Celebrate National Nutrition Month, Registered Dietitian Day with a Nutrition Expert

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Today, March 10 2010, is the third annual Registered Dietitian Day, created by the American Dietetic Association to commemorate the dedication of RDs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.

Registered Dietitians (RD’s) are food and nutrition experts with degrees in nutrition, dietetics, public health, or a related field from an accredited college or university and has completed both an internship and a national exam. Many states also license RDs to ensure that nutrition information that is promoted to the public is evidenced-based. RDs use their expertise to help individuals make positive lifestyle changes and are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of all around the world.

Registered Dietitian Day is a part of National Nutrition Month, an education and information campaign initiated in March 1973 by the ADA. National Nutrition Month focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

The theme for March 2010 is “Nutrition from the Ground Up”, emphasizing to Americans that eating right does not have to be complicated. Key messages include:

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• Start with the basics. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy and includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans and nuts. A healthy eating plan is also low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.

• Make calories count by thinking nutrient-rich rather than “good” or “bad” foods. Most food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients — and lower in calories. Be aware of portion sizes. Even low-calorie foods can add up when portions are larger than you need.

• Focus on variety by eating a variety of foods from all the food groups. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, canned or frozen. Look for locally grown produce that’s in season. Vary protein choices with more fish, beans and peas. Include at least three servings of whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day.

• Make the most of family mealtime. Eating meals together provides the opportunity to help children develop a healthy attitude toward food. It also enables parents to serve as role models, introduce new foods and establish a regular meal schedule.

• Balancing physical activity and a healthful diet is your best recipe for managing weight and promoting overall health and fitness. Set a goal to be physically active at least 30 minutes every day.

The American Dietetic Association is a professional organization with more than 70,000 members. Its mission is to promote optimal nutrition and well-being for all people.

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