A large part of a RDN’s job is to provide valid, reliable nutrition education.
In this section you will find many valuable resources to improve your eating habits and nutritional status.
Knowledge is Power
Healthy Eating Patterns
There is no single eating pattern, or diet, that is right for everyone. There are, however, a few scientifically based eating patterns that incorporate the Dietary Guidelines and promote health. These eating patterns include the Mediterranean, DASH, and Vegetarian diets.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) emphasizes fruits, vegetables, non/low fat dairy products, whole grains, fish and poultry, beans and legumes, as well as unsalted seeds and nuts, and vegetable oils. The diet is high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium. These three minerals, in conjunction with a low sodium diet, work together to reduce blood pressure. Reduction in blood pressure can be seen in as early as two weeks.
The Mediterranean Diet is not a diet per se, but a lifestyle that focuses around traditional foods consumed by people living in the area of the Mediterranean Sea. People who follow this lifestyle tend to live longer and have less chronic diseases than people living in the west (i.e. USA). Luckily the foods that are recommended in this diet are found locally in your supermarket and can easily be introduced in your own lifestyle. The diet focuses on a large variety of plant-based foods, especially beans, peas and lentils, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. Animal proteins are consumed in moderate amount with an emphasis on fatty fish and lean poultry. Red meat is not forbidden, however, it’s consumption should be reduced. Non and low fat yogurt and cheese are also included in the diet. Healthy oils, avocadoes, olives, and nuts/seeds are the preferred sources of fats.
A vegetarian diet is not just twigs and leaves as some might think. In fact, many people consume vegetarian food items without realizing it: a bean burrito, peanut butter sandwich, tofu with rice and vegetables, hummus with pita bread are just a few examples. Some vegetarians (lacto-ovo) consume a few animal products such as eggs, yogurt or cheese, while others may prefer to be a strict vegan and consume no animal products whatsoever. Regardless of the type of vegetarian eating pattern a person follows, this plan has health benefits similar to the Mediterranean and DASH diets. If one follows a strict vegan, some vitamin/mineral supplements are warranted. Seek advice from a registered dietitian/nutritionist to meet your nutrient needs.
If you would like more information as to how to integrate one of the plans into your lifestyle, register for the “Roadmaps to Healthy Eating” class.