‘Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right’

by Maj. Risa Riepma
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Nutrition Care Division

What does the slogan “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” mean to you?

Consumer research has found the taste of food is more important to consumers than nutrition content in terms of making food choices. How do we enjoy the taste of food and still eat healthy or “right?” Believe it or not, it can be done.

A habit many Americans have that affects both the way they taste and enjoy food, as well as the portions consumed, is the speed at which they eat. How much attention is given to the experience of eating itself is also a factor.

Many may notice that dining out in Europe takes longer than in America. This can be multifactorial, but it is a known fact that Europeans value the eating and social experience when dining out and set aside time to fully engage in it.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to indicate how well you enjoy and taste food:
• Do you find yourself eating in a hurry or on the run?
• Does it take you less than 20 minutes to finish a meal?
• Do you often eat standing up or in your car?
• Do you consistently eat alone?

Studies have shown that those who eat too quickly are more likely to overeat. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to send signals of fullness to the brain. Eating too quickly can often result in excessive calories consumed and an unsatisfied feeling a short time later. The same is true for eating while standing or at other locations other than a table.

Something you can try to enhance your eating experience and eat more healthy may include eating meals at a designated spot at home, preferably the kitchen table. Putting your fork down and taking a sip of water in between bites will also encourage you to slow down.

Enjoying the taste of food can also mean being more open to adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Many times we get into repetitive patterns when we eat the same things over and over. If our food choices
are not low fat or low in sodium, it can result in an unhealthy eating pattern.

Making a point to seek out low fat, low sodium and high fiber recipes and food items can expand your taste palate and encourage healthier eating habits.  The old saying “don’t knock it until you’ve tried it” still applies. It is never too late to begin eating more healthy.

National Nutrition Month, celebrated annually in March, is a nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly known as the American Dietetic Association. The campaign focuses on making informed food choices and developing sound physical activity and eating habits. This year’s slogan for National Nutrition Month is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”

For questions on nutrition classes and services offered at LRMC, call 486-8229 or 06371-86-8229.