Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.
White food has gotten a bum rap because white sugar and white flour may be harmful in excess. But it’s unwise to discriminate against “white” when it’s the color of some mighty healthy foods. Milk, cottage cheese, cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic, onions, tofu, potatoes, white beans, and white whole wheat flour are all over-the-top nutritious. But unlike other foods with nutrient properties based on color, white foods actually have nothing nutritionally in common.
March is National Nutrition Month, the perfect time to start shaping up your diet and celebrating this year’s theme: “Eat Right with Color.” Nothing brings more color to a plate than delicious fruits and vegetables. Everyone knows that eating fruits and vegetables is important to good nutrition. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber that your body needs to feel healthy and energized, and may help reduce the risk of obesity and many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancers.
Fruits and vegetables are the most colorful items on any plate. The new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans say we should fill half our plates with colorful fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack. The good news is that increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables your family eats is easy because they come in so many delicious forms and varieties! Fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables, as well as 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices, each contribute to a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.