National Nutrition Month® is here once again! To help celebrate, Good Fats 101™ is supporting the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2018 theme, “Go Further with Food.” The right foods can help fuel the body for the day ahead, boost mental or physical performance and improve or maintain health, but the Academy is also stressing the importance of making food go further to help reduce food waste. Below we discuss how dietary fats can help address some of the Academy’s key messages — and help nutrition experts incorporate these recommendations into their work.
Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
Helping clients choose the right kind of dietary fat sources can help them go further with their health goals. Encourage them to reduce saturated fats and replace with monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. This might mean spreading toast with mashed avocado or peanut butter instead of butter, snacking on nuts rather than potato chips and cooking with canola oil instead of coconut oil.
Consider the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
Dietitians often recommend planning meals to help encourage healthy choices and avoid last-minute calls for take-out. Yet, meal planning can also help alleviate food waste. Recommend that clients take inventory of their kitchens, make a list of items that need to be used quickly and then find creative ways to incorporate these foods in upcoming meals. For example, fresh veggies that are past their prime can be used to make a colorful stir-fry or tossed with oil and roasted for a satisfying side dish. Overripe bananas can be used to create a banana walnut muffin for an easy breakfast. Blend extra berries with yogurt and flaxseed.
Buy only the amount that can be eaten or frozen within a few days and plan ways to use leftovers later in the week.
Making a grocery list is a huge ally — not only does it help consumers avoid impulse purchases, but it can also help prevent food waste. After clients have planned their meals, ask them to again check the refrigerator and pantry to avoid purchasing food they already have on hand. Then, add any needed items to their shopping list and include quantities of each to avoid overbuying. Maximizing leftovers can also help reduce food waste. Encourage your clients to get creative! For example, leftover grilled tuna steaks can be reinvented into a delicious casserole using whole wheat noodles, broccoli and cheese or use extra chicken breasts and avocado to put a delicious spin on chicken salad.
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