Put your best fork forward in 2017

by Betsy Ramirez, MED, RDN
Stripes Okinawa
March was National Nutrition Month, sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the governing body of registered dietitians in the United States. This year, it’s time to “put your best fork forward!” This means it’s time to start paying attention to what is on your fork and going into your mouth.
If you bought a high-end vehicle that only took premium gas, would you put low-grade fuel in it? If you do, this could ruin your engine and all that money would go down the drain. It’s the same concept with your health. If you fuel your body with foods that are low in nutrition and high in sugar and saturated fats, you are not going to feel your best, and your health will suffer over time.
Good nutrition doesn’t need to be complicated. Diets can set you up for failure. Ditch the diet mentality this year and follow the FORK method to stay on top of your health goals. This simple acronym can help you put every meal and snack into perspective to keep you looking and feeling your best every single day.
☑ Focus on macronutrients
Carbohydrates, fats and proteins work together in your body to keep you going. Steer clear of diets that eliminate an entire macronutrient from your day. You need them all! In fact, make sure you always have carbs, fat and protein present on your plate.
☑ Organize your meals and snacks
Organizing your meals and snacks for the week ahead is a game changer. It keeps you on track and takes the guess work out of busy days. This will also lead to less eating out and hunger pains that will have you reaching for anything around you. Meal prepping has become quite popular in recent years. It’s an incredible way to keep health goals on track.
☑ Rich in vitamins and minerals
If fruits and vegetables aren’t at the end of your fork, you may be missing out on essential vitamins and minerals. Aim for at least five fruit and veggie servings per day to get a variety of nutrients.
☑ Kick low-quality foods to the curb
Are you in the habit of filling up on foods that provide little nutrition? It’s time to kick them to the curb and replace them with nutrient-rich foods that will help you feel your best. Treats are good to have sometimes, but the majority of your diet should be high quality.
For more information on National Nutrition Month, visit eatright.org.

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