Choosing a Healthy Diet
It’s that time of year again… a time for New Year’s resolutions. As a physician, I am frequently asked for weight loss advice by patients of all ages. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a key part of staying healthy and aging well. A good diet can improve more than just your waistline–it can lead to improved blood sugars, blood pressure, a lower risk for stroke and dementia, as well as a better mood.
Most people get understandably confused about how to improve their diets; there is a lot of conflicting advice in the news. Are eggs good or bad now? What’s gluten? The great news is that I can give you some simple tips to improve your diet which may help you not only look better, but feel better as well. The easiest way to control your diet is through portion control. By eating the right amount of healthy protein, fiber, and fat, you can feel full on fewer calories and lose weight. An easy way to make this change is to follow the MyPlate method — half of your plate should be split evenly between lean protein and whole grains and the other half should be split about ⅔ dark green vegetables and ⅓ fruit. You should try to add water with each meal and about 2-3 servings of dairy per day. Try to choose foods that are low in saturated fats, low in sodium, and low in added sugars. Keep the changes simple and always pick foods that you like to eat in each category.
At Element Care, we provide several resources to help our participants make healthy choices. We offer cooking classes and have an outdoor garden at our Lowell location in which participants not only grow their own vegetables, they also take them home to eat. Nutritionists are an integral part of our interdisciplinary team and promote food education. Additionally, our physical and occupational therapy department offers a Wellness program to assist participants with safe exercise. A healthy life starts with a healthy diet and our team at Element Care is dedicated to helping all of our participants achieve their health goals.
Dr. Jennifer Russo
Physician at Element Care