SIOUX FALLS, SD -
A growing number of people in our community are struggling to put food on the table. But even some people who get plenty to eat on a regular basis are malnourished.
When it comes to food, it's not all about counting the number of carbs and calories.
"What the important thing is is that we get all the nutrients to stay alive," Sanford Registered Dietitian Teresa Beach said.
That means you can eat plenty of food, even be overweight but still be malnourished.
"So, then they're going to be missing essential nutrients," Beach said.
Many people who are malnourished don't eat enough fruits, vegetables and dairy products.
"We have a lot of folks who maybe eat plenty of volume of food, but maybe no fruits and vegetables or dairy throughout their day," Beach said.
While some people simply might not enjoy eating those healthy foods, others simply can't afford them.
"Those foods are more expensive. Dairy products are more expensive. Yogurts, milks; those kinds of thing. And that's a huge calcium source," Beach said.
That's why those who barely have enough money to eat in the first place, often opt for a larger amount of food versus foods with essential nutrients, which often cost more.
"I can buy something for 99 cents like a big thing of soda or a candy bar or something like that that will only cost 50 or 75 cents. It seems filling, but there's no nutrients," Beach said.
Not eating the right amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals can affect both your mental and physical health. Some of the signs you're malnourished include losing a lot of hair, fatigue and dizziness, and muscle weakness.
"Sometimes people will have trouble with skin lesions or breakdown in their skin because they can't maintain it because they don't have the proper nutrients," Beach said.
That could affect your health for years to come.
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