Researchers discuss the science of eating

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Obesity remains a growing problem throughout the nation. That's why Doctors Tom and Judy Lytle are on a mission to teach Americans the benefits of healthy eating.

Infusing science with nutrition, the Lytles met with a group at a Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs discussing the importance of a healthier lifestyle.

Dena Gearhart works at a Sunshine Health foods store. As one who's in tune with her own health, she knows all too well the importance of a balanced diet.

"These people are offering a service to educate the public as to the dietary needs that need to be rethought of how we shop and buy and eat our food," Gearhart said.

Because what we eat can ultimately determine the way our lives turn out, it's important to start good habits early. One trick is to avoiding the center of the grocery store.

"Those foods are likely going to have some health consequences that you'd like to prevent. Not to say everything, not the cereals and every single item in the store. But you'd be much wiser to choose the perimeter of the store," Lytle said.

Eating healthier foods can also be as simple as reading the labels. Know what you're putting into your body.

"If you feed yourself the stuff your body needs, then you have the ability to heal yourself. And if you give yourself the best stuff that it can heal with, you should elevate any problems that you're going to have later on," Gearhart said.

"One of the fats that we talked about tonight was the poly and unsaturated fats. There are two families: Omega 3 and Omega 6. They're essential in our diet and if we don't balance them, it's like having a runaway car. We've got too much gas going without breaks," Judy Lytle said.

Tuesday's seminar was the second installment of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory's Science Café. The next event will be held in October.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.