MARCH 1, 2019 |
The term “you are what you eat” applies to even the fittest of service members. Air Force Lt. Col. Saunya N. Bright said the food in military dining facilities has improved dramatically during her 18 years in the service, both in terms of nutritional value and healthy eating choices.
Bright is a dietitian with the Air Force Medical Support Agency in Falls Church, Virginia. She said eating healthy, balanced meals, along with adequate sleep and physical fitness, are key to improving physical stamina, injury reduction and good health. These are key to producing elite athletes as well as elite soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, she added, noting that the benefit to the military is higher combat readiness.
March is National Nutrition Month and citing information from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sonja Simzak, a dietitian at DiLorenzo Tricare Health Clinic, addressed common misconceptions about nutrition.
Separating Fact From Fiction
FACT: The size of portions for both food and drinks have increased. Now, many people consume in one sitting what is considered to be several servings. The good news is new nutrition facts labels will help consumers determine the total amount of calories and nutrients contained in food products.
FACT: All fruits and vegetables — fresh, canned, frozen and dried, as well as 100 percent juices — are healthy. Tip: Look for produce in water or in its own juice without added sugars and for canned vegetables with no added salt or reduced sodium.
FACT: Oils and fats are good nutritional sources. Two tips: Try to use fats that are liquid, not solid, at room temperature. These liquid fats, such as vegetable oils, are the healthier choice. Second, all fats are high in calories, so portions for most people should be limited to just a few teaspoons per day.
FACT: Well-planned vegetarian and vegan eating plans that include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes can be just as nutritious as non-vegan diets.
So what’s fact vs. fiction when it comes to nutritional information online? Should you take vitamins? Why does eating right mean playing detective? Click here if you have an appetite for more good information on nutrition.
Did You Know?
Air Force Lt. Col. Saunya N. Bright, Dietitian