Right at Home focuses on everyday food choices

ALGONQUIN – “We all owe it to ourselves at any age to fuel our minds and bodies with the best nutrition possible,” said Jeanette Palmer, president of Right at Home in Algonquin.

“In our work with seniors, we find that many elderly rely on microwavable, convenience foods that often contain extra fats, sugar and salt that complicate existing health conditions. Eating right doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Sometimes only a few adjustments are needed.”

“Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” is the theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month celebrated in March across America from home kitchens and school cafeterias to office building cafés and fine-dining restaurants. Sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month is an education and information campaign that stresses the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound physical exercise habits. This year’s “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” theme encourages the personal food preferences and healthy eating styles of people with diverse lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions.

Formerly the American Dietetic Association, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals dedicated to helping people enjoy healthy lives through their daily diets. The group’s website, www.eatright.org, offers the public free facts and tips about childhood obesity, healthy weight loss, nutrition for life, disease management and prevention, food safety, holiday nutrition, and a variety of other food and nutrition topics.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends shifts in dietary nutrients as we grow older, including:

• Calcium and Vitamin D to help maintain strong bone health. Older adults should eat three servings of vitamin D-fortified low-fat or free-free milk or yogurt daily. Other sources of calcium-rich foods include dark green leafy vegetables, canned fish and fortified cereals and fruit juices.

• Vitamin B12 is often low in people older than 50. Lean meat, fortified cereals and some fish and seafood are excellent sources of vitamin B12.

• Potassium is found in fruits, vegetables, and milk and yogurt products. To lower high blood pressure, seniors should increase potassium in their diets while reducing sodium or salt intake.

• Fiber found in whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, peas, fruits and vegetables is a natural way to stay regular, prevent Type 2 diabetes, control weight and lower one’s risk for heart disease.

• Healthier Fats found in olive oil and peanut oil, for example, are considered polyunsaturated or monounsaturated vs. saturated and trans fats found in many commercially processed and baked foods.

“Our caregivers assist seniors and disabled adults every day with menu planning, grocery shopping and preparing nutritious meals and find that some people need to follow specific dietary restrictions but just feel a bit lost,” Palmer explained. “Or sometimes all they need is someone to sit down with them and take the loneliness out of eating alone. National Nutrition Month is a helpful reminder that informed everyday food choices are not just essential to our physical health but to our emotional and social health, as well.”

The Northwest Suburban location of Right at Home is a locally operated; women owned franchise office of Right at Home, Inc. It has been servicing the Northwest Suburbs for the past 10 years, incluiding Barrington, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Palatine, McHenry, Rosemont and Park Ridge.

For more information, call 847-458-8656, or visit rightathomealgonquin.com.

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