Columbus, OH,
12:00 PM

OhioHealth HOOFit Walk: “Filling Your Pouch: Tips and Tricks for Healthy Eating.”

June 28 was another OhioHealth HOOFit walk at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The topic of the walk was “Filling Your Pouch: Tips and Tricks for Healthy Eating.”

Several OhioHealth providers participated in the walk and guided zoo goers around, while giving their expertise on the best ways to ensure that those in attendance lead a healthy lifestyle. Participating experts included:

This edition of HOOFit had a great turnout of 151 walkers, who partook in some wonderful exercise in the beautiful weather, all the while getting to encounter interesting animals.

Walkers not only learned how to keep themselves healthy but also learned about how the Columbus Zoo keeps their animals healthy from animal experts.

OhioHealth providers gave walkers insight on the benefits of healthy eating and the best places to buy organic foods. They also talked about why it is important to live a clean healthy lifestyle.

"By eating healthy, by doing routine exercise, we can avoid medications, we can avoid a lot of medical issues and the complications that come with being overweight," John Sutter, MD, OhioHealth Primary Care Physician, told 10TV’s Yolanda Harris.

If you weren't able to attend this HOOFit walk, here are some tips that were discussed by OhioHealth providers:

  1. Healthy fats – what are they and why are they important?
    • A source of energy like carbs and protein, but fat is more calorie dense.
    • 3 types of fats:
      1. Saturated fats –
        • Commonly found in animal products like beef and pork, and full-fat dairy products like butter and cheese.
        • Can elevate your cholesterol levels, which may contribute to heart disease.
      2. Unsaturated fats –
        • Generally plant-based, in foods like avocados, nuts and olive oil, but they’re also found in fish and seafood.
        • These fats can help raise your good cholesterol levels (HDL) and lower your bad cholesterol level (LDL).
      3. Trans fats
        • Try to avoid.
        • Often found in fried and processed foods.
        • Lower your HDL cholesterol and raising your LDL, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
    • Tips to incorporating more healthy fats into your diet:
      1. Healthy oils rather than butter. Outside of baking, butter can often be swapped with olive oil.
      2. Avocado spread instead of mayonnaise. It has fewer calories and provides the creaminess of mayo with healthier fat.
      3. Roasted, unsalted nuts in your yogurt instead of granola, which can be high in sugar.
  2. Healthy alternatives to replace processed foods -Look for foods with the fewest ingredients or at least ingredients you can recognize.
    • Examples of healthy alternatives:
      1. Chips – replace with whole-grain pita bread, tortillas, and thin-sliced potatoes sprinkled with spices and olive oil to bake to a satisfying crunch.
      2. Find a healthy homemade recipe for your favorite processed food so you know exactly what is in your food. Make a bulk recipe or freeze if possible to cut down on time.
  3. How to shop healthy at the grocery store
    • Grains: Look for 100% whole grain bread, pasta and cereal products. Brown rice and oatmeal are also whole grains (but avoid oatmeal packets that add a lot of sugar.)
    • Fruit: Fresh is always best! Frozen and canned fruit is also okay, look for fruit cups in 100% fruit juice
    • Vegetables: Again, fresh is best! Frozen veggies are very convenient and nutritious. If you use canned vegetables, rinse them before cooking.
    • Dairy: Choose skim or 1% milk. Look for yogurt with 10 grams of sugar or less. Look for reduced fat cheeses
    • Meats: Leaner meats such as chicken, turkey and fish have less fat. With beef products, look for at least 90% lean
  4. Organic – what does it mean and when should I splurge on the organic option?
    • Organic foods do not use growth hormones, pesticides, genetic engineering or other practices that are not natural.
    • The USDA has strict guidelines on what qualifies produce as organic, and items bought in stores are required to use the official USDA organic logo so it is easy to identify if a product is organic.
    • What are some tips for buying organic without spending a lot of money?
      1. Buy in season
      2. Visit local farmers markets
      3. Buy in bulk when you see a deal and freeze what you won’t use right away.
  • Certain foods are more susceptible to having lots of pesticide residue vs other foods.
    • Foods you should splurge for the organic option:
      1. Strawberries
      2. Apples
      3. Grapes
      4. Celery
      5. Peaches
      6. Potatoes
    • Foods that show the least amount of pesticide residue:
      1. Avocados
      2. Sweetcorn
      3. Pineapple
      4. Cabbage
      5. Onions
      6. Asparagus
  1. Superfoods. What are they, how to incorporate into your diet. 
  • Superfoods are foods that are packed with nutrients and have many health promoting benefits such as decreasing the risk of certain diseases.
  • Examples:
    1. Salmon- full of a healthy fat called Omega-3 fatty acid, this helps reduce inflammation, good for heart and brain function and can help improve your cholesterol.
    2. Broccoli- large amounts of Vitamin C, also contains folate and calcium, can help reduce risk of cancer
    3. Blueberries- full of antioxidants to help repair damaged cells, prevent cancer and reduce effects of aging
    4. Spinach- full of vitamins and iron and can help reduce cancer risk, fight inflammation, and lower blood pressure
    5. Tomatoes- antioxidants to help reduce the risk of cancers, and heart disease
  1. Food allergies vs. food intolerances
    • Food allergies and intolerances often have similar symptoms and can easily be confused for each other.
    • A food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body. It has a variety of symptoms which could be severe or life threatening.
      1. Tingling or itching in the mouth
      2. Hives, itching or eczema
      3. Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
      4. Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
      5. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
      6. Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
      7. Anaphylaxis
    • Prevention & Treatment:
      1. Read labels carefully. Major allergens are usually listed on labels but it is important to be diligent about reading all of the ingredients.
      2. Carry an epinephrine pen in case you come in contact with the allergen.
      3. If eating at a restaurant, let them know about your allergy to avoid cross-contamination or the allergen hidden in foods.
  2. Food intolerance
    • Symptoms are less severe and are often limited to the digestive system.
    • You may be able to eat limited amounts of the trigger food or prevent a reaction with medicine or replacement food (ex: using lactaid or lactose free milk if you have a lactose intolerance).
    • Symptoms tend to take longer to appear than symptoms of allergies and can also include migraines, coughing and stomachache
    • How can I tell if it is a food allergy or food intolerance?
      1. Keep a record of your food intolerances and avoid trigger foods.
      2. Consult a doctor to determine a food allergy vs intolerance and develop a treatment plan.
      3. Food Allergies can be diagnosed through skin and blood tests
      4. Food intolerances are best diagnosed by an elimination or diagnostic diet, which can take about 2 weeks to 2 months to diagnose.

10TV was on-site for the HOOFit walk. You can view their story in the video player above.

We hope to see you and your walking shoes at the upcoming HOOFit walk on Thursday, July 19! The topic is “Memory like an Elephant: How to Maintain Brain Health.” If you would like to sign-up please click here.