By: Dr. Reggina Yandila, Adena Internal Medicine, Primary Care
Happy New Year! Each New Year always seems to bring with it resolutions. How many of you so far have kept to your New Year’s Resolutions? Did anyone decide to eat healthier? Well you’re in luck, because I am here to discuss nutrition and help you stick to those healthier habits.
Also if you want to hear more about nutrition and have the chance to speak with me, I invite you to come to Adena’s next Walk With a Doc event on January 29 at noon at the YMCA of Ross County where you will hear more from me on this topic, get a free healthy lunch and even take a short walk with me so we can have a personal conversation to answer some of your questions.
Before we go any further, let’s define nutrition. Nutrition is taking in the food that is necessary for growth and health. It is also defined as the science of study that looks at nutrients that we consume and how they play a role in the growth, health, and disease prevention in individuals. I find that with most people, those who find a balance between eating healthy and exercising achieve the most success with maintain a healthy body weight. For some it is hard to do both diet and exercises changes at the same time, so start with one and then add the other.
Well-balanced nutrition is the fuel for your body. Not only does it give you the energy, but it helps with other things. It can decrease your risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and more. It can help promote weight loss, a better outlook on life, and even for some it can help to improve memory.
Now that we have an idea of what nutrition is, how does it translate into what you should be eating?
Remember the Food Pyramid. Yes, it has been modified now, but it is the foundation of what we should consider following. Today we look to myplate.gov for recommendations. The guidelines consist of five food groups. They include vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy.
Vegetables and fruits are great sources of antioxidants that may help ward off disease by protecting cells from damage that may cause cancer. They also contain fiber that can help you feel full longer and may even reduce the risk of cancers. Fruits and vegetables can also fill in when you start to crave something sweet, at least some vegetables and most fruits that is. Your recommended serving size of fruit is 1 to 1.5 cups of fruit per day. Vegetable consumption should be at least 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. Whole grains are your breads, cereals, and pastas. They help provide the body with energy. The serving size should be 3 to 4 ounce equivalents per day. Proteins include things like chicken, fish, lean red meat, and eggs. Proteins help with our immune system, and are important for tissue repair, and building muscle. The serving size should be 5 to 6.5 ounces per day. Dairy includes yogurt, cheese, and low fat milk. Dairy helps to promote healthy teeth and bones. The serving size should be 3 cups per day.
With any goal or New Year’s resolution you embark on, start slow and gradually add on. I hope you can make it to my Walk With a Doc on January 29 where I will go a little more in-depth about nutrition. As, always, be sure you consult your primary care provider and/or cardiologists, nephrologist before making any changes to your diet and/or fitness regimen. Make this year a year to remember. Happy 2020 everyone!