March 10, 2022

Warriner shares five tips for a healthy diet during National Nutrition Awareness Month

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iStock 1279763992 2March is National Nutrition Awareness Month, an awareness month and campaign that was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

Maintaining a healthy diet is important for your body’s overall health. A healthy diet can protect you from many chronic noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. 

In honor of National Nutrition Awareness Month, Amy Warriner, M.D., director of UAB Weight Loss Medicine and professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, shares her top five tips for maintaining a healthy diet.

Choose foods for their nutrient content MOST of the time. Similarly, Warriner recommends choosing food for enjoyment only SOME of the time. “It is important to know what nutrients are in foods and how to work those foods into your daily diet. If you do not know how to do this, talking with a registered dietitian can be very helpful. 

There are NO specific foods that you should or should NOT eat to be healthy. Balance is necessary, no food is bad food, all is okay in moderation and with balance. Some examples Warriner used, “if you are eating a diet full of healthy vegetables and lean proteins, eating a treat every now and again is not harmful. Alternately if you are eating fast food for most meals, adding a ‘protein shake’ is not going to make you ‘healthier.’”

Increase vegetable intake in your diet. Warriner said this is something most of us could do better with. The recommended intake for vegetables is 5-9 servings a day. 

Portion control is essential. Even if you are making healthy choices, you can eat too much of a good thing. Warriner recommends looking at nutrition labels and pulling out your measuring cups if necessary.

Don't give in to gimmicks! Warriner said, “If there was a miracle diet/supplement/vitamin you wouldn't be learning about it from social media, etc., first.” Instead, she recommends using your money to buy nutritious meals. 

UAB has several resources for healthy eating and weight loss, including the UAb Weight Loss Medicine Clinic provides many services for those looking to lose and maintain weight, such as visits with physicians and nurse practitioners, visits with dietitians, meal plans, and more. Call 205-934-7053 to schedule an appointment.