NutritionHealthy Nutrition and Lifestyle choices
To stay healthy, and prevent diseases caused by unhealthy lifestyles, we all know what we must do, don’t we?
- Eat healthy food
- Keep our bodies nutritionally replete (“Eat right”)
- Stay active and
- Avoid harmful substances and activities
This sounds quite basic and simple, right?
If so, then why have simple concepts like healthy eating, lifestyle and nutrition become so complicated, with various specialisms, intricate tests and restrictive “special diets”?
The answer is that we have less time, more options, and too much information.
Here is a taster of what we get bombarded with on a daily, hourly basis:
- An ever-increasing number of diets – while some diet plans are physiologically sound (low carb for example), some are fads and nutritionally deficient.
- Social media-fueled publicity and commercial advertising (influencers and celebrities),
- Fake news and click bait “eat this daily to melt belly fat”
Is it any surprise that most of us find it difficult to separate fact from fiction?
When we find ourselves feeling less than a 100% over a long time, we try to correct everything we do, nutrition included. But we do it impulsively, taking the most advertised tests, lifestyle programs and special diets – until we regret not feeling much different.
Remember, our lifestyle and nutritional (food and drink) choices are quite emotionally-charged decisions. So our beliefs, ideas and behaviour stem from our background and personal experience. “Those supplements worked wonders for my best friend”.
Our approach to nutrition is simple, based on the six pillars of lifestyle medicine:
a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social connection. This is nothing new – it is actually the basis of all modern medicine. We just don’t get to practice it the way it was intended.
The WHO – World Health Organization – has stated that non-communicable (not infectious) diseases are responsible for 70% of worldwide death. And lifestyle is the biggest cause of these conditions.
How we feel, our performance, our immune systems, our physical and mental health are all dependent on what we eat and how we live.
We cannot ignore the importance of nutrition in promoting health and preventing disease.
The lifestyle and nutrition consultation is a way of exploring your unique health condition, your behaviour, environment, motivations and constraints. The outcome is a personalised plan incorporating simple steps designed for you to implement. If a particular sort of diet (low carb for example) would be helpful for you (if your diabetic risk is high, for example), it will be recommended to you.
It may be that you are already on a very restrictive diet – if so, you must have already realised that it is constraining and not sustainable – hence you are reading this.
If you have severe immunological proven allergies, it would not be possible to remove dietary restrictions.
But if you have, over time, had multiple intolerances and your diet has become more and more limited, it would be sensible to explore it and make it sustainable once again.
You will be encouraged to incorporate healthy activity (this does not mean a bootcamp or pushing you until your tendons get inflamed).
Most importantly, you will be supported along the way.
Over the years, we have found that most patients who have been on special diets (not medically prescribed), turned out to be deficient in several key nutrients like Vitamin D and iron. Baseline blood tests, considered along with previous blood tests that you have had, will help to determine how best to get you nutritionally balanced.
Take home messages: There are no superfoods – all foods are important. There is no single food that will change your life – but healthy balanced nutrition will change your life. You can discuss your nutrition health with our Nutritionist and Behaviour Change Practitioner.