Mindful eating to fuel the body—not deprive it

by karen on October 12, 2020

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A Change of Mindset

Should we eat low-carb or high-fat? Eat two, three, or six times daily? Avoid dairy, grains, or fruit? When even the dietitian in the room starts to get confused, it’s probably time to step back and look at the full picture.

At a fundamental level, the reason human beings eat food is to receive the vast array of nutrients needed to maintain our health and well-being.  We are unable to manufacture any of those nutrients without the outside influence of food and beverages. So, instead of choosing foods based on what is not there, let’s challenge ourselves to select our foods for the value that is there.

If you can break the cycle of analyzing all your foods for their low-carb, no-sugar, low-calorie components and focus on the nutrients within that are going to nourish you body, I believe you will soon feel better, both emotionally and physically.

To begin, check one of the foods you currently have with a nutrition label on it. For each of the criteria your food meets, raise a finger—fresh fruits and vegetables get an automatic approval.

Here’s your list:

  • More than 3 grams of fiber—raise a finger
  • More than 10% vitamin D, calcium, iron, or potassium—raise a finger for each

If you have 3 or more fingers raised, congratulations! You’ve chosen a food that has nutrients worth eating, so look for other nutrient-dense foods to make a healthy base of your diet with. Aim to make 90% of your food choices nutrient-dense, but feel free to add that serving of chips or piece of Halloween candy, knowing you’re eating in moderation.

Karen Fisher, MS, RDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection. Find her website at www.NutritionConnectionNV.com


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