So many times I get asked from my patients, “What’s the right way to eat?” There are so many diets and ways to eat out there; it’s no wonder my patients come in confused.
Are you eating Vegetarian? Vegan? Paleo? Whole fat? No fat? No gluten? With all these choices you would think there is no right way to eat.
There can be many reasons for choosing a specific type of diet plan, such as philosophy or health reasons. I believe the reasons for following a more specific diet regime would be if you weren’t feeling well, had body (joint, muscle) pain, stomach issues, or find that you are allergic to certain foods groups. With these cases, it would be important to see a practitioner familiar with foods and how they affect your health. The discussion below is for people who have no health issues and just want to eat healthy to prevent future health issues and to feel great.
For starters, I believe there are basics that everyone could follow and be safe.
- Eat whole foods instead of processed foods. This alone has made a great difference in many people’s lives. Processed foods contain chemicals that can be harmful to your body. Eating a little bit may not be bad for you, but over time, these little bits add up. Many people are allergic to chemicals used in preserving food, coloration, or binders. Whole foods means your fruits, veggies and complex carbohydrates. Foods that don’t need a label. Foods that will go bad if left alone. Eating whole foods vs. processed foods means eating nutrient rich foods over foods that don’t provide much nutritional value.
- Eat foods with low sugar. Sugar in it’s many forms can cause inflammation when too much is eaten. I have seen this time and time again with my patients who have muscle and joint pain. Stopping the sugar helps. Sugar is also empty calories and we can all use less calories. Sugar is insidious as it is in many, many products, but there are many healthy alternatives. (hint: eat whole fruits)
- Moderation. Whenever I ask my older patients what they do, they mostly come back with they do what they want, just in moderation. Moderation works. People don’t feel deprived and get to live a life of exploration and experience. The only place where moderation is an issue is if a person has health issues. This is when specifics come into play and consulting a professional may do good.
Enjoy your eating and if you have any specific questions, please feel free to schedule a consultation to create your optimal health plan!