Healthy tips for national nutrition month

During the month of March, Mississippians are being asked to focus on their health and make informed food choices. Americans are more confused than ever about what to eat to achieve optimal health and much of this has to do with questionable information coming from a variety of sources. While the hype around quick fixes seems alluring, the recommendations might not be based on science and the sources may not be credible. Registered Dietitian Rebecca Turners says Mississippians can start to benefit from creating a healthy eating style that fits in with their lifestyle.

“Too often we fall into fad diets that offer quick results, but no lasting change,” said Turner. “Just take a look at how you eat every day and find two to three areas where you can improve your health a little bit during the month of March.”

Turner added that some of her top tips include increasing water intake and reducing the number of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed each day.

“At every meal and snack make sure there is a fruit and a vegetable, or even better yet, have both then you will know that you are getting in the heart healthy fibers as well as the nutrients from our plant-based foods.”

While Mississippi has long been known to have challenges when it comes to healthy living and eating, Turner says there are a number of boots on the ground efforts looking to help change the tide.

“You can look across communities all over Mississippi and find people biking, walking, running, and choosing healthier food options,” Turner said. “More and more Mississippians are gaining access to farmers markets, fresh produce and learning different cooking styles in terms of making our southern favorites a little bit healthier. It’s definitely an uphill battle here in Mississippi, but it is also one that we are joining together and trying to move the needle which is now pointed in a healthier direction.”

Turner again cautions to go away from the active dieting plan and instead make a true lifestyle change.

In the month of March, I would just love if Mississippians instead of focusing on a diet, that they would focus on enjoying a variety of foods that adhere to a lifestyle that they enjoy,” Turner said. “Think about un-dieting. I know that sounds contradictory coming from a registered dietitian, but I think that we focus too much on fad diets and quick fixes instead of just making those subtle healthier changes that really do impact our overall health. Drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, laying off the fried foods weekly and just get moving.”