Savor the flavor and reap the benefits

McLaren Macomb offers advice during National Nutrition Month

Somewhere along the way, the decision to eat healthy meant that you had to eat plain, bland, no-frills food.

Basically, it meant you had to eat boring.

“This is so not that case,” said Dawn Dahl, RD, lead dietitian at the Nutrition Counseling & Diabetes Center at McLaren Macomb. “You don’t have to eat cardboard-flavored food and sacrifice flavor if you want to be healthy. You can have the best of both worlds.”

First and foremost, said Dahl, would be to change your overall approach to eating and meal preparation specifically.

“We’re all busy and crunched for time and, honestly, one of the first sacrifices we make is the time spent on meal preparation,” Dahl said. “That needs to change. A few simple meal preparation steps can create positive changes that will allow you to reach your goal of eating healthier.”

Many meals made quickly are usually high in unhealthy fats and sodium – putting you further away from your goal.

Dahl and her colleagues at the Nutrition Counseling & Diabetes Center suggested taking time this month to sample some new herbs and spices to create bold and exciting new flavors without using salt or unhealthy fats.

Oregano, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder and so many more (just walk down the supermarket aisles) can each be used to add fresh and healthy flavor to many different dishes.

And once the dish is made, take the time to enjoy it and avoid “mindless eating.” Acknowledge the experience and take the time to enjoy the different textures, fully appreciate the flavors.

“Make eating an event and not something that’s to be rushed through,” said Dahl. “Putting the fork down between bites and taking your time will allow your stomach to tell your brain when it’s full, leading to less overeating.”

The Nutrition Counseling & Diabetes Center at McLaren Macomb is staffed by certified diabetes educators – registered nurses and dietitians – and offers a diabetes prevention and education program recognized by the American Diabetes Association and Michigan Department of Community Health. The institute provides a wide range of nutrition counseling services to the community.


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