If you feel like you don’t eat enough vegetables each day, you’re not alone. According to the most recent data from the CDC, only 1 in 10 Americans actually eat the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables per day. There are many reasons it’s a challenge - cost, access, food waste, increased preparation time, limited knowledge / skills, and taste preferences are all known and real challenges.
But what’s the big deal? Can you replace the value of vegetables with other foods or a supplement? The answer boils down to food chemistry and health research.
It's easier than ever to find an article about "healthy eating." A quick search on Google provided over 860,000,000 results...and another 35,800,000 videos (yikes).
I recognize and appreciate that people are passionate about nutrition. I also recognize that once we find something that "works" for us, we want to shout it from the roof tops! I truly believe that many professionals should talk about food to with their clients - it's a cornerstone to health. However, it's important to recognize whether the "truth" you preach to your clients is helpful or harmful.
We live in weight focused society. In a typical week as an outpatient dietitian and personal trainer, I see between 20 and 30 patients a week (that’s 960-1440 / year). Most want to adjust their weight (usually down) in a quest for health [and the others struggle with disordered eating...] The majority have been losing and/or gaining weight for most of their lives. So why can’t we “get it right?”
I became a dietitian and a personal trainer because I wanted to know the “secret” to weight. I assumed there must be a reason why some people are smaller than others. But over 15 years of counseling has taught me the true secret, and it's not what I expected.
So read on to understand how food and movement affect our body and what we can do about it.
People are designed to eat every 3-4 hours. When you go more than 4 hours without eating, you tend to get overly hungry. When you get really hungry, you’re more likely to overeat. You’re also most likely to crave “junk food.” Snacks keep your hunger in check, however not all snacks are created equal.
(also published on the Cambridge Health Alliance Blog)
It’s no secret that New Englanders love Dunkin Donuts. With a shop on most corners, it’s a convenient place to grab a snack, meal, or a coffee. But how does it affect your health and what are the best choices? I took a look at their nutrition information to find the answer.*
We all have a set amount of time and energy to spend each day. And we each have a choice in how to spend some of it (admittedly, some “energy suckers” are non-negotiable). It can take some serious creativity and a different thought process to spend those resources wisely.
DISCLAIMER: The information presented here is meant to be for general education. If you want individual guidance to reach your unique health goals, please contact me or a local dietitian directly
Dietitian, personal trainer, mother, wife, runner, and triathlete staying healthy one bit and bite at a time