Hello SOTGC community,
This month I had a lot of questions from patients at my practice asking about diets and which one to follow for optimal health. With more attention paid to nutrition and food as medicine, it seems that every few months the spotlight is on a new diet protocol that is the latest and greatest. Chronic disease is on the rise, and an overall awareness is growing that food makes a difference in healing our bodies. We need to look at what we eat and how we eat it and realize that we do have choices on how to use food to stay healthy.
Here are some simple things to remember when making lifestyle changes around how you eat:
- There is no one diet that fits all. Depending on your health status, your symptoms, and other diagnoses, as well as genetic factors, these variables may alter what regimen best suits your body.
- Diets are not just about weight loss. When it comes to preventing and reversing chronic disease, certain foods in the diet can actually contribute to healing and repairing the body. Think about your food as medicine.
- Plant-based diets have multiple health benefits. If there is one place to start when making the first step to a lifestyle diet change, it would be increasing your daily intake of fruits or vegetables. Striving for 9 servings per day is ideal, as it provides you with the array of phytonutrients and micronutrients, both essential in keeping the body healthy. This can be done by making a smoothie, eating raw, steaming, and/or lightly sautéing your favorite vegetable. When filling a dinner plate, aim to cover 50 percent of the plate and make it a bright and colorful array.
- Reduce the intake of processed foods. If there is another simple modification to make in your diet, it is to eliminate one processed food item in your food regimen per week. I am a big believer in sustaining long-term changes, and doing things gradually is sometimes the best way. There is a reason why we crave things that we know aren’t healthy for our bodies. So be gentle and implement small changes at a time.
- Remember to mind the environment. How our food is raised, how it is transported, and the waste that it produces is part of the food experience. Minding our environment is another way to look at the foods that we choose to put into our bodies.
- Maintain balance. When going on certain diets, remember that each food group does have its benefits and when it is removed, we must make sure those nutrients continue to be supplied in other ways to maintain balance for the body’s essential requirements, whether it be supplementing with another food source or introducing a supplement.
Are you feeling empowered with these tips to get on track for a sustainable healthy diet? If so please share this post with some people you want to take on the journey with you.