Good nutrition gives others less of you to love
Hazel Clark Stewart, a culinary specialist with HYCS Nutritional Services, shows healthy meal choices to her nutrition class Wednesday in the Fort McPherson Wellness Center.

Love handles not looking to lovely' Getting too big for your partner to wrap his or her arms around you' If there is a little too much of you to love, the Wellness Center staff has a solution.

The staff, in a partnership with HYCS Nutrition-al Services, is offering classes in Bldg. 60 to help promote better eating habits.
The classes, held the first three Wednesdays of each month from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., include nutritional information, cooking demonstrations, emphasis on healthy eating and weigh-ins.

"Americans on a whole don't eat right," said Hazel Clark Stewart, culinary specialist and class instructor. "We demonstrate proper ways to eat."
During the class, Stewart, who has more than 25 years of experience, including multiple college degrees and certifications, presents a variety of healthy meals to students.

Stewart said students can take the recipes and ideas she teaches and incorporate them into their diet, substituting them for less-healthy meals they may be eating.
Stewart said the main problem most people face in their meals is the inclusion of too many processed foods, which add empty calories and fat to the meals.

"You need to lose the white and bring in the brown," she said, meaning simple, process starches should be replaced by complex, whole grain starches.

Other topics addressed in the class include tips on how to prepare healthier meals. Tips include using smart butters that contain omega III fatty acids, using virgin olive oil and replacing frying with baking, Stewart said.

While all of these tips are general and work for everyone, a big part of the class is also personalizing a program to help people lose weight, Stewart said. When a student comes to the class, he or she is weighed and given a body mass index test to determine if he or she is underweight, at the correct weight, overweight or obese.

Stewart then creates a personal profile on that person, which includes having the individual record everything he or she eats for a week. The following week, she sits down with the student and goes over the food diary, looking for ways to improve the student's eating habits to help guide them to a healthier weight.

Individuals who are significantly overweight are at a greater risk of developing many diseases, including high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, stroke and some forms of cancer, according to www.mypyramid.gov. Even losing a few pounds or preventing further weight gain has health benefits.

According to the Web site, which allows people to create their own food pyramid and track their nutritional goals, people should follow these tips to help eat healthier:

- Learn what to eat from each food group
- Focus on how much you eat and portion sizes.
- Choose "nutrient-dense" forms of foods. These foods are packed with nutrients, but are low in "extras" that add calories.
- Follow your progress by tracking your food intake and physical activity. Check your weight weekly.

People should also set realistic goals, such as losing one to two pounds a month when choosing to lose weight, Stewart said.

"It is all based on their activity," she said.

Activity should also be supplemented with proper eating. Stewart recommends six small meals a day. Meals should be spread out about every three hours, with small snacks between the three main meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"People are so used to eating big meals," Stewart said. "People need to learn to eat in moderation."

Page last updated Thu February 12th, 2009 at 15:03