Nassau County Health
Is Our Mission

Nassau County Health
Is Our Mission

Creating a Plate for Healthy Eating

Here is Jin’s Story:

I have had diabetes for one year. When I first was diagnosed, I was angry and confused. I really did not like the idea of taking medications my whole life. Would I need to take insulin, too? And food — what could I eat – was I going to need to eat no carbohydrates — no rice, no bread, no pasta? That was impossible. I love food. I am chef.

My doctor told me to slow down, take a deep breath, and see the office nutritionist. He said I shouldn’t make radical changes that I wouldn’t be able to stick with. The nutritionist would help me make sensible and slow changes to my diet. The first thing the nutritionist showed me was a picture of a healthy plate. It wasn’t scary at all.

Guess what? It had every food group on it, just different amounts than what I was used to eating. About one-half of the plate was for non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, cabbage, spinach; about one-quarter of the plate should include a protein, like lean meat, fish, chicken, turkey, beans, nuts, eggs or low-fat dairy. The final one-quarter of the plate should be grains and starchy vegetables, like whole-grain breads, pasta and cereal, rice, corn, potatoes, green peas, plantains and popcorn.

I met with the nutritionist every six weeks. This helped me stay on track. It took me a while to get the hang of it because I was used to eating a lot of protein and carbs. Even though I am chef, I work long hours and I eat out a lot. I worked with my nutritionist to decide on healthy choices when eating out — even at fast food places. I made myself cook at home on the days I didn’t work and freeze some healthy home-cooked meals so I would have on other days.

That way I could decide how much fat, salt, and sugar was in the food I was eating. I started to exercise daily. I was swimming like I did when I was in high school. At first once every week. Then three time a week. It turns out I didn’t need insulin — only pills that I take for now. With my diet, exercise and medication, my weight has come down and my diabetes is under control.
The Long Island FQHC, Inc. is a family health center that provides comprehensive primary and specialty care for the whole family. We provide services for all adult, pediatric, OB/GYN, Behavioral health and dental care needs at several location throughout Nassau County. We will see patients regardless of their ability to pay and regardless of citizenship status.

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