Thursday, August 31, 2006

food nutrition : Key to Nutrition

Are you concerned about obesity? Have you ever thought of using that energy to do something about good nutrition? Perhaps if you did, the weight would simply take care of itself.

Good nutrition is not about starving yourself or pleasure-free dieting, but about balance and wholesome eating that includes all food groups.

“Research clearly shows that a variety of foods is the key to getting all the necessary nutrients,” said Washington DC registered dietitian Katherin Tallmadge and spokesperson from the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

It seems good nutrition works like a good investment: a diversified portfolio is the key, and that means, “a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts, and vegetables oils, and that includes low-fat dairy, and lean poultry and meat,” said Tallmadge, also author of the book Diet Simple .

March is National Nutrition Month, a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the ADA, that calls attention to the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

“Obesity is caused by taking in too many calories, or overnutrition,” explains Tallmadge , “so, if people learn a healthy way of eating, they'll control their weight.”

According to Tallmadge , the research shows that the overweight problem we have in our hands as a nation is caused by only a 13 calories per day imbalance... Really! This extra 13 calories a day causes a weight gain of about a pound a year.

“We know that if people add more vegetables to a meal, they'll be eating 100 less calories; if you add that to lunch and diner, you are cutting 200 calories per day. That alone will lead you to a weight loss of 20 pounds in a year!” said Tallmadge .

If you add physical activity to the mix, certainly the obesity epidemic would become a thing of the past. “Just walking an extra 2,000 steps per day would amount to losing ten pounds in a year,” affirms Tallmadge .

“We believe in people making small healthy changes they can stick to, instead of a total overhaul in diet, only to gain back all those pounds, and then some.”

Racial and ethnic minorities have a higher risk of almost all diet-related diseases compared to whites, including heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, obesity, and cancer. However, the good news is that it can be controlled!

Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables as part of an active lifestyle can help lower the risk for all of these diseases. Yet, African Americans have the lowest fruit and vegetable consumption among all ethnic groups.

Eating six or more servings of whole-grain foods like brown rice or whole-wheat toast every week was associated with slower buildup of artery-narrowing plaque in women already diagnosed with certain heart conditions, according to a USDA study.

America 's 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend eating at least three servings of whole-grain foods every day, but most of us eat less than a single daily serving.

Good sources of whole grains include breakfast cereals made with these grains. Other options: oatmeal, barley, popcorn, whole-grain bread and bran muffins.

copyright Office of Minority Health


Post a Comment