Do you know which foods go in what food groups? Did you know there are food groups? Do you know how to read food labels? The last time you went to the doctor did they tell you to eat healthy and exercise? What does that mean? And hardest, how do you make healthy eating happen in your busy life? The ability to do so depends on your nutrition literacy or ability to understand food and nutrition. Nutrition literacy is closely tied to health literacy. Health literacy is the ability to find, understand, and use health advice to stay healthy. Are you health literate and food literate?
October is National Health Literacy Month!
Learning how to stay healthy is now a worldwide public health goal. Healthy People 2020 lays out many goals that include eating healthy and moving more to live a healthy life. Learning how to eat right is part of health. But do we really understand how?
A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you learn about and prepare healthy food. There are also many tips, tools and resources prepared by registered dietitian nutritionists or places that employ them to help make nutrition easier.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans say we should eat food from all of the food groups to meet our nutrition needs. We should also stay at a good calorie level to maintain a healthy weight. A great resource for doing these is MyPlate. On the MyPlate.gov website you can:
•Test your food group IQ and use a variety of tips, tools, quizzes and resources to help you meet your nutrition goals. Such as:
o Tracking your child’s growth.
o Gaining the right amount of pregnancy weight.
o Learning the right portions for the food you eat.
•Find out your Body Mass Index (BMI) or height and weight measure and how that relates to your health.
•Get recipes, cookbooks and menus that can help you prepare healthy food.
•Use daily checklists and trackers can help you keep up with the calories and nutrients you are eating.
Another great resource for understanding your food and nutrition is EatRight.org, the website for and by registered dietitian nutritionists. This website has a wide variety of blogs, tips and tools to help you apply nutrition to your own life. Topics include:
•Breakfast Ideas for Busy Mornings
•Food Allergies and
•How to Read Food Labels.
However, there are many more topics sure to answer your nutrition question. Meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist might be the best way to find the nutrition plan to meet your goals. You can find a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area through your local hospital, clinic, healthcare provider, local dietetic association or the EatRight.org tool.