According to Webster's Dictionary, nutrition is anything that nourishes; in other words, food. It is also defined as the study of a proper, balanced diet to promote health, especially in human beings. Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? Nutrition is good food that nourishes us and keeps us healthy.
It is probably safe to say that everyone wants to be healthy and live life free of disease and disability to do the things they want to do. Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are two very important factors in achieving that goal. Sounds not too difficult. So why are the numbers of overweight people continuing to increase? Why are chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease escalating? One reason is that nutrition is not as good as it should be. This is unfortunate because food choices made today (as well as other lifestyle choices) affect health and how you feel today and how you will feel in the future.
In addition to unhealthy food choices, there is also the issue of too much food. It seems many Americans are struggling to find the balance between food intake and physical activity. However, it is basic math that if you eat 100 more calories a day than you burn, you will gain about one pound a month. It doesn't take much food to add 100 calories to your daily intake and vice versa, it wouldn't take much to subtract 100 calories. When considering nutrition, it would definitely help to remember that calories do count and are a critical piece of weight loss, weight management, and good health. Too much food is not good nutrition.
Any discussion about nutrition would be incomplete without including the suggestion that you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. (French fries don't count!) This is probably the best thing you can do to improve your nutrition and the benefits are tremendous. And don't forget to increase your activity -- the other key to good health.
We encourage you to use National Nutrition Month as a springboard to evaluate your eating habits and those of your family. After all, awareness is the first step in changing behavior. So sit back, and take an honest look at what and how much you are eating. Better yet, keep a food diary for a week so you can easily see what good choices you are already making and where improvement is needed.
Check out these websites to learn about nutrition and the health benefits of good nutrition. It will be well worth your time.