What You May Not Know about Diets
Most people seeking better health will ask doctors to recommend a diet for them. But it’s unusual to find doctors who are trained well enough, as only a few medical schools offer such training, and then it is minimal.
Nor do doctors have time to talk about this with patients. Within the current third-party payer system in which insurance companies pay physicians for their services, doctors have little or no incentive to take on diet concerns.
After all, the practice of medicine is focused on sick care rather than health care.
Typically, doctors will merely suggest the DASH Diet. It is a dietary pattern promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to prevent and control hypertension. It is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods; it includes meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and beans; and is limited in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, red meat, and added fats. It is complicit in the consumption of processed and factory foods.
The DASH diet is designed to be a well-balanced approach to eating for the general public. It is recommended by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) as one of its ideal eating plans for all Americans.
If you consult the internet, you will find over 600 diets. Really.
Here’s the list: https://www.everydiet.org/diet
You may be able to find one that meets your needs. Try it. Or, you can go for the latest fad diet which is rarely based on science, but rather intended to sell products (individually or en masse,) and/or for the ego of an “expert” or celebrity.
Be aware that most of the diets out there are deficiency diets. That’s the point. If one or more essential foods or food groups are altered (increased or decreased) or eliminated, the body malfunctions, so the desired results appear to be achieved, especially with weight-loss diets. While in fact, one’s health is compromised. Also, be aware that it takes the body at least 3 months to acclimate to dietary changes. And even longer to recover from malnutrition.
Although always fluctuating with age and lifestyle choices, nutrient balance is the key to good health.
For a specific dietary need or desire, it is better to seek out certified dietitians or nutritionists (whose 4-6 year education and raining are as rigorous as is that of medical doctors.) Naturopaths and holistic physicians often have the knowledge and credentials to advise diet seekers. Or contact the American Nutrition Association.
However, there is a better way to adopt a healthy way of eating for yourself.
Don’t ask someone else to pick out a diet for you. Do it yourself. Trust your instincts. Know that for hundreds of thousands of years, the human body has become optimized with a generalized basic type of diet. Clearly, that diet has allowed generations of humans to survive and often to maintain health and maximize longevity. In the same way that cars are designed to operate on particular kinds of fuel, so is the human body designed to operate on certain types of foods.
These are traditional foods that have been eaten by your ancestors. Your family’s precise foods will differ slightly from those of others due to variations in geology, climate, soil and cultural practices.
Choose from foods that existed before Cheetos and coke, health bars and soymilk. From thousands of years before factory foods with their empty calories, sugar, salt, oil, and artificial color, imitation flavor, pesticides, and chemicals.
But, what if you aren’t sure about the foods you eat right now or want to eat? Easy. Look them up on EWG’s Food Scores. You’ll find out about the nutrition, ingredient and processing factors of the food you enter into the search box. And a score will be assigned.
Trust that the best diet for you is in your history, handed down for centuries.
Think it through. Meditate. Call gramma. Embrace traditional lore and recipes.
It’s the latest trend, and it works.