Written by McKenzie Hall, RDN and Lisa Samuel, RDN, consulting dietitians for NPRC
As posted on MEDIUM: click here
National Nutrition Month ® is now upon us, and this entire month is dedicated to celebrating food that tastes great and is good for us, too! But, there’s one important thing to keep in mind: while embracing the perks of nutrition may get some additional attention during this specific month, it is equally important to consider year-round.
It’s not uncommon for health professionals like us, including registered dietitians nutritionists and healthy food experts, to be categorized as “food police.” While it’s true that we spend our days advising the public about ways to improve their overall health by making nutritious food choices – we truly love food. And thankfully, gone are the days when eating for your health is considered to be bland and boring or about as tasty as chomping on bird seeds. We can thank the onslaught of food bloggers, the popularization of cooking shows and food photography, and even health-minded celebrities for making healthy eating fun again.
Of course, there are a few foods that have always made our job to promote wholesome choices easy. Red Raspberries are one of those foods that practically do the work for us! From a food-lovers perspective, raspberries are nature’s perfect finger foods – they make for a naturally delicious and convenient snack, yet are also incredibly versatile. They can be enjoyed in a variety of sweet and savory recipes, including salads, sauces, and side dishes, as well as baked goods and desserts. You can visit our Pinterest boards for tons of ways to incorporate raspberries into your meals – which you may want to do from not only a taste standpoint but from a health standpoint, too. A one-cup serving of frozen red raspberries has 80 calories but provides 60 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and 36 percent of the recommended daily allowance of fiber, 9 grams of fiber. That’s more than one-third of your day’s fiber requirement. 1
According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, “Dietary fiber that occurs naturally in foods may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Children and adults should consume foods naturally high in dietary fiber in order to increase nutrient density, promote healthy lipid profiles and glucose tolerance, and ensure normal gastrointestinal function.” 2 3 4
In summary, what’s not to love about raspberries? They give you the taste you love, and the nutrition you want!®
So, as you embrace the importance of healthy eating habits this month (and every month!), apply these five strategies and you’re well on your way to a healthier version of you.
1. Start the day out strong! Rather than opting for a plate of only bacon and eggs for your morning meal, make room for fruit at the breakfast table. Top frozen berries on your cereal, stir them into oatmeal, incorporate them into homemade pancakes, or pile them on top of peanut butter toast. This is a great way to jumpstart your day towards getting in your recommended 1 ½ – 2 cup servings of fruits each day. 5
2. Snack smart. According to a USDA report on snacking patterns of U.S. adults 6 ninety percent of Americans report snacking on any given day. The key to snacking for health is to opt for nutrient-packed snacks such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins. Think of your snacks as mini-meals. They are a great opportunity to ADD more nutrients to your day. Red Raspberries, anyone?
3. Sip wisely. It’s been well documented that sugar-sweetened beverages, including sodas, that are rich in calories , and readily absorbable sugar may contribute to chronic diseases, such as obesity. 7 So, when you’re choosing your beverages throughout the day, choose unsweetened iced tea, water, or satiating smoothies. A smoothie prepared with frozen raspberries, chia seeds, and Greek yogurt, for example, is packed with protein and fiber, which may help to ward off those hunger pangs in-between meal time.
4. Stock your kitchen with health in mind. When you fill your fridge, freezer, and pantry with nutritious foods – you’ll be more likely to make healthy choices. And when you keep a few staples on hand, and you will always have a nutritious meal or snack at your fingertips. Store raspberries in the freezer for a healthy and delicious snack any time of the day!
5. Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s easy for most of us to fall into a cooking rut—rotating between the same few recipes each week. That’s why we encourage you to jump outside of your cooking comfort zone and experiment with one new recipe each week. You may be surprised. For example, you thought raspberries are only meant for sweet treats? Guess again!
This recipe for Grilled Pork with Balsamic-Red Raspberry Reduction proves raspberries have a place in savory recipes, too.
1 For more information, please visit the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: LINK
3 The AI for fiber is 14 g per 1,000 calories, or 25 g per day for women and 38 g per day for men. Most Americans greatly underconsume dietary fiber, and usual intake averages only 15 g per day.