Food. The REAL Way!

March 1, 2024 | Lorna Towers Sanders, Clinical Nutrition Manager

by Lorna Towers Sanders, RDN/LD, CDP Clinical Nutrition Manager

It’s National Nutrition Month once again. This year’s theme is , “Beyond The Table”. This theme will highlight the farm-to-fork aspect of nutrition and address the various ways and places we eat-both at home and on the go.

Happy Registered Dietitians Day to all of my fellow dietitians! (March 13, 2024)

According to studies, almost 75% of Americans consume insufficient amounts of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and healthy fats. This deficiency explains the high incidence of obesity in the United State. Bad eating habits are connected to several diseases, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dental decay, osteoporosis, elevated cholesterol, and certain types of cancer. Luckily, farm-to-table eating boasts a full slate of health benefits.

There are five health benefits noted from eating from scratch foods, and cooking at home.

1) It’s About More than Calories.

Different foods contain different nutrients, and that leads to a healthier you. A diverse diet full of vitamins and minerals lowers the risk of being susceptible to health issues, which occurs when we don’t obtain enough nutrients from our food. Remember, calories aren’t the only important thing in what we eat.You want to eat a variety of foods from all food groups. Your plate should be packed with color so that you are getting all of the vitamins/minerals from the food groups.

2) No Additives, No Preservatives

Every 10 percent increase in consumption of highly processed foods corresponds to a 12 percent rise in cancer risk. Ultra-processed foods have harmful amounts of added sugar, salt, and fat. These and other synthetic additives enhance the flavor of what we eat, but consuming too much of them can result in significant health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease. On the other hand, farm-to-table eating avoids all additives and preservatives.

3) Nutritionally Dense Foods

Farm fresh produce is more nutrient-dense than anything at a grocery store. Locally grown food is harvested at the peak of ripeness. Most produce sold in supermarkets arrives before it is ripe. Farmers harvest them early, so they won’t spoil in transit. A product’s nutritional content also decreases through air exposure, artificial lighting, and temperature changes. Local food avoids all this because of its short travel from crops to table.

4) More Satisfying than Grocery Store Fare

According to studies, meals prepared at home typically have fewer calories than meals from restaurants or ordering takeout. When you prepare your own food, you also control how much sugar and fat goes into it. Nutrient-packed meals make you feel full more quickly and you tend to consume fewer calories. So, try a farm-to-table restaurant sometimes, and you will come away feeling satisfied.

5) No Need For The Deep Freeze

Processing facilities often blanch and freeze fruits and vegetables to keep them from spoiling in transit. Although these techniques are generally helpful for keeping much of their nutrition intact, specific vitamins are lost during blanching, particularly Vitamin C.  Since there is no travel time, it is not essential to freeze or otherwise preserve farm-to-table foods. Therefore, you will enjoy the best taste and absorb all the vitamins nature intended. 

CC Young has partnered with Thomas Cuisine in creating nutritious meals for residents and staff. Thomas Cuisine is known to be a ‘from scratch’ kitchen. All our foods are made from scratch. We use Real Foods, and the freshest ingredients to provide delicious meals to those we serve.

Our acronym for REAL means:

Robust flavor

Our skilled chefs work to enhance the natural qualities of the foods we serve.

We do ‘made from scratch’ soups that are broth based. We have ‘made to order’ selections to provide a variety of food options for our residents. We use different spices & herbs to season our food, so that the natural taste and flavor comes through with every bite.

Exceptional ingredients

Better ingredients provide great taste and foster good health. We use extra virgin olive oil when cooking; and we purchase grass-fed meats and locally sourced fruits and vegetables when possible. We use lean cuts of meat, have fiber rich legumes, and provide whole grains as healthy options.

Avoiding additives

Real food comes from ingredients that are grown, not made. Our focus is on hormone free and antibiotic free meats. We limit processed foods and artificial flavors. We do not have trans-fat in our foods.

Loaded with nutrients

We cook with passion to nourish your body & soul. The love that we have for our jobs shows in every plate provided to our residents.

We want to nourish the body through healthy eating, and that starts with what we eat. I hope you all love what we do at Thomas Cuisine and continue to give us feedback. We hope you love us as much as we all love serving you all.

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