ASK THE EXPERT: Top 7 Nutrition Tips from a registered dietician

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GREENVILLE S.C. (WSPA)– March is National Nutrition Month.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, making dietary and lifestyle changes may prevent chronic disease progression and premature death.

As part of our “Ask the Expert” series in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis Health, 7 News’ Taylor Murray spoke to a registered dietician to find out what you need to know develop healthy eating habits.

Bon Secours St. Francis dietician, Betsy Eddy, shared her “Top 7 Nutrition Tips” for making informed food choices.

She said her number one tip is knowing what to eat. It’s simple whether its breakfast, lunch, or dinner, she said.

“As a general guideline, you’re looking to make half of your plate non-starchy vegetables. A quarter of your plate to be carbohydrate. Then the other quarter of your plate that’s remaining, we’re really aiming for that to be a lean protein.”

Betsy Eddy, Registered Dietician, Bon Secours St. Francis Health

Eddy recommends eating a variety of colorful foods: “When we eat different colored fruits and vegetables, we’re getting different nutrients and we’re getting different antioxidants.”

She says to do your research and use caution before jumping into a fad diet, like intermittent fasting.

“I am not against having a window where you do not eat, but I try to encourage my patients and my clients to eat a balanced breakfast and then not snack after dinner,” said Eddy.

If your fruits and vegetables are spoiling before you use them, Eddy says to start making a plan for how to incorporate them into meals and store them in plain sight.

“If you have your bell peppers stored in the very back of your refrigerator, like shoved behind your leftover containers, you’re going to forget that they’re there,” said Eddy.

A common misconception is that fruit is bad for you because its high in sugar. Eddy sets the record straight: “Fruit is not bad for you. Fruit is a source of fiber antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.”

Eddy said she’s often asked which foods to avoid. She says moderation is key. Restricting your favorite treat entirely may not be sustainable. However, limiting it is a behavior many can maintain.

If weight loss is your goal, Dietician Betsy Eddy recommends logging what you eat in a food diary to help you stay on track.

To submit a health topic for our “Ask the Expert” series, click here.

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