December 7, 2023

Healthy Choice

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Michiganders can spice up Nutrition Month by trying healthy seasonings from around the world this month.

As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proclaims March to be Nutrition Month in Michigan, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and its Diabetes and Kidney Unit is joining with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to remind Michiganders about making healthy dining choices.

This year’s theme for National Nutrition Month, “Celebrate a World of Flavors,” is a reminder that the U.S. and Michigan have diverse populations with unique backgrounds and tastes.

“Trying new spices is a great way to celebrate other cultures,” said Dr. Alexis Travis, senior deputy director of MDHHS’s Public Health Administration. “It can also help us reduce our salt intake by replacing it with other seasonings and spices. MDHHS is always working to improve access to healthy food and provide Michigan residents education about healthy nutrition to make the healthy choice the easy choice. I encourage Michiganders to make it a goal to try one new seasoning or spice this month.”

Curry, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper are among alternatives to salt.

Here are some other tips to consider for eating healthy on a budget:

– Fruits and vegetables don’t have to be fresh to be healthy. Consider buying store brand frozen or canned, which can be less expensive and last longer.

– Meat is usually the most expensive part of a meal. Look through the meat case and compare the price of different meats to find the best value. Roasting a whole chicken in the oven provides a healthy meal at a lower cost similar to the more expensive rotisserie chickens that are already cooked.

– Consider going meatless and getting protein from other sources like eggs, canned fish, beans, lentils or cottage cheese.

– Limit or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages and instead choose water, sugar-free drinks, or diet soda. Water is the best choice and often the least expensive.

– Make small changes in what you eat to improve nutrition. Small changes add up over time.

Eating healthy does not mean giving up foods important to your culture. Registered dietitians help clients set nutrition goals to improve health, while keep in mind dietary preferences. They can provide recipe ideas, cooking tips and other healthful advice for everyday challenges such as cooking dinner or meal preparation or ways to incorporate favorite foods into a meal plan.

Dietitians are often a part of the Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support team. For those diagnosed with diabetes, assistance from dietitians on this team is a covered benefit from Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurance. To find a service near you visit Michigan DSMES locations.

For more information about diabetes visit For more information about healthy eating and lifestyle, visit If you need help making ends meet, learn about MDHHS’s assistance programs or apply at

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