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Is Nutrition Really that Important to my Health?

Yes. Yes, it is!

Nutrition is the foundation on which overall health and wellness is built. People fight diseases, prevent health problems, feel better overall, and live healthier lives with good nutrition. This is why NOAH is committed to the key role our Nutrition Services team plays in our integrated care.

Why nutrition matters

When your body gets the minerals and vitamins it needs, everything works better, especially when those nutrients come from what you eat and drink.

Many people think the main benefit of eating healthier is losing weight. And that can be a wonderful benefit because losing weight can impact someone’s overall health. However, the real benefits are:

  • Reduced high blood pressure
  • Reduced high cholesterol
  • Improved energy level
  • Improved ability to recover from injury or illnesses
  • Better able to fight off illnesses
  • Reduced risk of diseases like heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, and more.

During this National Nutrition Month, NOAH’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) have shared their expert insights about:

Why? Because they see every day how improving nutrition can improve someone’s life.

How nutrition fits into healthcare

At NOAH, we provide comprehensive, integrated care which means all of our departments and providers work together. And nutrition can greatly impact so many patients at any stage of life.

Some examples:

  • Medical providers might be concerned about a patient’s blood pressure. Nutrition will be one of the ways to make improvements. But many people think they have to change their diet and lifestyle overnight to reach their goals. That isn’t the case. A NOAH RDN will learn about the patient, meet with them, and create a plan together. Maybe nutrition alone can help, or maybe it’s a combination of diet and medication. Regardless, it’s always an important step to take.
  • If a patient has reactions when they eat certain foods like dairy or the gluten often found in many breads, pastas, and cereals, an RDN can help. A patient may be lactose intolerant, or it can depend on how much dairy they have. Similarly, maybe a patient has tested positive for gluten intolerance or celiac disease. These individuals will benefit by adding a RDN to their medical team. There are many delicious options available, and ways to prepare food with different ingredients so patients enjoy what they love and are doing what is best for their health.

Do you have questions for our RDNs? Talk to your healthcare provider at your next appointment and get to know how our Nutrition Services team can help you.

Healthy Weight Week: Healthy is More Than Your Weight

By Mina Goodman, Registered Dietitian 

The name Healthy Weight Week can be somewhat misleading. What most people think of with “healthy weight” might be getting on the scale, setting a new weight goal, or starting a 2021 crash diet. This week is more so about finding your healthy weight which can be determined by making small and personalized diet and lifestyle changes. Although Body Mass Index (BMI) and weight changes might give us an idea of health, it is only one piece of the puzzle to a healthy life. That’s why it is important to recognize other factors that affect weight, health, and happiness.  

Instead of counting calories or restricting how much you eat, try these to help achieve to a healthy weight: 

  • Accept your body shape and size.

Each body is not the same shape and size, which may be important when setting expectations for realistic weight loss goals. It’s difficult to judge a book by its cover when it comes to health because it is assumed that people at higher weights are sicker or live shorter lives. Research has shown that people in overweight and obesity class I BMIs may have improved longevity compared with normal weight, underweight, and obesity class II or greater BMIs.  

  • Find movement you enjoy.

Exercise doesn’t have to be training for a marathon. Taking a walk with friends, family, or a good playlist is a good option. Experiment with online work out videos, swimming, biking, roller skating/blading, yoga, tai chi, gardening or other home projects, and whatever other activity you can think of. No matter your weight, physical activity is important to do on most days.  

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, and energy for our body to use. Eating more whole and plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds can reduce risk of chronic diseases and help to maintain or lose weight.  

  • Try to stress less.

If our bodies are in a constant state of stress, it can be difficult to maintain weight. Here at NOAH, we have behavioral health services like counseling and psychiatry to help manage stress, anxiety, and depression that may be affecting how difficult is to lose weight.  

  • Sleep quality matters.

Sleep is another factor affecting weight and health. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per day and that should be quality sleep not altered by drugs or alcohol. Having a nighttime routine can help improve the quality of sleep. This can include turning off screens a few hours before bed or having a hot cup of herbal tea at the end of the night – you can make the routine your own or look online for other common routine tips and ideas.  

  • Drink enough water.

Most adults need at least half a gallon of water daily, which is 64 fl oz. Others may need up to a gallon per day. The body cannot work as well without being properly hydrated so look for ways to increase your fluid intake through herbal/sugar free teas, naturally flavored seltzers, or herb/fruit infused waters. If plain water works for you, try carrying a water bottle wherever you go, setting reminders on your watch or phone, or leaving bottles/glasses in places you usually sit or by your bed to start drinking first thing in the morning. 

Remember, being healthy isn’t necessarily about what the scale says. Many people can be healthy, or at least healthier, by making a few of these intention changes in their daily lives. If you want additional assistance, guidance, and support to living healthier, contact NOAH about our Nutrition Services.

Social Media and Healthy Weight by Mina Goodman, RDN

For social media users, do you ever find yourself in an unusual mood after scrolling through your Instagram feed and coming across thin bodies, tiny recommended serving sizes, or another tip to shed some extra weight? Just like magazines and television showing thin or “perfect” bodies can affect how we see our own bodies, so can social media. In celebration of healthy weight week and maintaining a healthy weight, I invite you to try expanding your ideals of body positivity, decreasing weight stigma, and gaining a healthier relationship with food.

A way to move toward this ideal would be to unfollow or stop looking at accounts that often feature smaller bodies or lack diversity. Next follow some of the following accounts that instead focus on inclusivity, diversity, and of course healthy weight!
• Dietitiananna
• Foodpeacedietitian
• I_weigh
• Chr1styharrison
• Hannahrdn
• Rebeccascritchfield
• Yourhappyhealthyrd
• Therdnutritionist
• Hgoodrichrd
• Themindfuldietitian
• Streetsmart.rd
• Gaudianiclinic
• Emilyfonnesbeck_rd
• Body_peace_liberation
• Trustyourbodyproject
• benourishedpdx

Our Care Team at NOAH are here to help you create & manage your #healthy #lifestyle #habits. Need help setting or sticking to your goals? Call 480-882-4545 today!