'Savor the Flavor of Eating Right'

National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Airman Daniel Brosam)

National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Airman Daniel Brosam)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- March is National Nutrition Month, but it doesn't mean it's the only time to eat right. Proper nutrition is important to be able to perform effectively and efficiently each day.

According to eatright.org, National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

The theme for 2016 is "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right" which encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives.

While the taste of food can surely be enjoyed, it is also important to focus on keeping the body strong and healthy.

Matt Lewis, 341st Medical Operations Squadron health promotion dietitian, said nutrition is important in preventative maintenance for the body.

"Eating healthy means aiming for a variety of foods from each food group to ensure that we get the nutrients our body needs on a consistent basis," said Lewis. "The nutrients we eat are like instructions for our bodies to use which allow the processes in our bodies to function properly and if we are lacking in those nutrients, we increase the risk for diseases and cancers."

Lewis said it is fine to eat most foods as long as they are eaten in moderation and the body is still being fueled with other necessary foods.

"You should look at the big picture of your overall intake," said Lewis. "Are you reaching your macro and micro nutrient goals, exceeding needed energy intake or taking in foods that are nutritionally empty too often? Try to aim for nutritionally full foods regularly and allow yourself that treat on occasion to help fill satisfaction and cravings."

Lewis added that the diets individuals choose to follow should not be looked at as temporary but lifestyle changes which follow dietary guidelines.

"We all get to make our own choices when it comes to how we want to treat our bodies," said Lewis. "If you want the health benefits of a good nutritious diet, you should aim to consistently eat healthy."