- Alexis Larsen Contributing Writer
Shop smart. Make healthy choices.
Dorothy Lane Market has a new series of events to help you do just that.
The DLM Eat Healthy Tours offer customers an opportunity to optimize their nutrition by learning how to make healthy food choices for themselves and their families.
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HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT:
The DLM Eat Healthy Tour is structured to help educate customers about their food choices when shopping including information on reading labels, comparing products and cooking tips as well.
Lori Kelch, a nutrition and wellness educator, leads the tours. In addition to serving as an adjunct instructor at Antioch University Midwest teaching “Health and Nutrition within the Family” and “Exerise and Fitness through the Lifespan,” and working as the Holistic Nutrition educator at the Institute of Holistic Leadership in Centerville, Kelch is leading people on free tours that Dorothy Lane Market launched in April called DLM Eat Healthy Tours.
Kelch says to focus on the perimeter of the store where most whole foods will be located.
“The closer the food is to its natural form, the more nutrients will be provided. Whole food provide a synergy of nutrients created by nature that cannot be duplicated in processed foods. Processed foods are often stripped of naturally occurring nutrients, and the product is then fortified with synthetic nutrients. Processed foods often contain added sugars, trans fats, and chemical additives that can impair our health,” Kelch said.
“One big tip I continuously emphasize: Our culture tends to vilify fat, and we have come to believe that low-fat options are the healthiest — and that is not necessarily the case. It is important that we have an understanding that fat supplies essential fat soluble nutrients that our bodies need to function optimally. Naturally occurring fats should be a part of our diet, and reduced fat or low fat versions of real fat foods (like cultured dairy for example) lose those valuable nutrients and often add chemicals and/or sugar as replacements.”
ADVICE FOR DINING OUT
When dining out, restaurants Kelch says the main thing is to choose food that is served in its whole form.
“Baking, broiling, and grilling — though not charring — meats are better options than frying. Fish is always a good option. Skip the fried potatoes, chips, etc. and opt for added vegetables or a side salad. Skip the sauces and gravies. Have dressing served on the side of a salad.
“That said, if someone wants to splurge on their favorite comfort food or whatever, it isn’t necessary to deny ourselves that. We just need to make it a special occasion — not an everyday occurrence … Many restaurants serve very large portions, so taking home leftovers for another meal is encouraged. Meat portions should be about the size of the palm of our hand.
“I do think more restaurants are offering healthier dishes because they know that this is what their patrons want. Vegetable based entrees are more often at the center of the plate than in the past, rather than being relegated to the side of a large piece of meat,” said Kelch.
FOCUS ON VEGGIES
Vegetables are one of Kelch’s favorite topics on the DLM tours.
“It is assumed that vegetables are the healthiest in their raw form. That is a big misconception. Vegetables with bright pigments — orange, red, purple, deep green — should actually be lightly cooked for the body to take advantage of the nutrients. The nutrients that provide those colors are often fat soluble, and the vegetable must be heated to release the protein bonds that bind those nutrients.
“We know, for example, that cooked tomato products provide more antioxidant activity than eating them raw. And preparing them with a little fat (olive oil, butter, coconut oil) allow the body to transport those valuable fat soluble nutrients. There’s nothing wrong with eating a raw veggies with a salad, but lightly cooking packs a better nutritional punch,” said Kelch.
Other suggestions for healthy eating that she shares on a handout to those taking the tour:
• Drink plenty of fresh water throughout the day.
• Lightly cook vegetables with a small amount of fat for maximum absorption of the fat-soluble nutrients.
• Avoid cooking with vegetable oils at high heat. Fats stable at higher temperatures include coconut oil, butter, lard, grape seed oil, and walnut oil. Avoid hydrogenated oils.
• Avoid low-fat versions of real fat foods.
• Avoid processed foods made with enriched flours, sugars, and artificial chemicals, as well as sugary beverages and those made with artificial sweeteners.
• Do not skip meals. Eating a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates will help maintain adequate blood sugar stability.
• Be mindful of eating habits. Eat slowly, chew well.
• Keep moving!