Greens and whole grains are two food groups most of us could stand to incorporate more of into our diets. Fortunately, they’re natural partners. Warm side salads for dinner, sturdy cold salad for lunch, and green smoothies…there’s a lot you can get out of a meal when you put both greens and grains into it.
March is National Nutrition Month—a time to refocus our attention and energies on good eating habits, regular exercise and the myriad ways that food and nutrition impact our health and overall wellbeing. Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the world’s largest organization of nutrition professionals), National Nutrition Month (NNM) has taken place every March since 1980. Around the U.S. you may see more nutrition coverage in the media and notice NNM activities taking place at your workplace, local hospitals, schools, or grocery stores.
Once in a while we like to do a little “expose”-style post where we reveal some foods that have Guiding Star ratings that surprise you—and then explain why these foods warranted that rating. Our hope is that you might realize that a food you’ve been avoiding for fear that it isn’t that healthful is actually something that merits a place in your eating plan. Of course, that could work in the opposite way, too—something you routinely purchase because you think it’s nutritious or good for you turns out not to be “all that.”
Cooking at home is a fantastic way to save a little money and dramatically improve your nutrition. That doesn’t mean you can enjoy incredible flavor! This easy skillet could pass for an entrée at plenty of hip eateries, and by making it at home, your control over the amount of salt and the types of fat used for cooking make great nutrition an easy win.
As a retail dietitian, I work with all my customers, including my littlest shoppers. These are the guests that are often the most excited to see what nutritious message—and of course snack—I’m able to share with them. Even the very youngest, who remind me of their age by holding their three or four small fingers chat with me and absorb my carefully crafted guidance. These little friends who are quick to show me that they know how to count to three are most excited when I show them the little green cartoon that can also only count to three.
Did you know that cocoa powder earns three Guiding Stars? It’s true! On its own, cocoa is high in iron, dietary fiber, and a couple of other important nutrients. The reason chocolate gets a bad rap is that, in order to balance its natural bitterness, it’s often paired with added sugar and saturated fat. Neither is necessary! Pair cocoa powder with fruit for sweetness (plus fiber and a great range of nutrients) and plain, non-fat yogurt for creaminess (and protein), and you’ve got a winning nutritional combination that tastes like a “sometimes” food.
February is American Heart Month, and in the past the Guiding Stars blog has covered various aspects of eating for a healthy heart including eating more whole grains, cutting down on added sugars, and eating more seafood. Science shows that consuming a diet that’s lower in sodium, saturated fats, and higher in potassium and fiber is beneficial for cardiovascular health. But of course, knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different things. What to do? Make heart-healthy food shopping easier with these tips.
Cheese sauce is a treat many of us enjoy, no doubt. And many of us rarely indulge because it’s very much a “sometimes” food. Vegan cheese sauces, however, can be absolutely packed with nutrition. The secret to the cheesey flavor is nutritional yeast, which can generally be found in either the natural foods section or the spice section of your grocery store.