To continue our series on National Nutrition Month, we spoke to other members of the nutrition community to find out their favorite advice to give to their clients, friends, and family.
Many of our colleagues recommended avoiding strict “good vs. bad” thinking in terms of food. There are many important factors to be considered when deciding what to eat—from cultural, to emotional, to nutritional. Flexibility and balance are key to making good choices when it comes to your personal nutrition. Read on for more nuggets of nutritional wisdom!
Q: What is your favorite piece of nutrition/health advice to provide your audiences?
A: Food is so much more than fuel. It’s how we celebrate our culture, connect with other people, experience pleasure, and take care of our bodies. So if you’re making a change to your eating that impacts these other facets of nutrition, then it may not actually be the healthiest choice for you.
A: Every time I post a recipe on my website, I always highlight a positive element to the dish. Most people only associate ‘healthy’ food with salads or flavorless vegetable sides but I like to break that stereotype. Featuring a positive nutritional highlight on an indulgent recipe or decadent dessert helps people break the habit of labeling food as only ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Showing people that health is flexible and nutrition isn’t just black and white helps take some of the fear out of ‘healthy’ eating and promotes a more balanced life.
A: I always say that if our plan doesn’t work for YOU it’s never going to get you closer to your goals. So many people want a detailed diet or meal plan, and I remind them that more often than not those strict plans allow for little flexibility and don’t take into account your daily needs, level of hunger or specific diet concerns. My best advice is the only thing you “should” be doing is what is most sustainable and wellbeing-promoting for yourself.
A: I like to remind people to stop idolizing or villainizing specific foods or nutrients. There are no "killer foods" and no "cure-all foods". Nutrition is very complex, and foods and nutrients interact with each other in ways we still don't completely understand. To elevate one nutrient over another means you are missing out on a host of benefits that food could provide in the context of your overall food choices. Health is found in the balance of the full spectrum of our food choices and lifestyle.”