Eat Well for Good Health
Door County Medical Center is educating the community about nutrition and the importance of eating healthy during National Nutrition Month. Since 1980, eating healthier has been observed each year in March in response to growing concerns about obesity.
Despite numerous campaigns by health professionals and the CDC to eat healthy, Americans struggle with eating well and the subsequent obesity that can occur with poor eating habits. According to the CDC, approximately 93.3 million of US adults are obese. With obesity comes obesity-related diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer.
To beat the winter blues and to celebrate National Nutrition Month, we asked DCMC Registered Dietitian Gina Newton to weigh in on how we can improve our personal nutrition through education and awareness.
What are the top three barriers we have to eating well?
We are busy. When we’re on the go, temptation for fast, convenient foods is a big problem. People who plan their meals generally make healthier choices than those who
do not plan meals;
People are emotional eaters. We eat when we are
happy, sad, anxious and everything in between.
Emotional eating is oftentimes high calorie, low-nutrient dense foods and we overeat these things;
We lack food variety. We tend to get stuck on certain types of food and maintain unhealthy routines.
We can improve variety by adding in new fruits and
vegetables on a regular basis.
What are some small changes we can make to improve our diet?
Eat less. Our society as a whole tends to overeat. Even cutting back slightly on all of our portions can make a big difference over time;
Choose vegetables and fruit. Mom was right! Swap out processed and sugary snacks for an apple or kale chips or a handful of grapes. Try a new vegetable each week at the grocery store. Be creative and look up a new vegetarian based recipe!
How do our nutritional needs change as we get older?
Our calorie needs decrease. As we age, it is still important that we consume a well-balanced diet in order to ensure we receive essential nutrients needed for maintaining strength and good skin integrity;
We need liquids. Older adults tend to skimp on fluid consumption. Our fluid needs are still high and can be even greater due to certain medication;
Loss of muscle mass. To improve the inevitable, maintaining adequate protein intake is essential;
Taste acuity is decreased. Older people will sometimes lack an appetite or motivation to eat. It can be especially difficult for those of us who lose a spouse or undergo dramatic life changes.
What services does DCMC provide regarding nutrition & education?
Door County Medical Center’s Clinical Dietitians provide a variety of services inside and outside of our clinic walls. Outpatient dietitian, Carmen Schroeder, provides education for patients and also offers classes and presentations to our community on various nutrition topics. Carmen is a Certified Diabetes Educator and serves on The Community’s Garden board.
Judi Sowl, RDN, provides nutrition counseling for the Healing Project and leads workplace wellness projects to help our employees focus on making healthy food choices. As clinical dietitians, Judi and myself, as well as Sandra Wendlandt, provide education to our in-patients according to their diagnosis and specific needs.
For more information about DCMC’s services or to make an appointment, please call 920-743-5566.