eating plan for YOU: The Academy Of Nutrition And Dietetics says, “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health,” that’s why it is recommended to involve your doctor or dietitian who can tailor a plan for your needs. Not all diets are exclusively for weight management, some can consider food allergies and chronic conditions. You can also visit eatright.com to access their Individual Tool Kit, which provides great information per age, food preferences, culture, and much more if you want to dive in and learn the many options available to customize your daily meals.