Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Good Nutrition Month: What is Good Nutrition?

November has been deemed "Good Nutrition Month." The question I'd like to ask is, "What is good nutrition?" It seems as if we all have different definitions of what good nutrition is. Some believe a high protein, low carb diet represents good nutrition; meanwhile, others believe quite the opposite. Is good nutrition characterized by a diet at all?

Kale, chickpeas, avocado, and dried apricot salad.

MyPlate gives us a representation of what a well-balanced plate looks like. A 9" plate filled with fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy are the building blocks to a nutritious meal. With so many new trends, diets, and food products, we have forgotten how simple it can be to put a balanced meal together. We constantly turn to the latest diets in hopes of weight loss or to look like the model on the front cover of a magazine. Sometimes this often means skipping a meal or restricting and resisting hunger cues. Sometimes this means reaching for the box of donuts in times of stress or in frustration of the fad diet you've been following.

Fresh bananas and pineapple in Hawaii.

To me, good nutrition can't be defined. It can be put into practice, but nobody can be perfect so, who's to say what good nutrition is. I know I can't go through the day without nibbling on a piece of chocolate or something sweet. Does that mean I have poor nutrition? For now, my personal interpretation of good nutrition would be one that primarily incorporates whole foods - foods that are minimally processed and come directly from nature, while allowing for flexibility and variety. All food groups are allowed and everything is consumed in moderation. A balanced diet consists of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, healthy fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. This month, let's celebrate all the wonderful foods nature has provided us with. Let's embrace the foods we love and nourish our bodies. I'll be nibbling on my favorite Oat, Chocolate & Coconut Cookies which contain whole food ingredients and taste great, too!

What is your definition?

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