The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo was held last week and I attended a fascinating session with Ed Diener, PhD, a professor of psychology from the University of Illinois. He discussed how happiness is a behavior that increases health and longevity; in other words, happy people are healthier and healthy people are happier. Dr. Diener’s research explained the lifestyle that makes people the happiest and healthiest, and it included an overall nutritious diet incorporating fruits and vegetables, exercise, and daily physical pleasures, such as enjoyment of food. As a dietitian, my clients and students always expect to have to eliminate beloved foods to live healthful lives. Although many of us overindulge and need to include more healthful choices, there is a place for all foods in our lives!
As I tell my clients, nutrition doesn’t count until you eat – and food should taste good! I teach nutrition at a college of culinary arts, and food is an art, a joy, and enjoying delicious food enriches our lives. And when you do splurge, balance your day with fruits and veggies. Happy eating!