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It's Always Nutrition Month at The Orthopedic Center

In today's fast-paced world is hard to find the time to prepare meals that are nutritious and wholesome. However, it is becoming more and more evident that many of modern-day health issues are related to poor nutritional habits and choices. Therefore, making the time for food selection and meal preparation is absolutely necessary if we want to improve our health and diminish the chances of developping a chronic health condition.

At The Orthopedic Center we firmly believe that good nutrition is key to a healthy, pain-free life. Obesity and malnutrition are important contributors to bone, joint, muscle and ligament problems. Poor nutrition is also responsible for a slower or incomplete recovery from injury or surgery.

Central to adopting good nutritional habits is to first recognize that the quality and quantity of the foods we consume play the most important role. Therefore we must begin by choosing foods that are fresh, whole, varied and only minimally processed.

In general, processing of foods alters their natural nutritional balance and results in too many empty calories, too much sodium and not enough important minerals, micro-nutrients and vitamins. Not to mention the adverse health effects that the addition of chemical preservatives, modified fats, artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors has on our bodies.

Understanding how the food industry takes advantage of our innate desire to consume foods that were once rare but we now find in excessive amounts is also important. These foods include sugars, salt and oils. Eliminating all refined forms of these substances is the first step. For example, using lesser amounts of sea-salt instead of refined salt will introduce important micro nutrients to your diet. Poaching and grilling instead of frying is another important change. The most difficult change for a lot of people is to avoid refined starches, such as flours and sugars. Fortunately today we can find breads made with whole grains and sprouted grains. Their much improved nutritional quality and their low glycemic index (how much sugar enters your blood stream at once) makes them a logical choice if you want to improve your health.

Small, "baby steps", is what you need to do when it comes to lifestyle changes. Any drastic change is generally not well tolerated and abandoned. Start by decreasing portion size and then gradually limit and eliminate refined and processed foods. Of course, a good regimen of physical activity and muscle stretching will add a beneficial effect in your bone, joint and muscle health.

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