Nutrition and Your Health

May 07 00:00 2001 Print This Article

In my work as a Registered Dietician and educator, I am constantly confronted with the idea that healthy food cannot possibly be delicious and fast to prepare. Today we generally prepare food on the run or eat it at a fast food establishment - on the run!

Research has indicated that women want to spend one half hour or less, selecting and preparing an evening meal; men want to spend no more than 15 minutes. It's a long way from the days when Grandma spent hours preparing dinner in the kitchen!

In my cookbook "Cooking Healthy and Fast," the goal is to offer a resource to help people follow the recommended dietary guidelines using healthy recipes, be able to prepare them quickly and have a good tasting meal!! All recipes have been nutritionally analyzed for calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium and dietary exchanges for weight control or diabetes.

Good dietary guidelines for healthy Americans can be stated in simple, easy to understand terms:

  1. Eat a variety of foods
  2. Maintain healthy weight
  3. Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
  4. Choose a diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and grain products
  5. Use sugars only in moderation
  6. Use salt and sodium only in moderation
  7. If you drink alcoholic beverages, so so in moderation

Those of you with special dietary concerns, such as diabetes, can follow the same healthy guidelines with the help and guidance of your medical team, nutritionist or health practitioner.

Here are some guidelines to help you Maintain a Healthy Weight:

  • Acknowledge that you want to maintain your present weight, or lose weight.
  • Plan your meals/snacks in advance so you have some idea of what you will eat and when you will eat it.
  • Make time to eat breakfast
  • Eat like a King for breakfast, a Prince for lunch and a Pauper at night.
  • Become educated about good food choices.
  • Seek out reliable nutrition education. A Registered Dietician can give you reliable information
  • Don't go for more than 6 hours during the day without food
  • Limit portion sizes. Measure foods (a deck of cards is the same size as 3 ounces of meat).
  • Include foods that you enjoy in your diet. Don't try to live on rice cakes, diet pop and gummy bears.
  • Decide what you want to eat; Don't let other people influence your choices.
  • Keep a daily food diary/record
  • Eat healthy when you dine out. Eliminate the extra fat and sodium.
  • Exercise regularly (at least 3 times per week).
  • Have an occasional treat!

Source: Rachel Rudel, R.D.. Author, lecturer and registered dietician.

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