How does what we eat affect our health? What are some of the biggest problems that prevent us from eating well today? What can we do about it? Today, we interview Kath Younger, RD, of blog Kath Eats to learn more about how professionals tackle these challenges.
Q: In your experience, what have been some of the biggest challenges faced by people trying to eat healthy today? Any thoughts on what’s caused this?
A: Life has gotten busier than every with more demands and distractions from work, social media, family life, tech and more. More women are working and no one has time to simmer sauces made from scratch on the stovetop all day. Thus, convenience food, take out and dining out have all become such big parts of our culture. The trick is finding a way to bridge healthy and quick that also tastes good.
Q: Any best-practice advice on how to overcome some of these challenges?
A: You have to learn to do a little planning or you’ll have to reach for whatever is available when hunger calls. That could be a meal plan and a full prep day on Sunday or 10 minutes each morning before work to help you at 5:30. That could mean a meal planning service that does menus and shopping lists for you, services like Instacart to have groceries delivered, or a food delivery service that does the actual cooking for you. Figure out what time you do have and how best to plan and stock your fridge so that when you’re hungry you have good healthy options available.
Q: How do you approach meal decisions in your diet? Are you looking for a certain macro breakdown dependent on time of day & intended function?
A: I don’t follow a specific diet other than a focus on real, unprocessed food. I do look to balance macronutrients in a very general sense by having protein, whole grains, and healthy fats at each meal and having at least 2 of those at a snack. Having each of the groups helps keep you feeling satisfied (both physically and emotionally) for longer.
Q: How do you get a better understanding of your nutritional status? Do you get regularly checked to better understand intake or the way your body processes certain nutrients?
A: We should all be focusing on having the most diverse diet we can to ensure we’re getting a wide variety of nutrients from a rainbow of plants and whole foods. If these bases are not covered, you could end up with a nutritional deficiency.