Tuesday, March 4, 2014

National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is celebrated annually each March. The theme this year is Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” Consumer research confirms that taste tops nutrition as the main reason why one food is purchased over another. While social, emotional, and health factors also play a role, the foods people enjoy are typically the foods they choose to eat. This year’s key messages for National Nutrition Month focus on how to combine taste and nutrition to create healthy meals so that you experience a win-win with your meals - by enjoying all-in-one meals that are nutritious, healthy, and delicious.

Chartwells is celebrating National Nutrition Month with their own take on enjoying the taste of eating right with the “Taste of the Mediterranean.” The “Taste of the Mediterranean” celebrates the traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle that is often associated with improved health.
  • The Mediterranean diet focuses on the unique foods and beverages indigenous to the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea
  • The traditional Mediterranean diet emphasizes foods from plant sources including whole grains, vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts, seeds, legumes, and herbs and spices. Moderate amounts of dairy and seafood are included, with meats eaten less often. Olive oil serves as the main fat source.
  • Other key elements of the Mediterranean Diet/Lifestyle are daily exercise, sharing meals with others, eating simple meals, and fostering a deep appreciation for the pleasures of eating healthy and delicious foods.
  • The Mediterranean way of life can help protect against heart disease, diabetes, cancer. It can also help maintain a healthy weight.
  • Many scientists believe the health benefits of eating and living the Mediterranean way result from an interaction between a diet rich in micronutrients, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, along with being physically active.
Enjoy the taste of eating right this month by looking for healthy and delicious staples in the Mediterranean diet that are being served in the dining halls at Saint Louis University this month. Key ingredients and foods in the Mediterranean diet include oregano, mint, thyme, tomatoes, eggplants, greens, chickpeas, whole grains,, fresh seafood, yogurt, olive oil, and almonds.
Keep in mind that even when eating a Mediterranean diet your plate should still allow you get nutrients from each food group (protein, carbohydates, and healthy fats). A balanced plate following the Mediterranean diet would include:
  • grains: whole grains
  • protein: legumes, beans, nuts, fish
  • vegetables: greens, tomatoes, eggplants
  • fruits: berries
  • dairy: low-fat yogurt and cheeses in moderation
  • (olive oil, a healthy fat, could be used in the cooking of the protein sources, pasta, or vegetables)
Use this image as tool to help you when filling your plate.




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