the month gets away, we need to recognize National Nutrition
Month — so designated by the world’s largest organization
of nutrition professionals, the Academy of Nutrition and
Dietetics. Theme this year is a cute play on words: Go Further
one diet is best for everyone, say experts, we all need a
variety of healthful foods that supply essential nutrients to
fuel and sustain us for the long run. The source of those
nutrients may differ (vegans and cowboys may choose different
protein foods, for example) but our basic nutritional needs
remain the same.
we can do that, says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,
is to plan ahead. Designate a day (weekend day off, perhaps)
to prepare one or two meals for the coming week. Find recipes
to use foods already on hand and make a grocery list for the
other ingredients. Prepare and refrigerate the meals you will
eat over the next day or two. Freeze the rest in
ready-to-reheat portions. And dress up all your meals with
fresh fruits and vegetables.
more letters from readers:
"Just read your column on sodium and I am confused. I’m
82 years old male. My last blood test indicated my sodium
level was low. The nurse said I should reduce my water intake.
I said I could increase my salt intake; she said no. Is the
sodium test in a blood test different? I am confused as to
what to do."
M. from Fort Smith, Arkansas
confusing because the sodium level in your blood is not always
directly related to the amount of sodium you get in your diet.
Low levels of sodium in your blood can be caused by a variety
of conditions, including some medications, a faulty hormone
system or drinking too much water.
bodies only need a very small amount of sodium (about 500
milligrams a day unless we sweat profusely). Yet most
Americans eat closer to 3500 milligrams. So most people get
more than enough sodium without adding more.
I am not your medical provider, I cannot give you more
specific advice. Best to ask your doctor.
"I read your article (regarding the recommendation to
avoid processed meats as much as possible). Does smoked trout
fall into this category? I do not eat meat but I do eat
seafood several times a week and eat packaged smoked trout at
least once a week. Thank you.
Susan K. from Salinas, California
easy question to answer since there is not just one definition
of "processed meats." Most health organizations
including the American Institute for Cancer Research and the
World Health Organization define processed meats as those that
are salted, cured or smoked. Although fish is not typically
thought of as meat, the smoking process can sometimes produce
substances not particularly good for us. Best not to overdo.