Healthy Living Blog

Get To Know: Our Nutrition Director, Benjamin White, Ph.D., MPH, R.D., LDN

Tell Us About Your Background.

I never got to meet either of my grandfathers. In fact, one died suddenly of a heart attack when my mother was only 16 — 15 years before I was born.

Growing up, I didn’t take any of this too seriously. I pursued my interest in science, and it wasn’t until after I completed my doctorate that I realized that it wasn’t enough for me to just discover details about the body. I needed to improve my own health and high cholesterol, and I wanted to apply the power of science to help others too. It made perfect sense to use my knowledge of biology to help people understand chronic diseases, so I decided to go back to school to earn my master’s in public health with an emphasis in nutrition. Two years, many tests, and even more clinical hours of training later, I had passed my registered dietitian exam and found a position at Structure House.

What Brought You to Structure House?

I feel very fortunate that I have the opportunity to work here because I’m one of the few clinicians who gets to meet with people at a time when they are ready to change. Every day, I get a chance to help people improve their eating in order to live fuller, longer lives. I have always believed in the tremendous potential of science, but I now appreciate that science has to be communicated and translated into people’s lives in order to make an impact.

In the past 10 years, I’ve been able to get my LDL cholesterol lower than it was when I was a child. Perhaps even more importantly, I feel energetic and fulfilled knowing that applying nutrition has made a difference in my life and in the lives of others. One of my favorite parts of the job is exposing people to recipes that both taste good and improve their numbers. I like showing people that it doesn’t have to be a sacrifice to eat healthy (even though it does take some effort).

How Do You Manage Your Own Health and Weight Journey?

My favorite dishes nowadays are those with interesting spices. Chana masala (Indian chickpeas in a spiced, orange-red sauce) and daal (Indian lentils) are common in my house, as is tinga, and just about anything else with chipotle peppers and onions.

If I had to say just one thing to help people eat healthier, I’d recommend adding at least one fruit, bean, or vegetable you enjoy to your plate each day. If you start with something you know you can do, it just might change your life.

preparing me for what it's going to be like in real life

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