What is a Registered Dietitian?
By Rochelle Young, RD, LDN
A Registered Dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who has completed a bachelor’s degree, 1200 supervised practice hours and a rigorous national board exam. It’s a health professional who can help you improve your overall health and well-being with natural foods alone. I became a Registered Dietitian, because I knew the cycle of chronic disease and poor quality of life could be improved in our communities, and particularly the black community, because we are more “at risk”.
I’ve always felt the “at risk” part was man made, had we not been oppressed as a race and deprived of healthful foods. We are now only at risk if we continue to put ourselves at risk, by making unhealthy choices, and putting our taste preferences before our health needs. Let me break that down, instead of choosing fried fish, lets choose sautéed salmon, instead of candy, let’s choose fresh fruits.
You see, I’m passionate about this because it can be changed with our everyday decisions, we can improve our health, and in turn, that will improve our community impact, productivity and even our personal finances (no medical bills, medications, etc).
With that being said, here are a few simple tips to improve and/or maintain you and your families’ health.
- Stay Hydrated – In the hot summer months (especially here in Louisiana) it is vital to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to issues such as constipation, urinary tract infections, muscle cramps, brain fog, and in extreme cases, seizures and kidney damage. It is suggested to drink at least an ounce for each pound of your body weight. Add in fresh fruits such as cucumber and lemon for an extra boost of antioxidants. This will also make the flavor more appealing, which may entice you to drink more throughout the day!
- Eats fruits and vegetables – fruits and vegetables provide us with the vitamins and minerals we need daily, for our bodies to function at an optimal level. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can often occur without regular fruit/vegetable intake or a daily multivitamin. Fruits and vegetables also provide us with a dose of antioxidants, which fights cancer causing free radicals in our cells. Yes, that’s right, fruits and vegetables CAN aid in preventing cancer.
- Avoid high carbohydrate intakes – what is a carb? Basically anything that is not a protein food, even fruits and vegetables have carbs, but they are very low in carbohydrate content. Foods like breads, pastas, rice, and sugary sweets are very high in carbohydrate content. Our pancreas produces insulin to bring glucose in our cells after each meal. Very high carb meals can cause the pancreas overwork itself over time, causing less insulin to be produced, therefore leading to diabetes. *To learn more on diabetes prevention and management, contact me at the information found at the end of this post.
- Eat your fiber – Fiber is vital for our digestive health, it helps regulate bowel movements, and has also been found to lower cholesterol levels. Fiber is found in green leafy vegetables, oats, and whole grains.
- Exercise daily – The importance of exercise cannot be stressed enough. Daily exercise decreases stress levels, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and contributes to weight loss. If you are a very busy person that can’t seem to find the time for exercise, incorporate it in your regular day, in ways such as parking at the back of the parking lot and taking extra steps around the building at your workplace!
These are all a few tips to living a healthier lifestyle, but there is always more to learn and explore!
Follow my women’s health movement on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prettymeanshealthy/
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org