By: Sarah E. Pember, MT, CHES
But first, just what is a healthy dietary pattern? The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released this January, and the overarching recommendation was to focus on overall intake, the total consumption of foods and beverages over the course of a few days or a week. A healthy dietary pattern is an intake of food that provides the right amount of nutrition for an individual while limiting the added sugars, sodium (salt), and saturated (generally solid) and trans fats that research shows have negative impacts on our health. More specifically, a healthy dietary pattern includes eating:
The complete Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 can be found here.
The best way to increase flavor without adding sodium, sugar, or excess fat is to use herbs, spices, and salt-free (or low-sodium) seasonings.
Here are some new combinations to try from the HeartBright Foundation:
Remember also to cook predominantly with plant-based oils, such as olive or grapeseed oil, instead of saturated and solid fats, like margarine or butter.
Why not use March as the month when you experiment with new flavors in the kitchen, slow down and savor your meals, and set (or reset) the foundations for a healthy dietary pattern for you and those you love?
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2016) National Nutrition Month. Available at http://www.eatright.org/resources/national-nutrition-month
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.