Andy is a Registered Dietitian and co-founder and strategic director of Dietitians For Professional Integrity (DFPI), a group of dietetics professionals looking to advance the profession and RD credential by advocating for sponsorship reform within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
I gained an added respect for him when I read a piece on Nutrition Stripped about his encouragement to support other dietitians. Andy stated that even if you don’t see eye to eye with everything a fellow RD says it doesn’t mean you should rule out collaborating on mutual interests and perspectives.
Healthy eating doesn’t have an absolute definition. Here’s what Andy has to say about healthy food, cooking for friends and government policy.
Andy, what’s your biggest pet peeve related to nutrition?
When foods are classified as healthful only based on the carbohydrate or fat content. So when foods are demonized solely based on that it’s a problem. When we’re talking about foods rich in carbohydrates they can be pop-tarts, muffins, and soda to lentils and apples. When talking about fats it can include almonds, avocados, and pecans or Crisco. I think it’s important to differentiate between the varying healthfulness of different foods rich in carbohydrates or fats.
If you were going to be stuck on an island for months and you could bring an unlimited supply of 4 food staples, what would they be?
Ingredients or foods that are already made?
Either, it’s up to you.
Survival purposes or my favorite foods?
Whatever you’d like, I’ve had some unique answers so far this week.
Dark chocolate, avocados, granny smith apples and almonds.
What do you think the government should be focusing on within the realm of public health and policy?
Many things, one would be to align agricultural policy with nutrition policy. There are certain foods, many of which are unhealthy that have economic advantages that allows them to be artificially lower priced and allows them to be more ubiquitous in society.
Education matters but, if we’re trying to bring about behavior change we need more than just education. We need education and policy, I think the average American and Canadian know that fruits and vegetables are healthier than fries and soda. When you look at the past 30-40 years we can’t argue that people were more educated on nutrition back then. There have been policy changes and the industry has been very adept at obfuscation and health washing its foods.
Do you have a favorite person to cook with?
I enjoy often cooking for friends who are not plant based so I can show them what a tasty whole food plant based meal might be. There are a lot more creative ways to get food on a plate that isn’t just pasta and salad.
Andy follows a 100% plant based diet. We then had a side conversation on how food technology has evolved in the past 5-10 years. He mentioned that he has tried an almond based ricotta ‘cheese’ recently, I’d never even heard of that before.
Your favorite breakfast?
Steel cut oats cooked in a combination of almond and coconut milk with cinnamon and vanilla. Once they’re cooked [I add] chopped dates, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. It’s delicious, filling and hearty.
Does your job get in the way of what you eat?
No. I’m very fortunate that where I work I have a sizeable kitchen and I can keep food at my office.
To learn more about Andy check out his website http://www.andybellatti.com/.