APFRI Health Day provides tools for healthier living
August 19, 2008
A member of the Philadelphia Eagles staff spoke to the Army War College student body Aug. 5, not about the X's and O's of football, but about something more important to "keep you in the game" longer.
Jeanie Subach, a registered and licensed dietitian and sports nutritionist for the Philadelphia Eagles and 76ers, spoke as part of the Army Physical Fitness Research Institute Health Day.
Health Day is the first entry of a year-long series of educational programs for the joint, interagency and international student body at the Army War College. APFRI links education about health and well-being with leader readiness. Presentations include world-class speakers who address the latest findings in health promotion and risk factor reduction research.
She shared her expertise and experiences that could be beneficial to help keep USAWC students healthy.
The United States is the most overfed and undernourished county in the world, according to Subach.
"Food and fitness are things that should be enticing, energizing and empowering," she said. "Your health and what you put in your body should be taken seriously." She pointed out a Washington Times article that said 86 percent of the American population would be overweight by 2030.
A varied diet is one of the keys to getting and staying healthy, Subach said.
"Stay away from what we call the "brown and and yellow diet." This is French fries, burgers, cheese and coke," she said. "Try to use the spectrum diet. Eat all colors of the rainbow."
She went on to explain that what we eat and put in our body has a visual correlation to what our body looks like.
"If you eat a lot of vibrant, colorful and hard foods, it's going to translate into an exciting, hard body," Subach said. "Soft, mushy foods translate into a soft, mushy body." Subach recommended foods that require preparation instead of settling for ready-to-eat boxed or frozen foods.
"The sodium and preservatives in those foods are huge," she said.
Making food at home instead of going out to eat also has hidden benefits, she said.
"The grilled chicken breast you make at home will have about 200 more calories if you get it at a restaurant," she said. "That's true for almost everything. Just make it at home. It's cheaper and healthier."
Subach uses her programs to keep professional athletes in shape, but they are applicable to everyone.
"I use the food guide football," she said. "Try and get a higher score by eating healthier foods."
Touchdown foods (six points):
A,A* Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy, protein
Field goal foods (three points):
A,A* Same as above but with added fat and sugar
Penalty foods (no or negative points):
A,A* Foods higher in fat, sugar and sodium
Dr. Dean Ornish spoke at Health Day about lifestyle and the changes that can be made to positively affect health and discussed how to avoid and combat heart disease. He is the founder and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute.
Here are helpful tips --
Exercise is essential to improve your ability to fight off health problems. Make activity a regular part of your lifestyle.
When making changes to diet, stay away from trans fat and saturated fat. Instead, eat more healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids and canola oil.
Supplement your diet with fish oil which contains omega 3 fatty acids. Ornish recommend three grams per day
A glass of pomegranate juice every day can make a big difference in your health. It is packed with helpful antioxidants.
Don't diet! Not giving your body the food it needs is harmful to the body, even if you are losing weight. Instead, make healthy choices such as low fat and high fiber foods.
Mental health affects physical health. People who manage stress well, focus on their relationships and take time to enjoy themselves live longer and happier lives.
Subach also had recommendations:
A,A* Write a food log on a daily basis, this will help keep track of calories
A,A* Read the labels on your food
A,A* Stop eating "out of the box" for meals, prepare it yourself
A,A* Eat portions the size of your hand when it comes to protein (meats, etc.)
A,A* Eat your fist in carbs
A,A* Aims for lean, quality proteins (fish, chicken)
A,A* Don't be afraid of red meats, just eat the correct portions
A,A* Moderation and balance are the key
A,A* Take a multi-vitamin if you know you aren't getting the right amounts of vitamins, etc.
A,A* Use a smaller plate to gauge the proper portions
Subach also discussed the 2005 Dietary Guide that provides guidelines for eating healthier:
A,A* Eat within your acceptable calories range
A,A* Three Fat Free or Low Fat dairy each day
A,A* Three servings of whole grains foods daily
A,A* Two cups of fruit each day
A,A* Two and a half cups of vegetables each day
A,A* Limit added sugar in your diet
A,A* Limit the amount of sodium in your diet
For more information visit http://www.mypyramid.gov/