During National Nutrition Month®, celebrated each March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to “Put Your Best Fork Forward” by making small, healthy shifts in food choices when cooking at home or dining out.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends making small changes to eating patterns to include healthier ingredients. Choosing a variety of healthful foods across and within all food groups helps reduce the risk of preventable, lifestyle-related chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Eating more of the following foods will benefit your health:

  • Vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans, peas and others
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits (minimizing juices)
  • Whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy including milk, yogurt, cheese and fortified soy beverages
  • Protein including seafood, lean meats, poultry, nuts, soy products, beans and peas
  • Oils including canola, corn, olive, peanut, and sunflower

“It’s important to create an eating style that includes a variety of your favorite, healthful foods,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Angel Planells.

“Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to maintain.” To find a personalized plan that works best, Planells suggests consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist. RDNs can provide sound, easy-to-follow nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.