• Good nutrition key to health, wellness

    • email print
  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    March is National Nutrition Month and the 2018 theme is “Go Further with Food,” determined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
    “(National Nutrition Month) serves as a vehicle for delivery of nutrition education to the public,” said Munson Army Health Center Registered and Licensed Dietitian Marcy Sedwick.
    According to eatright .org, “the campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. … Whether it’s starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast or fueling before an athletic event, the foods you choose can make a real difference. Preparing your foods to go further, by planning meals and snacks in advance can also help to reduce food loss and waste.”
    Eatright.org suggests to:
    • Regularly include a variety of healthy options from all the food groups.
    • Know what foods are in the kitchen before going to the store.
    • Only buy food that can be eaten or frozen within a few days and plan ways to use the leftovers.
    • Think about portion sizes using the MyPlate model.
    • Use good food safety practices.
    • Be physically active throughout the week.
    • Consult with a registered dietitian to learn the benefits of healthy eating.
    Sedwick said it’s important to have a month dedicated to nutrition.
    “We eat every day so it’s pretty important to get it right and make good food choices most days,” Sedwick said. “(National Nutrition Month’s) just a way to get the nutrition education out to everybody and have them thinking about it from preschoolers to high schoolers to college students to sports nutrition people. Everybody can always improve their food a little bit.”
    Sedwick said the key to a healthy lifestyle is balance.
    “(Nutrition and physical activity) are both important. Physical activity combined with a nutrient dense, good diet to help manage a healthy weight, help with your health, have less medical issues and less blood pressure problems,” she said.
    “You want to be smart about it. Some people go crazy, and they might get injured, or they might make too many big changes with their diet and it’ll be too hard to sustain it. Make a few choices at a time, balance the diet and have unhealthy foods in moderation.”
    Sedwick said the MyPlate model — www.choosemyplate.gov — is the best model to use when planning meals.
    “Half our plate should be fruits and vegetables. Another way to think about that is half our grocery cart should be fruits and vegetables,” she said. “A fourth of it be the lean protein (and) a fourth of it be the grains. The same thing for your refrigerator.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Sedwick also said to not be afraid to try something new.
    “Trying new things is fun. A new fruit or vegetable to get someone excited (or) venturing out and finding a different fruit or vegetable can be fun,” she said. “It can be like an experiment.”
    When going to the grocery store, a good thing to do is check the ingredient labels, Sedwick said. Key things to look for when shopping are words like “whole grain,” “low sodium,” and “low fat.”
    To help the shopping experience and notice these characteristics, the Fort Leavenworth Commissary has recently put in place the Nutrition Guide Program, a color-coded system that immediately identifies a food as more nutritious than others.
    Navy blue means low sodium, which indicates less than 140mg per serving. Brown means the item is made with at least 8 grams of whole grain. Fuschia means no sugars were added during processing. Light blue means low fat with less than 3 grams of total fat per serving. Mustard yellow means the item is a good source of fiber with more than 10 percent of the daily value for fiber. Green means the item is U.S. Department of Agriculture certified organic. There is also a “thumbs up” icon that indicates the product aligns with the Department of Defense’s Go for Green program, according to commissaries.com.
    Commissary Manager Regenia Singletary said the Nutrition Program coincides with the growth of the Commissary.
    “We always want to be on the cutting edge of health and wellness for our military and their families,” she said. “I really believe it very beneficial to our customers, especially those who are on special diets like low salt and high fiber. I have used them myself when I am purchasing lunches. I am trying to pick something that is quick and easy but a little healthier.”
    For more information about the Nutrition Guide Program, visit commissaries.com.
    To learn more about nutrition, make an appointment at 684-6250 to see a primary care manager for a referral.
    “Beneficiaries are provided direct access for self-referral booking for weight management appointments,” Sedwick said. “We should all be eating (healthy) year-round, not just during Nutrition Month.”
  • Comment or view comments