About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Healthy Diet Challenge: Meeting Nutritional Guidelines Without Supplements

When we survey our clients, we're always struck by how eager they are to learn about nutrition. For this reason, it's hard to imagine a successful employee wellness program without a strong emphasis on eating healthier. The problem is, there's a lot of misinformation out there--and sometimes it's hard to know what to believe.

A recent Washington Post article posed an interesting question: Is it possible to meet the government's nutritional guidelines without taking a supplement? The author discovered that it's not as easy as it seems--and if you read the full article, you can see the menu a registered dietitian prepared for her. 

For those of us trying to meet the daily guidelines, the article offers a few suggestions:
  • Be selective when eating processed foods.
  • Sneak in as many fruits and vegetables as possible.
  • Use ground spices and herbs, which often contain essential minerals.
  • Read labels carefully.
We blogged recently about our new partnership with MyPyramid.gov, a USDA-sponsored website that offers a wealth of reliable information. If you're just beginning to reevaluate your diet, MyPyramid is a great place to start.

[Special thanks to @healthythinker, our Twitter friend, for pointing us to the article.]


Chris Watkins said...

As a Licensed Wellcoach, I am often asked by my clients about taking a multi-vitamin. After conducting a similiar experiement; also using FitDay.com.

I consumed a variety of foods from all the food groups following the suggested servings from mypyramid.gov. I steered clear, as I always do of processed foods just way too much sodium.

After tracking for a one week period, I came to the conculsion that the average American would have a difficult time getting all the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals. My diet was close, but even eating as healthy as I did for that week, I still came up short everyday in one or two categories. So, when I am asked about taking a multi-vitamin, I share my story. Since I am not a nutritionist, I don't give specific nutritional advice, but encourage my clients to put their diet to the test using FitDay.com and then make their own decision.

Based on my results, I have opted to take a multi-vitamin to be on the safe side, along with additional calcium due to my age.

Although, recently, I read an article about vitamins and how they find tons of them in the sewer system undissolved. They suggested putting your multi-vitamin in a glass of water to see if it begins to break-down after 30minutes. I was glad to see that my vitamin began to take on a new unrecognizable shape after soaking in a waterbath.

I enjoyed your article and the blog. I am on a campaign to get people to take more responsiblity for their own health. Healthcare reform begins with you and me. It is utterly irresponsible for Americans to think that the government will have a cure-all for our healthcare. Millions of $$ can be saved if each and every one of us would make better lifestyle choices. The knowledge is out there...it's the behavior and the way we think that needs to change. Kudos to Safeway for recognizing that you need to change the way people think to get them to change the way they act. I would love to learn more about their programs for behavior change.

Chris Watkins, MS, cWC

Fiona Gathright said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story! It's always great to connect with others who care about wellness, and I look forward to reading your future blog posts.

(By the way, let us know how your marathon training is going! Our exercise physiologist has run many in her day, and I'm sure she'd be happy to help.)