Grace Derocha: Navigating Product Choices — Organic vs. Non-Organic Options | On the House #48

In this episode, Gabriella Joustra delves into a thought-provoking discussion with Grace Derocha, who is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes care and education specialist, and certified health coach

Due to the many available food choices, deciding what to eat can feel overwhelming. Join Grace Derocha and Gabriella Joustra as they delve into the intricacies of food labels, emphasizing the importance of research and making small dietary adjustments for enhanced well-being.

Meet Grace Derocha

Grace Derocha is a compassionate advocate for healthier living. As a registered dietitian, certified diabetes care and education specialist, and certified health coach, Grace is passionate about empowering individuals to achieve their wellness goals. 

Born and raised in Michigan, Grace deeply appreciates food’s cultural and family importance to her work. With two bachelor’s degrees from Michigan State University and an MBA from Wayne State University, Grace combines her academic background with a down-to-earth approach to nutrition education.

She is also the National Spokesperson for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, where she shares her expertise advocating for informed food choices and sustainable lifestyle changes. With warmth and insight, she navigates topics like food labels and organic options, encouraging listeners to establish manageable routines for nutrition research. 

About the episode

In this episode, host Gabriella and speaker Grace discuss the importance of understanding food labels and nutrition for meal planning and household management. They emphasize the need to check ingredients for allergies, understand serving sizes, and tailor choices based on health goals like weight management or heart health.

Reading labels requires focusing on facts and ingredients, not marketing. Being informed reduces label scrutiny over time. Initial research helps find products aligning with values and goals, but watch out for misleading claims like ‘natural.’ 

Grace also stresses the importance of good nutrition awareness, highlighting its role in boosting mental health and maintaining hydration. Here are some of Grace’s suggestions:

  • Good Nutrition Boosts Mental Health: Eating a balanced diet improves mental well-being. Incorporating small changes, such as increasing fiber intake or consuming heart-healthy fats, can lead to overall improved nutrition, positively impacting mental health.
  • Moderate Indulgence: Enjoying occasional treats in moderation is perfectly acceptable. It is important to balance indulging in favorite foods and maintaining a nutritious diet overall.
  • Personalized Tracking: Some individuals find it helpful to track their food intake, but it’s essential to choose the best method for you. Whether it’s journaling, using apps, or simply being mindful of eating habits, find the approach that supports your health goals and lifestyle.
  • Hydration and Fruit/Vegetable Prioritization: Staying properly hydrated and prioritizing fruits and vegetables in your diet are key components of good nutrition. These factors significantly impact health more than whether foods are labeled organic or non-organic. Focus on consuming adequate water daily and incorporating plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables into your meals for optimal health benefits.

When shopping, consider health goals, family history, and controllable factors. Lifestyle choices significantly impact well-being. Mindful purchasing, themed meals, and involving kids in cooking promote healthy habits. Understanding labels for serving sizes and nutrition aids informed choices. Lastly, enjoying meals together fosters both connection and nourishment.

In conclusion

In conclusion, Gabriella and Grace emphasize the importance of understanding food labels and nutrition for effective meal planning and household management. By advocating for informed dietary decisions, they highlight the significance of checking ingredients, comprehending serving sizes, and aligning choices with health goals. By fostering mindfulness in food purchasing and consumption habits, individuals can cultivate a balanced nutrition approach that supports physical health and overall well-being.

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