Back to basics

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley N. Steffen)

DAVIS MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz — The smell of baking cheese, sizzling meats, and toasting bread waft into the air. In the oven, a pizza rests with its oils glistening in the kitchen lights, waiting to be devoured.

While pizza may make mouths water uncontrollably and stomachs lurch with desire, it also may leave you craving for more food. In fact, many foods leave you feeling full for a short amount of time before hunger strikes again. The Health and Wellness Center provides information on how to keep that full feeling without over eating.

“If the food is not giving you the right amount of nutrients, your body’s going to be craving more,” said Cindy Davis, 355th Force Support Squadron Health and Wellness Center registered dietitian nutritionist. “It’s going to be saying to you ‘feed me, feed me!’ so that you can eventually tease out the few nutrients that might be in any one food. That’s why people may tend to overeat; they aren’t getting what they need.”

Food is fuel for the body. It is what gives the body energy, boosts brain power, and keeps an effective immune system. Unfortunately, not all foods are created equal. Some foods provide all the right nutrients to keep the body in tip-top shape, while other foods can actually hinder the body’s performance.

“The more processed a food is, the worse it tends to be,” Davis said. “If it’s loaded with the three flavor enhancers: salt, fat and sugar, it is considered bad food. Your basic fast food burger patty is loaded with these flavor enhancers, where the actual patty only contains about 2 percent of actual beef.”

Davis encourages everyone to go back to the basics when it comes to eating clean. As long as people are eating basic food groups, such as fruits and vegetables, they’re going to receive all the nutrients their bodies need. The HAWC offers information on how to keep the body operating smoothly.

The HAWC also provides classes on a plethora of health topics to include weight management, nutrition and cooking. These classes advise Airmen and their families to make healthy choices.

There are monthly cooking classes available to provide meal prep ideas for those looking for healthy alternatives. The HAWC will even work to offer lessons on specific meals requested by class attendees.

They also offer tobacco cessation, body composition assessment, and cardio coach. Some of these assessments and classes allow people to keep track of their health and fitness progression.

“What I find is that when people start eating the foods that contain more nutrients and more fiber, they tend to eat less.” Davis said. “They feel better because they’re getting the nutrients they need, and all of a sudden, it’s become a lifestyle change. They are ready and excited to start working out.”

The HAWC is located next to the Tech. Sgt. Arthur J. Benko Fitness and Sports Center on South Fifth Street, Building 2303. For any further inquiries, call 520-228-5294.