Dr. Melina Jampolis Sounds Off on Paula Deen, School Lunches, and Heart Health Awareness

There are a lot of big things making some big headlines in the health space these past few weeks. We sought out some insight on the hottest stories of late from one of the most respected names in health and wellness, Dr. Melina Jampolis.

Known to most as Dr. Melina, she is an internist and board certified physician nutrition specialist whose focus is on weight loss and disease prevention. She’s previously published the No Time to Lose Diet, The Busy Person’s Guide to Permanent Weight Loss, and this spring will publish The Calendar Diet.

Watch our interview as she shares insight in to Paula Deen’s diabetes announcement, the new school lunch guidelines, and why heart month is pretty important.

Dr. Melina found it unfortunate that Paula Deen went “right to endorsing a medication” upon her announcement of a three-year-old diabetes diagnosis. We couldn’t agree more, and shared her thought that Paula had “a unique opporunit for how to enjoy  better life.” Dr. Melina thinks Deen’s platform is ideal for highlighting a balanced, middle-of-the-road lifestyle. She stated that Deen missed a “teachable moment” where she could show how diabetes can be more livable.

While Deen missed an opportunity to makeover the way people view and live with diabetes, the USDA, after 15 long years, announced a major change to the school lunch program. In January, alongside first lady Michelle Obama, the healthier guidelines for school lunches were handed down. She noted that LA Unified school district had already self-implemented these changes, noting that “kids had no problem with whole grains.” She says implementation for these new guidelines will be key, especially to avoid tremendous waste should kids decide to skip over their required veggie servings. Her suggestion? Make the vegetables part of a meal, like adding broccoli to pasta, rather than a stand-alone side dish.

Finally, we spoke about February’s focus on heart health. Dr. Melina was passionate about this discussion, saying “it’s wrong not to think about heart health.” She cited that three times as many women die from heart disease as do breast cancer. While people can certainly make changes to their lifestyles at any age, she says where heart disease is concerned, once you’re in your 50s or 60s it’s often “too late.” Women in their 20s and 30s should be keen on watching what they eat and remaining physically active to ward off the disease that can take years and decades to settle in. She notes that anything you do that’s good for your heart is good for your body as a whole.

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