People eat for physical and emotional reasons. People eat because they are hungry, tired, bored, sad, or because that chocolate cake is just calling their name. It is, however, important to think about good nutrition. According to the USDA, a healthy diet and proper nutrition go a long way toward preventing illness and creating a healthy life. Good nutrition means getting the right balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, plus all of the required vitamins and minerals.
The foods we eat provide the energy our bodies need to function and perform basic tasks such as breathing and regulating body temperature or going to work and exercising. A healthy diet will give us the energy needed for the day.
The USDA recommends diets that are balanced and varied. They suggest five essential categories which include grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products and lean proteins. Eating too much or too little of any one type of food is not good for the body.
The Neighborhood Health Clinic offers our patients an opportunity to participate in an interactive and hands-on class called Healthy Lifestyles. This class teaches the importance of good nutrition. A Registered Dietician leads sessions on proper food choices, “portion distortion” and reading nutrition labels. The class also covers the harm that can be done to the body by eating “junk” or “fast food”. The last session concludes with a cooking demonstration.
“My suggestion is to eat more chicken, take the skin off and do not fry it. Eat more turkey. Eat more seafood, recent studies indicate it does not increase cholesterol,” offers Karen Eastman, RDLDN.