Monday, April 3, 2023

CMO Message: Healthy Eating

Food is medicine - Yes and no.

Yes, proper nutrition has incredible healing properties that can turnaround even the most challenging chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and even some autoimmune diseases. But food is also culture, how we show affection to one another, source of comfort, part of our identity, and means of celebration. Your eating habits are much more complex than taking tylenol for a headache.

For some people, eating healthier could be as simple as replacing unhealthy choices with healthier ones. We’ve all heard of someone who lost 20 pounds from just cutting out soda and choosing sparkling water instead. If only it were that easy for everyone! For many others, eating healthier is a constant struggle due to limited time, budget constraints especially with inflation, and the challenges of feeding an entire household. To make matters worse, with the countless influencer diets on social media and new scientific articles coming out everyday, trying to figure out the best nutritional approach for yourself is more difficult than ever.

And here’s the shocker: healthy eating isn’t all about food and beverages. Sleep deprivation, elevated stress, deprioritization of self-care, and substances such as alcohol can all derail your best efforts for healthy eating. Oftentimes, unhealthy eating is not the core problem but rather a symptom of underlying lifestyle issues that need attention.

At UnitedAg, we understand all the complexities of healthy eating and you don’t have to figure it out on your own. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to nutrition. Your unique metabolism, food sensitivities, health conditions, and preferences are all important in figuring out how to make your diet work for you. Our expert bilingual coaches at our Health & Wellness Centers are available to UnitedAg members at no additional cost, whether you have chronic conditions or just want to optimize your health. Sure, there are many apps out there that can help you count calories and macros, but there’s no replacement for having a personal coach who understands you and supports you, step-by-step, in your journey to better health.


  1. What is considered a healthy diet?
    There is no one-size-fits all when it comes to nutrition, but for most people, a healthy diet includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, high quality proteins, fruit, whole grains, and healthy fats while avoiding highly processed foods, added sugars, and trans fats.
  2. With the high rates of inflation, how can I eat healthy while sticking to a budget?
    Healthy foods don’t have to be expensive. Some tips for making healthy eating more affordable include buying in bulk especially during sales, choosing seasonal produce, and cooking more at home. Avoiding convenience food (e.g. frozen meals) and takeout can go a long way to stretch a food budget.
  3. How can I eat out or indulge in unhealthy foods while maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
    Eating out and occasional indulgences can be part of a healthy balanced diet. When eating out, take a look at the menu ahead of time and look for restaurants that offer healthy options. For indulgences, try to plan ahead for these treats and return to your normal eating habits afterwards.
  4. What resources do I have at UnitedAg that can help me improve my eating habits?
    Whether you have chronic health conditions that you’d like to better manage or just want to optimize your health, UnitedAg members can receive bilingual holistic lifestyle coaching through our Health & Wellness Centers at no additional cost. The assessment and coaching is personalized to your medical history, preferences, and goals. Teladoc also offers virtual nutrition services and your provider can provide additional recommendations based on your needs.


  • Rosemary Ku, MD/MBA/MPA