Last week we introduced a nutrition-related series, built around “How to Be Healthy, in Just 48 Words”, in honor of National Nutrition Month.1
That first article provided information to help you:
Watch Out for Trans Fats
Choose Foods with Unsaturated Fats
Today we move on to an important topic, the importance of foods that are close to nature, not heavily processed. Here we go!
Eat OUT Less and use Ingredients You Recognize
One of Tamworth’s greatest assets is our Tamworth Farmers’ Market, which has been serving our community since 2007. During the winter months at the Town House and certainly in warmer months at the outdoor market, you know as soon as you arrive that this is something good for body and soul.
Foods that are locally produced and minimally processed—that’s what constitutes cooking from whole ingredients. At the Farmers’ Market, “locally produced and minimally processed” describes everything you see as you gaze at the tables in front of you. In the grocery store, stick to the outside aisles—the produce counter, the seafood/meat/poultry departments, the dairy case.
Home cooking is actually associated with healthier body weights (Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, February 2018). Being together, enjoying conversation—these are important parts of healthy lifestyle, too. The family meal is a worthy investment.
Unfortunately, dining out often means foods with more calories and often unbelievably high sodium. A Big Mac Meal (Big Mac, medium fries, 12-ounce soft drink) packs 1100 Calories and 1225 mg of sodium. Current recommendations for sodium intake are 2300 mg per day for most of us; individuals over 50 and African Americans should aim for 1500 mg per day. However, our average intake is close to 3500 mg per day.
Finally, a recent study of restaurant meals found that the average meal provides 1200-1700 Calories. Italian meals were at the top. Olive Garden, anyone?
Maybe a meal at home is a better idea for our health and for the environment!
Tamworth Community Nurse Association
Author: Maureen McCarthy Diamond is a retired Registered Dietitian. She spent most of her professional life working with people with end-stage kidney disease. A year ago, she joined the Board of Tamworth Community Nurse Association.