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Feature Stories

NEWS | Aug. 21, 2020

Food and Fuel

By Story by Sgt. Trevor Cullen Task Force Spartan

U.S. Army Soldiers are deployed and often found in austere environments such as the desert where food and water can be scarce, but even when available, it might not be healthy.

Nutritionists, or Military Occupation Specialty 65C, help Soldiers know what and what not to eat.

“So, when you think of the Army, you think of the performance triad, physical fitness, hydration and nutrition,” said 1st Lt. Carolyn Parlato, a registered dietitian and officer in charge of the 411th Hospital Company’s dietitian clinic. “I see patients and am able to advise them on what foods have the best nutrition.”

This performance triad is not likely something that will go away even during a quarantine.

This quarantine means limited ability to move about, but the Army has not left Soldiers without the opportunity for success.

“We are limited in quarantine,” said Parlato. “I think they do a good job; there's a lot of fresh items offered.”

This fresh food allows Soldiers options to eat healthily.

“Four of the top leading cause of death in the U.S. are nutrition-related,” said Parlato. “It is important on how we fuel our body.”

“I tell my patients to try and find whole foods,” said Parlato. “Look for fresh fruit, milk, and with lean protein go grilled or broiled.”

Food choices are not the only key to nutrition.

“Dehydration kills,” said Parlato. “Staying hydrated in this warm, arid conditions is important.”

Soldiers are provided with access to clean bottled water.

“With hydration and a balance of micro and macronutrients,” said Parlato., “I think Soldiers can successfully eat nutritionally in quarantine.”

Soldiers do not have the same items available as in garrison.

“Well, I do believe there are definitely pros to this quarantine,” said Parlato. “Their chicken is moist and good protein options. Lunch and dinner are very good.” “They are overall good.”

With a little guidance, Soldiers can overcome nutrition obstacles while deployed.

“Soldiers are warrior athletes, and they have to fuel their body and keep hydrated,” said Parlato. “It just does so much for Soldier's morale.”