Health experts offer tips to help Missourians ‘Eat Right’ Awareness effort part of National Nutrition Month activities during March Many people sacrifice their health by making poor food choices, o

 Health experts offer tips to help
Missourians ‘Eat Right’

Awareness effort part of National Nutrition
Month activities during March

Many people sacrifice their
health by making poor food choices, often because of time constraints and budget
pinches. But the state health department and most local health departments have
experts available to help residents create meals that keep their families
healthy.  

These dietitians are a
great resource for Missourians looking to find healthier choices in the food
they eat, said Pat Kramer, a registered dietitian and nutrition coordinator for
the state Department of Health and Senior Services. She encourages residents to
take advantage of the free or low-cost advice that these registered dietitians
can offer to help them save money and eat right.

“These days, people have many
competing demands, including time and food prices, when it comes to choosing
what to eat,” Kramer said. “When comparing cost per serving, fruits and
vegetables are just as affordable as other less healthy foods, and eating fruits
and vegetables every day may save consumers even more in the long run as they
spend fewer dollars on health care.” 

Kramer’s advice comes as the
nation begins to mark National Nutrition Month in March. This year’s theme is
“Eat Right,” as state nutritionists encourage residents to change their eating
habits to maximize their health now and throughout the year.

Here are some simple tips for
healthy eating:  

  • Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. If
    fresh produce is too expensive, go for frozen.   
  • Use smaller plates. This is an automatic way of
    managing portion sizes.
  • Read the “Nutrition Facts” panel on the foods you buy
    to know whether you are getting the nutrients you need. Look for products that
    are good sources of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron.
  • Satisfy your hunger with nutrient-rich foods, such as
    brightly colored fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and
    lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and beans. 
  • Cook once and eat twice. Take leftovers for lunch to
    forgo trips to fast food restaurants.

Kramer said professionals are
available to help consumers gather the best information about the food they eat.

“There are 1,500 registered
dietitians in Missouri who are trained to examine scientific studies in order to
separate nutrition facts from fiction,” said Kramer.  “Dietitians are required
to stay current on nutrition science to maintain their
credentials.”

For more information on how
to find a registered dietitian, consumers can contact their local county health
department or hospital or go to http://www.eatright.org/ and click on the “Find a Nutrition Professional” tab.