Winter 2022 Newsletter
By Laura Stilwell, MEd
UAMS Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative (AGEC)
Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative, (AGEC) provides a variety of educational programs for the older adult population of Arkansas. Exercise, along with nutrition education provides the cornerstone of creating and sustaining enhanced quality of life for the older adult. (Minett, M. et al., 2020) The program called From Our Kitchen to Yours is the live cooking show developed by AGEC to provide healthy nutrition information in an entertaining format. The program features healthy recipes prepared in real time and presented on the AGEC Facebook page. The concept for the live cooking show was developed around the recently published Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 (the Guidelines) and the corresponding healthy dietary recommendations at Myplate.gov. The older adult life stage is the focus of chapter six of the Dietary Guidelines, making it the primary reference chapter for development of this program. (USDA, 2020)
The research groups that focus on specific conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease are now publishing nutritional recommendations for the remediation and prevention of these conditions. Research by the National Heart, Lung and Blood institute shows high blood pressure can be prevented and lowered by following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. (Nhlbi, 2018 p1) The Alzheimer’s Association recommends the Mediterranean-Dash Interventions for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet to slow cognitive decline, improve verbal memory and reduce the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to fifty-three percent. (Murad, A. 2019) Using one guide to address the dietary needs of the older adult population is the goal of the AGEC healthy cooking program. The Guidelines are heavily influenced by the Mediterranean diet, provide options for vegetarian and vegan dietary patterns and provide the foundation of the DASH and MIND dietary plans. (USDA, 2020 p19)(Murad, A. 2019) The Dietary Guidelines are grounded in robust scientific review of the current body of evidence on key nutrition and health topics for each life stage. (USDA, 2020. P v.)
The purpose of preparing food in real time is to show that food preparation can be efficient, healthy and cost effective. Many of the recipes used for the cooking segments are chosen from the MyPlate Kitchen on the Myplate.gov website. These recipes provide the portion size and the nutritional content for each recipe. In addition to nutritional information, Myplate.gov provides information to make home prepared meals cost effective. Preparing food at home allows for control over added sugar, sodium and saturated fats. Reduction of added sugar, sodium and saturated fat is the primary recommendation for a healthy dietary pattern for the older adult. (USDA, 2020).
AGEC will continue to prepare a variety of recipes each month on Facebook during new episodes of From Our Kitchen to Yours. The recipes will reflect the recommendations for low sodium, low added sugar, low saturated fats, adequate protein and adequate fiber. A variety of dietary patterns will also be addressed. The show will feature vegan and vegetarian options as well as other regional flavors. Not only are the recipes healthy, they are delicious. By using the Dietary Guidelines, AGEC hopes to show that small changes in dietary patterns can create big results in health status for the older adult population in Arkansas. From Our Kitchen to Yours provides an entertaining and useful program to share nutritional information in a format for daily living.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2018) Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. (2020) Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary guidelines Committee: Advisory Report to the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Health and Human Services. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, Washington, D.C. P 16-22, p. 122-130
Mayo Clinic Staff, (2021) Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983?p=1
McDermott, Jamie L., Baum, Jamie I., the Truth About Fad Diets. (2021) University of Arkansas System Family and Consumer Sciences.
Minett, M. M., Binkley, T. L., Holm, R. P., Runge, M., & Specker, B. L. (2020). Feasibility and Effects on Muscle Function of an Exercise Program for Older Adults. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 52(2), 441–448.
Murad, A., (2019) 15 Simple Diet Tweaks that could Cut Your Alzheimer’s Risk