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National Nutrition Month – March 2023

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.D

Updated on March 16th, 2023

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Your lifestyle, and primarily your diet, is a risk factor for many diseases. When you consume a diet rich in saturated fats, you are at risk of diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, and coronary heart disease. In comparison, a diet that is low in saturated fat, rich in fiber, and includes plenty of plant-based foods reduces your risk of developing those diseases. This impact on your health is why March is dedicated to National Nutrition Month. Read on to learn what National Nutrition Month is all about and how you can participate.

Why is National Nutrition Month important?

National Nutrition Month is important because nutrition is the bedrock of your overall health. There is truth to the saying “you are what you eat.” When you feed your body nutrient-rich whole foods and keep foods high in sugar and saturated fats to a minimum, your health will improve in many ways, including lower cholesterol and blood pressure, higher energy, and better mental health. Looking for immediate ways to improve your health and diet? Check out these Ten Healthy Resolutions for a Better You and our Guide to Using Vitamins and Supplements.

How do I eat healthier?

Here are five simple steps to improve your diet:

1. Stay hydrated and drink enough water: Staying hydrated promotes health in almost every way, yet most people don’t drink enough water. The National Academy of Medicine recommends about 104 ounces daily for men and 72 ounces daily for women.

2. Choose food over supplements: Food is your best source of vitamins and minerals. The more whole foods you eat, the fewer supplements your body will need. However, some people need specific vitamins and minerals that can't be obtained from food alone. If your doctor has not identified a need for a supplement, your best bet is to choose a food source for your required nutrients.

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables: Adding more plant-based foods is a good way to improve your gut health. Improved gut health means your gut can absorb the nutrients from the food that support your immune system and reduce inflammation. The fiber in fruits and vegetables can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. Consider adding one fruit or vegetable to each of your meals and snacks.

4. Pack your lunch: Typical restaurant food tends to be high in saturated fats, sugar, and sodium. By packing your lunch at home, you can not only control what’s in your food, but can customize it to your individual taste and dietary needs.

5. Consider whole grains: When possible, choose a whole grain version of breads and pastas. Unlike white bread and pasta, those made from whole grains prevent your blood sugar from spiking and help improve the health of your digestive system.

Fun Facts About Food

Did you know?

  • Seven strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange.
  • One can of regular soda contains about ten teaspoons of sugar.
  • Low-fat doesn’t always mean healthy; look out for added sugars and artificial sweeteners that can disrupt gut health.
  • Fresh fruit juice can offer antioxidants, but many contain as much sugar as a serving of soda. Choose whole fruit whenever possible.
  • Bacteria isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Feed your gut’s beneficial bacteria by choosing foods with plenty of fiber.
  • Since 1985, the average daily calorie intake for Americans has gone up by about 300 calories. Added fats and sweeteners in highly processed foods are the primary cause of this increase.

How can I participate in National Nutrition Month?

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Engage in regular exercise. Exercise supports your nutrition and your health goals.
  • Meet with a dietician for a detailed meal plan that aligns with your needs.
  • Share nutrition and health tips on social media using hashtag #nutritionmonth.

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