Women: Make Healthful Eating A Priority

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Busy work and family schedules can often lead to women putting their own health on the back burner. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages women of all ages to make time for regular preventive screenings, as well as eating right and getting regular physical activity.  

This year, Mother's Day kicks off the 14th annual National Women's Health Week (May 12 – 18), which includes National Women's Checkup Day (May 13). This national week-long observance promotes healthy eating, regular activity and mental health. It also encourages women to take action by scheduling regular preventive screenings and checkups with their healthcare professionals.   

"National Women's Health Week provides a great opportunity for women of all ages to take time to ensure they are doing everything they can to lead a healthy lifestyle," says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy spokesperson Jennifer McDaniel . "Developing a healthful, balanced diet and regular physical activity can do wonders in preventing and reducing the risk for life-threatening diseases in women, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer."

Nutrient-rich foods provide energy for women's busy lives and help to prevent disease. McDaniel offers the following tips for a daily healthful eating plan:

>>At least three one-ounce servings of whole grains (bread, cereal, pasta, brown rice or oats)

>>Three servings of low-fat dairy products (milk, yogurt or cheese)

>>Five to six ounces of protein (lean meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, beans or peas and nuts)

>>Two cups of fruits—fresh, frozen or canned—without added sugar

>>Two-and-a-half cups of colorful vegetables—fresh,  frozen or canned—without added salt.

Regular health screenings should be a priority and are essential part of ensuring a healthy, long life. The Academy encourages women to take the Checkup Day Pledge and schedule at least one health screening during May.

"We all play a role in women's health. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, women can now receive a number of  types of preventive screenings without copays," McDaniel says. "Early detection is an effective way to stave off heart disease, as well as other diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis."

"A great adjunct to your health care team is a registered dietitian nutritionist," McDaniel says. "There is no greater resource for healthy eating than a registered dietitian nutritionist. We have the training and expertise to design an eating plan that is just right for you."

Learn more about women's health, and visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at eatright.org to locate a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area.