Nutrition / Wellness
Americans have a love/hate relationship with food. They love foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt, but they hate what those foods are doing to their bodies. Statistics show that unhealthy diet choices contribute to approximately 678,000 deaths every year in the U.S. from heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. In the last 30 years, obesity rates have doubled in adults, tripled in children, and quadrupled in adolescents. Those are scary statistics!
At Park Avenue Endocrinology & Nutrition, we want to change that for our patients. Good nutrition is the key to good health — both mental and physical. How many times have you binged on something like a bag of potato chips only to feel really poorly 10 minutes later? Truth is, the kinds of foods, and, of course, the amount you eat affects the way you feel and how your body functions.
At Park Avenue Endocrinology & Nutrition, we help our patients use lifestyle, behavioral, and nutritional changes to combat illness and to improve overall wellness. We educate patients on the proper use of nutritional supplements and the latest craze diet that needs to be avoided. We mix nutrition and natural products to complement traditional medicines. And we offer nutritional tests performed in our own on-site lab to ensure you’re on the right path.
What is Good Nutrition?
Good nutrition is nothing more than choosing foods that your body needs and taste good. You don’t have to suffer through a kale sandwich. That’s not realistic. Good nutrition helps your body prevent disease and function more efficiently. The right foods provide the body with the energy, protein, essential fats, vitamins, and minerals it needs to live, grow, and function optimally.
Although the “my body is my temple” thinking can become trite and tedious, eating the right foods — more fruits, vegetables, starchy, fiber-rich foods and fresh products; fewer fatty, sugary, salty, processed foods — has scientifically proven short- and long-term health benefits.
Ten Benefits of a Healthy Diet
Science has proven the benefits of eating right. Here are 10 great benefits to eating well:
- Better diet equals a healthy weight
When you eat a diet centered on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and protein, it’s easier to maintain a healthy weight.
- Good nutrition improves your life
Studies show that two-thirds of those who eat fresh fruits and vegetables daily report no mental health issues.
- Being healthy saves money
With almost two-thirds of Americans classified as overweight or obese, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a healthier diet could save at least $71 billion in medical costs and lost lives yearly. And that doesn’t take into account costs for issues such as joint damage from being overweight.
- Good food boosts your immune system
Your immune system needs certain vitamins and minerals. Poor nutrition is the most common cause of immunodeficiencies worldwide.
- Delays the effects of aging
Berries are full of antioxidants. Foods like tomatoes and nuts contain vitamins and minerals that improve the skin. Eating right helps boost collagen production and fosters skin cell turnover.
- Provides the energy you need
Obviously, food equals the energy we need to function. Eating the right proteins and carbs can provide prolonged energy. Compare this to the energy crash after eating empty, sugary or fatty foods.
- Heads off chronic disease
Type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases are tied to unhealthy eating and the weight gain that goes with it.
- Improves our moods
A diet rich in protein, moderate in carbohydrates, and low in fat maintains healthy levels of omega-3 fatty acids and iron. These help even out our moods.
- Increases focus
Diets high in fat and cholesterol build up plaque in brain vessels, damaging brain tissue and causing strokes. Eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day keeps our mind fueled and efficient.
- Longer life
Overeating and obesity put more stress on the body and are proven to shorten life expectancy.
Nutritional Supplements Benefits
In a perfect world, we would eat everything our bodies needed. But the average American diet leaves many holes in those needs. Research shows U.S. diets are lacking in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and D. Taking nutritional supplements can fill in some of these gaps, although it’s not as cut and dried as taking a pill and filling a need. Supplements taken in higher-than-recommended doses can be dangerous.
That’s where our expertise at Park Avenue Endocrinology & Nutrition comes in. We test you for nutritional deficiencies and then coach you on ways to fill the need, whether through food choices or supplements.
At Park Avenue Endocrinology & Nutrition, we feature our own on-site laboratory, a CLIA-certified lab that provides a wide range of tests for our patients. Rather than having to go to another place to get your blood work done, we handle everything right in our offices.
We test for deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 fatty acids. Specifically, in this area, we have tests for your levels of vitamin B12, vitamin D, folic acid, ferritin, and iron.
What is the Seca Body Composition Analyzer?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to make many medical and health decisions, but we think it has flaws. BMI doesn’t take into account age, gender, frame size, muscle mass, or fat distribution. We have a better method — the Seca Body Composition Analyzer. The Body Composition Analyzer measures fat mass, fat-free mass, total body water, intracellular water, and extracellular water. And it does this with a high degree of accuracy in only 20 seconds!
The Body Composition Analyzer uses an 8-point electrode Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis measurement method. The Seca equipment includes various modules that provide the team at Park Avenue with innumerable diagnostic options. We use the analyzer to produce precise ratios such as fat mass to weight and extracellular to intracellular water. In the past, these types of ratios couldn’t be discovered without additional examinations, creating both more expense and time loss for our patients.
At Park Avenue Endocrinology & Nutrition, we use the Seca Body Composition Analyzer for disease risk stratifications, precise monitoring of physiologic responses and compliance therapy, and to provide a comprehensive assessment of the general health and nutritional status of our patients. This allows our team to evaluate a patient’s fat distribution and total cardiovascular risk factors.
What is Wellness?
Wellness is a term that is often used and abused throughout today’s healthcare environment. Many people think “wellness” is simply how their health is doing. Am I getting sick? Do I have chronic pain? Those kinds of issues. But wellness actually encompasses our entire life.
The World Health Organization defines wellness as:
Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
At Park Avenue Endocrinology & Nutrition, we treat nutrition as just part of your overall wellness. We believe there are five facts to wellness:
- Mental wellness — Includes a healthy personal philosophy, striving for lifelong learning, continually building your base of knowledge.
- Physical wellness — Overall physical health and fitness, including our ability to ward off illness.
- Lifestyle wellness — How we balance our work life and our home life.
- Social wellness — How we build and manage our relationships and contribute to our community and the environment at large.
- Spiritual wellness — Becoming aware of our life’s purpose, utilizing our unique gifts and talents.
We strive to help our patients improve their wellness in various areas. While helping a patient with weight management can obviously impact his or her physical wellness, it may also flow into other areas such as social and mental wellness.