Saturday, February 27, 2016

Eat what you like and be healthy! Ellyn Satter

Eat what you like and be healthy!

January 2016  -  Family Meals Focus #103   

Ellyn Satter, Registered Dietitian and Family Therapist

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Before the publication of the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans sends you packing for still another guilt trip, consider becoming eating competent. You can enjoy your eating and feel good about it at the same time as you work toward the Dietary Guidelines outcomes of achieving and maintaining good health and reducing the risk of chronic disease.
The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans tell us to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and less sugar, salt, saturated fat. This list is more moderate than before in emphasizing variety rather than stipulating serving numbers. However, there are still enough “eat this—don’t eat that” directives to leave us feeling criticized about what we eat as well as pulled in opposite directions with respect to our “shoulds” and “wants.” One of these five-year-cycles, the Dietary Guidelines committee will get around to considering the remarkable evidence supporting the Satter Eating Competence Model (ecSatter) and including ecSatter in the Dietary Guidelines. Until then, you are entitled to know that ecSatter provides the way for you to pull your shoulds and wants together and achieve nutrition and health goals. Eating competent people have nutritious diets, are active, sleep well, have better medical and lab tests, and do better with respect to feeding their children.
To become eating competent, discover the joy of eating. Eat as much as you want of foods you enjoy. Provide yourself with structure and pay attention while you eat. Be kind, patient, and persistent with yourself and your family, and you will accomplish much gain with little pain.  
  • Emphasize the positive and trust the process: Have family meals made up of foods you enjoy. You will gradually get bored with the same-old and seek additional foods to enjoy. 
  • Use fat, sugar, and salt to make your meals and snacks tasty and rewarding. You will eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein foods because you enjoy them, not because you have to. You will also eat less sugar, salt, and fat.
  • Use a variety of fats: Butter and cream, olive or canola oil, corn or soybean oil.
  • Have planned, sit-down meals and snacks between times. Drink your soda, tea, or coffee then rather than carrying it around between times. You will consume less sugar and be kind to your teeth.
  • Let your body weigh what it wants to weigh. Evidence shows that weight stability supports health; Weight yo-yoing doesn’t.
  • Emphasize sustainability. Enjoyment and food-seeking are sustainable. Avoidance and restriction are not.
Earlier commentaries:
For more about the Satter Eating Competence Model and how to apply it, “read Part 1, How to eat,” in Ellyn Satter’s Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family

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