Mayor Dan Sherrell recently signed a proclamation declaring March as National Nutrition Month in Harrison. Sherrell presented dietitians from North Arkansas Regional Medical Center (NARMC) with the proclamation and discussed the importance of nutrition for a healthy community.
National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education campaign celebrated each year. The awareness initiative highlights the importance of making informed health decisions and recognizes registered dietitians as the foremost experts in food and nutrition. This year's theme, "Go Further with Food," reminds us that nutrition fuels the body and can help manage and reduce the risks of chronic diseases. Choosing foods wisely can also reduce food waste and address hunger insecurity in communities.
There are a variety of ways that you can go further with food at home, work or school.
NARMC Food and Nutrition Services Department Director Debi Arnold, MS RD LD, recommends making peace with food.
“Begin thinking of foods as nutrient-filled, rather than good or bad. This allows you to go further with food by incorporating a variety of nourishing options from each food group into your daily routine. Increasing food variety helps to ensure your body gets the key vitamins and minerals it needs,” Arnold says.
Tammie Gimenez, MS RD LD, provides Outpatient Nutrition Education and Clinical Services. She encourages her patients to start out by eating breakfast and not skipping meals.
“Moderating portion sizes, choosing whole grains and adding plant-based proteins can help manage blood glucose levels and reduce hypoglycemia, complications of diabetes and other inflammatory diseases,” Gimenez says.
Lynetta Smith, MS RD LD, Clinical Dietitian, recommends going further with food by fueling wisely throughout the day.
“Our bodies need refueling every 2-4 hours. You can practice self-care and stick to your food budget by anticipating your basic needs. Add healthy snacks to your grocery list and meal prep at home to increase the nutritional value of your diet and reduce overspending on convenience foods. Economic snack foods with staying power include fresh fruits, nut butters, low-fat cheeses, and whole grain crackers,” Smith added.
At NARMC, registered dietitians help patients go further with food daily by working together with the healthcare team to provide life-sustaining nutrition interventions. NARMC dietitians have completed graduate level nutrition education, national accreditation through the Commission on Dietetic Registration and are licensed in the state of Arkansas to provide medical nutrition therapy (MNT). MNT is a therapy and counseling service for disease management through behavioral and lifestyle changes to impact long-term eating habits and health. Many insurance providers cover outpatient MNT for patients with diabetes, chronic kidney disease and other conditions.
You can learn more about the medical nutrition services provided by NARMC registered dietitians by speaking with your primary care physician about a referral. Appointments are scheduled through NARMC Central Scheduling.
NARMC is an innovative, non-profit healthcare system consisting of a central hospital in Harrison, Arkansas, and 18 clinics serving the rural communities of North Arkansas. More than 850 NARMC employees, including 32 physicians, physician’s assistants and APRNs, work together to provide a comprehensive range of healthcare services. As one of the Top 100 Rural Hospitals in the nation according to the Rural Health Policy Institute, NARMC has earned numerous 5-Star ratings from Healthgrades and consistently ranks high in patient satisfaction in Press Ganey ratings. A two-time recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Quality Achievement Award, NARMC is committed to providing the best in care, close to home.