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Hale County Hospital’s: Hospital Corner


At Hale County Hospital, we are striving to change the way healthcare is delivered to meet the real needs of our patients. It’s a new year – 2024 – and with the New Year’s celebration often comes resolutions and challenges on how to improve our health. We, at Hale County Hospital, are here to support you in those new year’s goals and to help provide guidance on how to add in some healthy habits. One frequent resolution is to eat a healthier diet! Well this goal can sound easy, but it is sometimes hard to know what changes to make. This week’s Hospital Corner will focus on small, possible substitutes that can improve your diet and your overall health.

Being a small, rural hospital that emphasizes providing care specific to our local community and its needs, we recognize that accessing healthy foods can be difficult. Given the low number of grocery stores in Hale County and the long number of miles some must drive, changing what you eat is not always as easy as just picking up healthy food. Today’s article will give tools and substitutes for healthier foods that we know are available in our grocery stores and that are realistic options for the people of Hale County.

  • When available and on sale, buy produce that has a long shelf life. Produce like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and butternut squash can last for several weeks if they are kept in the refrigerator.
  • Buy frozen produce. Frozen produce is often much cheaper than fresh produce and it has the same nutritional value. Swap out canned fruits and vegetables, which are often high in sugar and salt, for frozen ones. Frozen fruits and veggies will have the same flavor with less added sugar and salt. Some easy frozen swaps include spinach, collard greens, and broccoli.
  • When able, stock up on staples. Healthy staples include brown rice, dried beans, oats, and nuts. All of these ingredients are available in our local grocery stores and can act as a great base for a healthy meal.
  • Preserve your food. Learning how to can and preserve your food has the potential to save you money and keep your food good for longer.
  • Look at labels. When buying food, look at the labels. Try to target foods that have less than 600 milligrams (mg) of sodium and no more than 12 grams (g) of sugar per serving.
  • Sometimes fast food is your only option! We understand that. Try to find the healthiest option on the menu. Meals like grilled chicken, fish sandwiches, salads, and vegetables often have more good nutrients and less calories than the typical burger, fries, shake, and fried chicken. These types of meals are usually available at any fast food restaurant.
  • Grow your own healthy foods! If you have the space for a potted plant area or garden, try planting some of your favorite fruits and veggies. This can be good for your diet and for your soul!

With the start of a new year, let’s focus on trying to improve our health whether it be physical, mental, emotional, or social health. All play a big role in how you feel and what you can do! Hale County Hospital is here to help with any of your health related goals and we hope you are able to use this article to make some simple, yet healthy switches to improve your diet and your health this year! Call us to make an appointment today or find us at halecountyhospital.com!

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