Nutrition: Why should we care?

Nutrition: Why should we care?

Ok, be honest, when was the last time you
ate or drank something you knew you shouldn’t have? As members of the military, it’s crucial to
be able to perform at work. So, fueling from the inside out, being selective regarding
what you eat and the timing of your meals can have a significant effect on your body
and brain’s performance. Nutrition plays an important role in our everyday
lives. For instance, how will the decision to skip breakfast as you rush to work impact
the rest of your day? “Definitely don’t skip a meal,” said Capt.
Michael Noyes, chief of outpatient services, Walter Reid National Military Medical Center,
Registered Dietitian. “When you’re trying to do anything with nutrition, skipping your
meal is the worst thing you can do. I’d rather you just have a smaller meal than just go
to bed.” If sleep is to be sacrificed, energy drinks
are the answer, right? Not so, says Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Wallinger, Registered Dietitian,
Walter Reid National Military Medical Center “There is no substitute for sleep, however,
if choosing something to increase your alertness and concentration; natural forms of caffeine
tend to have more of a benefit than the synthetic ones,” said Wallinger. So, alternatives to energy drinks would be
the natural forms of caffeine which are your unsweetened teas and coffee without all the
sugar and fat added. If nutrition is so simple then why do we make
it complicated? Statistics show that now there are more obese
and overweight Americans than ever and yet diet books continue to be bestsellers. “If it’s asking you to change or leave out
whole food groups and what not, and it’s only for a certain amount of time, that’s really
something you want to avoid constantly,” said Noyes. “Mainly for the fact that, yeah you
might lose some weight and you might improve with it, but then what’s going to happen when
you are done with that period of time? It’s a short term solution to a long term problem.” Keep in mind the average adult should consume
around 2,000 calories per day. Gender, height, weight and exercise levels can affect these
numbers. Note, a single meal at fast food restaurants can be almost a full day’s calories.
In fact, one large serving of french fries alone can total up to 500 calories. Just because you exercise doesn’t mean you
burn off those extra calories from that fast food restaurant. To put that into context, you would have to
do over 400 burpees in order to compensate for that 1 large order of french fries and
over 200 burpees for the average slice of pepporoni pizza. Let’s also keep in mind that the calorie comparison
from fast food restaurants versus a dietitian- recommended lunch could reduce your calorie
intake significantly. The importance of dietitians in the Navy,
and DOD at large, comes down to one word: readiness. Dietitians play a key role whether
it’s educating and counseling service members around the globe or advocating for programs
and policies. So, if you feel like you need to see one, look them up at your current command
or installation and set up an appointment.

5 thoughts on “Nutrition: Why should we care?

  1. This video is missing key nutritional points. What about massive amounts of carb intakes that lead to insulin crashes? Why not implement more fats? Why not put soldiers on a ketogenic diet.

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