Most of us have a basic understanding of what types of foods we should add to our diet, such as fresh fruits, vegetables and fish, and which ones we need to cut back on such as french fries and ice cream—but putting this knowledge into practice isn’t always easy.
One of the many benefits to being a Harken member is having access to a dedicated Care Team at your local Health Center. Health Coaches can provide a tremendous boost to your overall health, including offering nutrition guidance and assisting you with meeting your wellness goals. Confused about what integrative nutrition is, why it’s an important part of your overall health, or how to put together a complete nutrition plan? This diet and nutrition Q&A should help!
What is nutrition coaching? A health coach aims to educate you about food choices so that eating well becomes a lifelong habit – and it’s never too late to start. Your health coach can show you the proper ways to measure portion sizes, read nutrient labels and use a food journal to track food intake and calories. Instead of giving you a rigid nutrition plan, a health coach will give you the tools and encouragement needed to make smarter, healthier eating decisions whether you’re at home, at work or on vacation.
What is a nutrition plan? Your health coach can create a nutrition plan tailored for your specific health needs. A nutrition plan takes into account your personal health goals and conditions. Are you trying to lose weight? Need to watch your sodium intake? Wanting to cut back on saturated fats? A successful nutrition plan doesn’t focus solely on what foods to remove from your diet. It also recognizes that food should be fun. A good nutrition plan will allow for certain cravings, such as sweets or salty foods, all in moderation.
What is integrative nutrition? This personalized approach to nutrition takes a holistic view, especially as it relates to pre-existing health conditions. Specialists in integrative nutrition don’t just follow basic dietary guidelines. They focus on developing meal plans that promote digestive health while limiting foods like red meat and fats that contribute to chronic health problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure. As a healing-oriented practice, integrative nutrition takes into account the whole person. This includes environment, lifestyle, genes and physiological and psychological factors.
According to the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco, integrative nutrition can lead to significant improvements in weight, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. The practice also may lessen side effects caused by cancer treatments and have a positive effect on behavioral issues in children.
Nutrition is an integral part of peoples’ health care journeys, and it’s an unfortunate fact that many doctors don’t have the time to provide patients with proper coaching and education. Some health insurance plans won’t cover this important service. At the Harken Health Centers, health coaches offer nutrition advice and are always an integrated part of your Care Team.
Harken Health is a new kind of health care company that connects access to relationship-based primary care with a range of competitively-priced health insurance plan options. Visit Harken Health to learn more.
About the Author
Julie, a Health Coach at Harken Health in Austell, was born and raised in a suburb of Detroit. Before finishing her Bachelor’s degree at Central Michigan University in sports medicine/athletic training, she had the opportunity to complete an internship at Georgia Tech with the Sports Medicine Department where she fell in love with Atlanta. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Georgia and began her Master’s degree in health science, concentrating in nutrition at Georgia State University.
While at Georgia State, Julie taught nutrition and cooking classes to elementary and middle school students. Julie is passionate about helping people be the healthiest and happiest version of themselves and is excited to share that passion with others. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and attempting to be successful with Pinterest projects.
Content is for general informational purposes only and not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. See your Harken Health Care Team or physician for medical advice personalized to your situation.
Harken Health Insurance Company does not determine what care is provided to patients at the Harken Health Centers.
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