Nutrition Counseling

Eat Healthier and Thrive with Us

What we choose to put into our bodies has a significant effect on our health. We believe in empowering our patients to make better choices about their diet and their overall health. Not only do we provide nutritional counseling for our patients who need it but maintain online resources for them and their loved ones to consult to make better nutritional choices.

The Basics

We are constantly bombarded with advice about what we should eat and claims about nutritional values in the foods that we eat. Sorting through this noise can be difficult, but it is always advised that patients remember the basics. These are the basic tenets of food and nutrition many of us learn at a young age.

Nutritional basics to keep in mind:

  • Have three meals a day with healthy snacks (as needed) in between.
  • Drink water frequently and avoid high-sugar drinks (like soda and juice).
  • High fiber diets can be beneficial and salt should be used in moderation.
  • Moderate your use of butter and gravies.
  • Fruits and vegetables make great snacks in between meals.
  • For protein, favor fish and poultry over red meat.

Some tips for parents:

  • Children are exposed to a lot of sugar. Decrease their intake when possible.
  • Baking, grilling, and broiling food is best—moderate fried foods.
  • Children under the age of two require fats for healthy development. Do not implement a low-fat diet for these children without first speaking with your pediatrician.

Basic Food Groups

As defined by the USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are five major food groups. Keeping a balance of these food groups (in proper proportion) can help ensure healthy functioning and weight.

Prime examples of the five food groups include:

  • Vegetables: dark, leafy greens, peas, beans, and orange vegetables
  • Fruits: Berries, citruses (oranges, grapefruits, etc.) and 100% juice
  • Dairy: Milk, cheese, yogurt (low-fat dairy products are recommended)
  • Protein: Fish, poultry, seeds, nuts, and beans
  • Grains: Whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice

Understanding Calories & Fats

Calories give our bodies the energy they need to function properly. However, too many of them can result weight gain and other health concerns. It is possible, however, to manage your calorie intake and the calorie intake of your children by keeping a few dietary tenets in mind.

Some basic facts about calories include:

  • Moderately active adult males should consume roughly 2,500 calories a day.
  • Moderately active adult females should consume roughly 2,000 calories a day.
  • If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight.
  • If you consume more calories than you consume, you will gain weight.

When dieting, make sure that you are still consuming a healthy amount of calories. Many patients can benefit from portion control, however, dramatically decreasing the number of calories you consume can have adverse health effects. Speak with your doctor or a nutritionist about your diet concerns before making changes to the amount of food that you eat.


The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reports that the use of vitamin supplements is widespread in the U.S. with many consumers buying pills, liquids, powders and meal replacement bars. However, with a balanced diet, vitamin supplements are not needed for healthy individuals.

Patients who may require vitamin supplements include:

  • Young children
  • Pregnant and nursing women
  • Postmenopausal women
  • People who abuse alcohol
  • Vegetarians and vegans
  • Those with a diagnosis that requires nutritional concerns

Have more questions about your diet and would like to speak to one of our nutritionists? Contact us today.

Patient Stories

  • I am grateful to RWJBarnabas Health and the Center for Diabetes Wellness and Prevention for having the program.

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