March is National Nutrition Month®: Get the Most Nutrition from Your Calories and 'Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right'

Posted 3/13/2014 in Nutrition

While taste drives most food choices, eating nutrient-rich foods that provide the most nutrition per calorie is one of the best ways to "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right". As part National Nutrition Month’s® 2014 theme, Regional Medical Center encourages you to choose the most nutritionally-packed foods you can from each of the five MyPlate food groups every day.

Foods with vitamins, minerals, protein, and carbohydrates provide your body many of the nutrients it needs, with relativity low amounts of calories. Some of these foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, fat-free or low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, and seeds.

"Enjoy the foods you eat while you get the most nutrition from your calories." Megan Thompson, RD, LD says. "You can achieve balance and build a healthier diet simply by selecting familiar and easy-to-find nutrient-rich foods and beverages that represent the five MyPlate food groups."

Ways to get the most nutrition from your calories and still 'Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right'

  • Make oatmeal creamier. Use fat-free milk instead of water. Mix in some raisins, dried cranberries, cherries, or blueberries.
  • Make sandwiches on whole wheat or whole rye bread. Add avocado, tomato, or cucumber. Add lean roast beef, ham, turkey or chicken.
  • When eating out, look for entrée salads with grilled seafood and low-calorie dressing, baked potatoes topped with salsa, grilled vegetables, and reduced-fat cheese and yogurt parfaits made with strawberries and blueberries.
  • Drink low-sugar beverages such as low-fat or fat-free milk or 100-percent fruit juice.
  • Top foods with chopped nuts or reduced-fat sharp cheddar.
  • Bag vegetables such as red, green or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower flowerets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas or radishes.
  • Pack multiple foods into one dish, such as hearty, broth-based soups that are full of vegetables, beans and lean meat or chili with a dollop of low-fat yogurt. Serve these with whole-grain breads.
  • Blend mango, plain low-fat milk, ice and a splash of pineapple juice. Put chocolate syrup into a cup of coffee-flavored yogurt, freeze.

Thompson also recommends cutting down on added sugars and reducing the major sources of solid fats by drinking fewer regular sodas, fruit drinks, sports drinks, cakes, ice cream, cheese, sausages, bacon, and other fatty meats.

Whatever your taste, RMC’s registered dietitians can work with you to develop a personalized eating plan that fits your unique nutritional needs and tastes. To schedule an appointment, contact Megan Thompson, RD, LD, at 563-927-7582 or Cara L. Recker, RD, LD, CNSC, CDE, at 563-927-7430. For more information, visit