Marching toward Your good health

Published 4:54 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Marching toward

Your good health

By Peggy Walker, R.D.

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It’s March: that means spring, daylight saving time, a lot of basketball, St. Patrick’s Day, spring break, and my favorite, National Nutrition Month all month long.

And we’re starting our celebration with a quiz from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Put your thinking cap on and decide it the following statements are true or false.

1.The amount of calories needed daily is the same for everyone.

2. Eating carbohydrates (carbs) causes weight gain.

3. Doing some physical activity is better than doing none at all.

4. Sugars found naturally in fruit and milk are the same as sugars added to candy and cookies.

5. Portion sizes have increased over the years.

6. Only fresh produce is considered to be a good source for fruits and vegetables.

7. Oils, which are a source of fat, provide important nutrients.

8. Vegetarian diets are not appropriate for certain age groups.

9. Everyone should take a multivitamin mineral supplement.

10.All sources of nutrition information are credible.


1. False: The amount of calories needed daily depends on a person’s age, gender, height, weight and activity level.

2. False: Eating too many calories from any type of food or beverage can result in weight gain.

3. True: Research shows that even a little physical activity is better than being sedentary.

4. False: Food and beverages that contain naturally occurring sugars, such as fruit, milk, and yogurt also contribute important nutrients.  But, food and drinks with added sugars, such as desserts and soft drinks, most often contain no nutrients, just calories. That’s why they’re called “empty calorie” foods.

5. True: Yes, portions sizes for food and drinks have increased. Some foods can have enough calories in just one serving as is needed for most of one day.  (Read #1 again.) The Nutrition Facts labels and calorie labels on menus can help you determine just how many calories you are eating and what size serving is best for you.  Read labels to control caloric intake.

6. False:  All types fruits and vegetables, including fresh, frozen, canned, 100% juice and dried will help you meet your daily needs and goals. But, it is important to look for fruits in water or their own juice with no added sugar and vegetables with no added salt or ones labeled reduced or low sodium.

7.True: Fats can be either solid or liquid at room temperature. Liquid types of fats, like vegetable oils (olive, corn, canola, peanut, etc.), are good sources of many necessary nutrients. Solid fats though (like butter, margarine, shortening) are high in saturated fat and/or trans fats, and should be limited. Both liquid and solid fats are high in calories, so portion sizes can make a big difference. The daily allowance for most of us is just a few teaspoons.

8. False: Well-planned vegetarian and vegan eating plans that include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes can be nutritionally adequate during all stages of the life cycle.  But, the key is “well-planned.” Just not eating meat does not make for a healthy vegetarian diet.

9. False: For most people, nutrient needs should be obtained through food sources.  If a person’s diet is lacking in certain foods and nutrients a vitamin and/or mineral supplement may be required. And when there are higher requirements as in pregnancy and with a diagnosed deficiency supplements can be very beneficial. But, always check with a health care provider before taking a dietary supplement. Most are not regulated and can contain excessive amounts or other ingredients that might even be harmful.

10. False: Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation available when it comes to nutrition, especially on the internet.  Please check for sources of credible, research-based information from health care organizations, government agencies and nutrition experts.  And, be very leery of people claiming to be nutrition experts who have supplements and miracle foods to sell.  That’s very suspicious.

So how’d you do? Next week more on the best nutrition recommendations that science has to offer.

Eat right. Live right. Feel right.

Recipe of the Week

French Market Soup

Perfect for Fat Tuesday.  I suggest using Red Gold canned tomatoes, my new favorite.

I 20-ounce package 15-bean dried bean mix

Ham bone or ham hock (or one package diced ham)

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

2 teaspoons chili powder

Juice of one lemon

Wash beans, rinsing under cold running water until water runs clear.  Place in a 6 – 8 quart Dutch oven, cover with water and soak at least 8 hours.  Drain off soaking water.  Add 2 cups fresh water and ham. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 2 ½ hours.  Add remaining ingredients, simmer for another 30 minutes to one hour, or until all beans are tender.  Serving suggestion: white rice, Hot Sauce, chopped green salad, and peach cobbler over ice cream.