There are many buzzwords out there in the nutrition space. Three big ones right now are organic, local, and plant-based – all words that you may have seen in articles and food labels, but perhaps wondered what they meant. Are they all buzz, or do they represent something more? This month, I’d like to shed some light on the meaning of the words you are hearing, and offer up suggestions on why they may make a big difference in your diet.
The year was 1992. I was downing bagels at most meals, and noshing on licorice-like it was going out of style. Nuts, butter, and oils were all evil, and I was sure that eating these high-fat items would, of course, make me fat. Turns out, I was all wrong on this assumption. Consequently, I was not alone in my thinking. For too many years, fat has been vilified as the bad guy amongst the macronutrients. In fact, it turns out that all along, it was my bagel, and licorice that was causing my weight to grow, and my health to plummet.
If you haven’t already noticed, you will likely start to see some significant changes to how your food is packaged and sold. Rolling out Obama-era policies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requiring food makers to implement a new Nutrition Facts label, which will include the following information and updates :
Last month, I celebrated National Nutrition Month by asking each of you to dedicate more than just the 31 days to get your diet back on the right track. To truly fuel, and feel better, the focus needs to be year round. This month, we continue the journey by adding more color to the diet. That’s right; color! Americans are seriously lacking in the fruit and vegetable department, and efforts from public health campaigns to boost consumption have failed. That’s why you won’t hear me tell my patients to eat more fruits and vegetables. Instead, I’ll hopefully achieve the same goal by asking you to focus on eating at least five or more colors a day (none can be artificial by the way).
March has finally bloomed and for Dietitian’s like me, that means 31 days of constant nutrition talk. This is our month. Our Super Bowl. It’s a chance for nutrition experts everywhere to highlight the importance of a healthy diet. But then April rolls around, and nutrition fades into the background so that another important issue can take center stage. April also seems to be the month that most individuals abandon their New Year’s resolution and the month that extreme dieting emerges in a fruitless effort to be ready for bikini season. That’s ultimately what’s wrong with National Nutrition Month. It’s only one month.