COLUMN: Healthier meal options would benefit local diners

Published 11:48 am Thursday, July 2, 2015

Finding something healthy to eat is hard in a world of great-tasting, but bad-for-you restaurants.

From the time I could remember I was an athlete. Actually, up until very recently, I was a college athlete. During this time it was instilled into me to eat healthy, lay off the fried foods, sodas, candy, sweets and other bad food items.

Since I finished up my athletic career I have tried so hard to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle, but it is not always the easiest thing to do. Everywhere I turn is tempting foods, from delicious fried chicken to gooey pizza. It’s so hard to fight the urge to get something that is delicious but not the best choice for you.

I have been to many places but I would have to say Alabama has some of the most delicious and fattiest foods in America. I have eaten very well in my four years here because of all of the great food that is strictly only offered in the South.

A fast, delicious meal isn’t hard to find in Crenshaw County. That could be why this county is one of the 14 counties in the state of Alabama that have adult obesity rates of greater than 40 percent.

I’m not trying to knock on any of the restaurants here in Crenshaw County because hands down they are just downright delicious. However, I don’t think it would be a bad idea for healthier options to be more readily available or for people to learn and understand how to balance their diet so they can enjoy their favorite restaurants and be healthy.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension at Auburn University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have formed a coalition to improve the health of Crenshaw County residents.

Since the coalition formed, members have discussed ways to provide healthier food options. The working list includes farmers markets, community gardens and teaming with local grocery stores to offer more fresh produce.

There are also plans to add workout stations along walking trails in Brantley and Luverne.

I hope through implementing the Alabama Pro Health project that citizens of Crenshaw County will learn about eating healthy and will help bring in better food products to the area.

It will be tough and it will take some time, but through educating the area of the importance of eating healthy I think people will be able to enjoy life more and even enjoy their favorite foods more, just not as often.

 

Chelsea Eytel is an intern at The Luverne Journal. She can be contacted at (334) 335-3541 or at chelsea.eytel@luvernejournal.com.