Wednesday 20 July 2016

Marla Ahlgrimm Offers Advice on Lifestyle and Nutrition Choices

Marla Ahlgrimm
Marla Ahlgrimm has worked in healthcare since the 1970s. As such, she has seen diet trends come and go but says real nutrition and positive habits never go out of style. Today, Ahlgrimm opens up about lifestyle choices that stand the test of time.

Q: What does it mean to eat a “balanced diet”?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A balanced diet is one that includes a full range of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, proteins, and other nutrients. Eating healthy foods isn’t difficult but may require planning ahead and maybe making a few more trips to the grocery store each week to take advantage of fresh, seasonal produce.

Q: How can parents teach their kids about healthy eating habits?

Marla Ahlgrimm: I’d suggest avoiding the “do as I say, not as I do” approach here. Many parents say it is important to them to fix their kids a healthy meal but then they eat leftovers, a candy bar, or skip dinner altogether because of time constraints. That doesn’t really teach children how to eat right, since kids grow up largely mimicking our actions, not our words. Sit down with your children at each meal, opt for homemade foods instead of eating out, and let the kids help with meal prep and planning.

Q: Are nutrition labels useful?

Marla Ahlgrimm: All commercially processed prepared foods are required to have a label that clearly shows serving size, calorie count, and nutrition facts. Whole foods, such as watermelon, fresh beans, lettuce, and loose potatoes don’t have these labels – and these are actually the foods you want to concentrate on. However, when you do choose an item with a label, the stickers can tell you not only how large a portion size is, but the calories, sodium, carbohydrates, and vitamins that are contained within that portion.

Q: Does the food we eat really have an effect on our lives?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Absolutely! Food is the building blocks of our health and what we consume helps our bodies grow and our brains function at their best.


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