March is National Nutrition Month and is a great time to focus on health and wellbeing. So what better time to remind yourself that eating healthy, nutritious foods can be done in a delicious way?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, chose the theme of “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” to celebrate the month this year. Here at Joslin Diabetes Center, Nora Saul, M.S, R.D., L.D.N., C.D.E, and the nutrition department staff are capitalizing on the theme of “taste” through several events to educate patients on eating deliciously right.
On March 21st, 28th and 31st, cooking demonstrations will be led by Chef Rani Polak, M.D., M.B.A., from 12 to 1 p.m. in the atrium in an effort to help Joslin patients create healthy and tasteful meals.
“What we’re trying to do is help people both enjoy what they eat and eat healthy foods. The cooking demonstration is a way for people to take traditional comfort foods and make them healthier while still making them taste good,” Saul said.
Throughout the month of March, patients can find additional information about healthy food choices displayed on a bulletin board directly outside the Adult Clinic. The board focuses on ways to make healthy substitution for higher saturated fat foods. For example, substitute high fat dairy products, such as sour cream, with lower fat options such as a cottage cheese or yogurt. Even these small substitutions reduce the amount of fat and overall calories and may make a difference in your health.
The board also depicts ways to incorporate more vegetables into the diet without sacrificing taste and provides general information about healthy eating, quotes from Joslin’s nutritionists and handouts with recipes, such as tasty roasted veggies.
The idea for this board grew out of comments the dietitians commonly hear from patients: people aren’t eating enough vegetables because of the taste. By preparing vegetables in a different way, such as grilling or roasting them or by simply adding spices, the vegetables that were once boring and unappetizing may become the best part of the meal.
“National Nutrition Month is a great month for people to focus on their health because spring is coming up. Spring suggests renewal, and people can take a chance to renew their eating habits” said Saul.
Spring is the perfect time to breakaway from the heavy foods of winter and experiment with the lighter, fresher fruits and vegetables that come into season. Patients and staff are encouraged to take advantage of the additional information provided this month or to speak with nutritionists about how to make healthy changes in their diets.
To learn how to make an appointment with a Joslin Dietitian, visit the Joslin Nutrition Programs website.