Your social network and schedule play a big role in the choices you make when it comes to nutrition. These choices can look different for everyone. Do your friends and family prefer to dine out or cook? Do you add meal times to your schedule or do you hope to get a meal in between other activities?
Dining out can be a great way to catch up with friends and family. However, the dining environment doesn’t always lend itself to healthy choices. Restaurants are notorious for serving large portions, heavily salted foods and high saturated fat content (1). Cooking at home can be a healthier alternative because you can control the ingredients including seasoning foods with spices other than salt and utilizing healthy fats such as olive oil or avocado oil. Plus, cooking for yourself is less expensive than dining out. Having friends and family support these choices can create a positive wellness environment.
Just as you schedule time for classes and meetings, scheduling time for meals is important to creating healthy living strategies. Food fuels your body and more specifically your brain. Taking the time to eat balanced and consistent meals and snacks can benefit your overall well-being. One study showed a significant association between happiness and consuming breakfast (2).
Creating a space to make healthy nutrition choices is important for overall wellness. Take a moment to think about whether your environment supports eating healthy. If you feel that it doesn’t and need help making changes schedule an appointment with a dietitian in Health Promotion and Wellness. Appointments are free and can be made on myUHS or by calling 814-863-0461.
- American Heart Association. Eat Fast Food. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/DiningOut/Eating-Fast-Food_UCM_301473_Article.jsp#.W3W7iIWcGUk. Accessed August 16, 2018.
- Lesani, A., Mohammadpoorasl, A., Javadi, M., Esfeh, J., Fakhari, A. Eating and Weight Disorders – Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity. Dec. 2016: 21(4) 645-651.