By Talia Follador, RDN, LDN
January 2021 is almost to a close, which means everyone is one month into their New Year’s resolutions. Registered Dietitians and Nutrition and Dietetic Technicians, Registered are your best resource for information and advice if you’re looking to change your diet this year (or any time). Both RDs and NDTRs must adhere to ethical standards and are highly educated in nutrition, food, and health science.
The PAND blog has a plethora of free, up-to-date, credible posts written by RDs, NTDRs, and nutrition students, which offer great ideas for promoting your well-being. Below are health and nutrition tips curated from the PAND blog. Read the full blog posts for more in-depth information.
If you’re looking for a short and sweet list of health tips from dietitians, check out 20 Nutrition Messages to Inspire You to Live a Healthy Life by Clancy Harrison, MS, RDN, FAND.
Redefine what “healthy” means for you.
As Robin Klein, RD, CSP, CHWC explains in this post, “there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to being “healthy,” and it’s important to find the balance in your life that feels best to you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Write your own rules and feel the liberation.”
Robin discusses five tips for redefining health, including listening to your intuition, considering your mental and emotional health, letting go of seeing certain foods as “off-limits,” limiting social media, and shifting to more positive self-talk.
Weight loss is often promoted in our culture to improve health; however, focusing on weight and body size can have unhealthy consequences for some individuals. If you don’t want to focus on your weight, you can do many other things to promote your well-being. Keep reading for some great ideas!
Don’t fall for nutrition fads.
It seems like every day, there is a new diet or nutrition trend. How do you know what is right for you? Ask a dietitian!
Zachari Breeding, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, explains the research and claims surrounding the Blood Type Diet and the ketogenic diet. Along the same vein, Julie Stefanski, MEd, RDN, CSSD, LDN, CDE explains in her post how the 2019 American Diabetes Association’s guidelines include promising research for very low carbohydrate diets in the treatment of diabetes.
Cut back on alcohol.
The occasional alcoholic beverage likely won’t damage your health in the long-term, but there are potential health risks associated with chronic overconsumption of alcohol. If you’re looking to reduce your alcohol consumption in 2021, Katie Dwyer offers six simple tips for cutting back on alcohol.
Fuel your fitness.
Whether you’re a professional athlete or a casual exerciser, fueling your body properly can help you meet your fitness goals.
Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN explains basic nutrition guidelines for fitness, including macronutrient needs and how to plan your food intake around your workouts. In another post, Heather Mangieri, RDN, CSSD, provides snack ideas for hungry high school athletes — great snack ideas for any active individual!
Fruits and vegetables provide essential nutrients for athletes, including carbohydrates, potassium, vitamins A and C, nitrates, and anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN provides ideas for incorporating more produce into your diet to fuel your fitness.
Eat more plants.
Eating more plant-based foods is linked with a decreased risk of a variety of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension as well as decreased inflammation. If you’re thinking about adding more plants to your diet, Felicia Porrazza, MDA, RDN, LDN provides three tips for going more plant-based and a list of plant-based pantry staples.
Looking for some new ideas on how to eat more fruits and vegetables? Jennifer Lynn-Pullman, MA, RDN, CSOWM, LDN provides seven ideas for eating more produce and forty recipes that incorporate fruits and vegetables.
Another great way to eat more plants? Grow your own! Libby Mills, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND explains the benefits of growing your own produce, and Katie Dwyer provides four steps to planting a beginner garden.
Reduce your food waste.
As Laura Ali, MS, RDN, LDN explains in her blog 8 Tips for Cutting Back on Food Waste, “The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that 30 – 40 percent of the food supply ends up as waste,” which “translates to an estimated $161 billion in food that ends up in landfills and millions of calories and nutrients lost.” Check out the rest of her post to learn how you can be a part of the solution.
Eat more family meals.
Family meals provide various benefits. People who cook their meals at home tend to eat overall healthier diets. Family meals are associated with higher grades and self-esteem as well as a lower risk of eating disorders and risky behaviors such as abusing drugs/alcohol in children and adolescents.
More than eating a meal, allow your kids to help you make it! Caroline Passerrello, MS, RDN, LDN provides suggestions on how to involve kids in the kitchen.
Set a good example for kids.
How we speak about nutrition, health, and our bodies can impact the development of children’s relationships with nutrition and their bodies. Nutrition student Natalie Colantuono provides tips for promoting healthy eating in children while not encouraging disordered eating and poor body image.
Support your gut health.
In addition to general well-being, research links having a healthy gut to improved mental health and immunity as well as decreased risk for a variety of chronic diseases. Want to promote your gut health? It’s probably easier than you think!
Feed your gut well with these four gut-friendly foods that Beth Stark, RD, LDN explains you probably already eat, and add more fiber to your diet with ten simple ideas from Laura Ali, MS, RDN, LDN. Check out more nutrition tips for colon health from Jennifer Pullman, MA, CSOWM, RDN, LDN.
Maybe 2021 is the year you finally get a hold on managing gastrointestinal symptoms caused by an underlying condition. Angie Dye, MS, RDN, CSSD provides simple tips for managing gastroparesis and GERD.
Promote a healthy heart.
Looking to take control of your heart health this year? Cutting back on sodium, increasing intake of healthy fats and fiber, and eating more fruits and vegetables are great ways to do so. Check out Michelle Cullen, RDN, LDN’s tips for eating a heart-healthy diet for more in-depth information.
The Mediterranean diet is one dietary pattern that is linked to improved heart health. Emily Bumgarner, RD, LDN, provides tips on incorporating the Mediterranean diet into your life.
Another diet well-researched to promote heart health (specifically a healthy blood pressure) is the DASH diet. Check out these posts by Rosanne Rust, MS, RDN, LDN to learn about the DASH diet and take the DASH challenge.
Support your brain and mental health.
Supporting your brain health may be more delicious than you think! Helen Agresti, RDN, lists what nutrients and foods are important for brain health.
Nutrition can also help you manage symptoms of depression. Zach Breeding, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, explains how in his post Beating the Winter Blues with Nutrition.
Support your reproductive health.
If you’re hoping to grow your family this year, check out Caroline Passerrello, MS, RDN, LDN’s post about nutrition tips to support fertility.
Wondering how nutrition plays a role in the management of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)? Read Zach Breeding, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND’s post PCOS: An Opportunity for Food as Medicine.
Promote healthy aging.
Read Katie Dwyer’s post to learn about the cornerstones of eating for healthy aging.
One important aspect of healthy aging is strong bones. Laura Ali, MS, RDN, LDN explains five things you can do now to build strong bones.
If you want to grow your leadership skills in 2021, Clancy Harrison MS, RDN, FAND explains how she learned to lead with purpose and provides tips on being a purposeful leader.
Did you start your own business or blog? Andrew Wade, MS, RDN, LDN provides tips for how to get started on building a website.
Keep checking out the PAND blog for new tips and information to guide you on your health journey!
Talia Follador, RDN, LDN is a Philadelphia-based renal dietitian and health and nutrition freelance writer. She shares recipes, intuitive and mindful eating tips, and her love for food and nutrition on her blog, Instagram, and Twitter pages.