(ORIGINALLY PRINTED 2014 MARCH EDITION)
By STEVEN MAZZUCCO Campus Press Columnist
(The following column “Food for Thought” is presented by the college’s Dietetics Club. All of the information is from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.)
March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”. Research confirms that taste is the number-one reason consumers choose one food over another. People tend to eat what they enjoy and don’t often consider the nutrient value of foods when they make their choices. Many fail to make the connection between what they eat and how they feel. Good health is in no small part affected by diet.
Taste Drives Food Choices While taste drives most food choices, eating nutrient-rich foods that provide the most nutrition per calorie is one of the best ways to “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Nutrient-rich foods and beverages provide vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients that offer health benefits with relatively few calories. Dietitians encourage everyone to choose the most nutritionally-packed foods they can from each of the five MyPlate food groups every day.
Eat Nutritionally According to registered dietitian and Academy spokesperson Debbi Beauvais, “When your daily eating plans include foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, fat-free or low -fat dairy, beans, nuts and seeds in the appropriate amounts, you are able to get many of the nutrients your body needs, all with relatively low amounts of calories.” So what are consumers to do when the taste of favorite foods starts to lose their luster? The important thing is to explore new foods and flavors, keeping taste and nutrition on your plate at every meal. “Once we find nutritious foods that we like, it can be easy to fall into a rut of eating those same foods over and over,” says registered dietitian and Academy spokesperson Constance BrownRiggs. “You should enjoy the foods you eat.”