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The Quest for the Perfect Diet

Christian ReichardtComment

An article I read recently reviewed new information regarding how our society's mindsets around modern dietary recommendations and how they are changing.  I hope you find this article useful.

In 1970, a physiologist, Ancel Keys, published a study, "Seven Countries Study."  This study examined diets across Europe, U.S., and Asia.  Based on this study he drew several conclusions about fat and other nutrients which seemed to make sense.  The study showed that people who ate a lot of meat and dairy (Finnish lumberjacks) died of heart attacks much more than farmers  who had higher consumption rates of fruit and grains (farmers in Crete ). Even though Keys looked at the Cretan diet during Lent when they gave up meat and cheese and didn't take into account the normal diet, his study drew conclusions that seemed to make sense based on our knowledge at the time.    

After this study, the federal government created its first set of dietary guidelines telling anyone over age 2 to avoid fat  Following this advice and other recommendations, obesity rates have tripled and the U.S. spends $190 billion per year treating obesity-related conditions.  Throughout this time period, Americans began to replace the fats in their deits with carbs, whcih increases insulin and signals the body to store fat rather than burn it.  Since the body has less energy, metabolism slows, hunger starts, etc. etc. etc. 


Here are some tips on how to create a better diet: 

1.  Eat more vegetables
Veggies of all colors are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants that are essential to healthy living.  "People who eat more vegetables and other plant-based foods...tend to have lower rates of heart disease and other chronic health issues that those who mainly consume animal-based products.  

2. Fats
Incorporating a balance of healthy fats can actually support cardiovascular health.  Sources of good fats include fish, avocados, and nuts.  You can also supplement these fats if need be.

3.  Eat a variety
If there's one thing we've learned in the past, it's that singling out individual components of a diet and bilifying them is not the way forward.  We need to start promotion a balanced diet with variety. Eating colorful diets with a variety of protein sources can help you lead a more balanced life.  

If you or someone you know needs help modifying their diet and food plan, please let us know.  We are happy to help them towards their journey to wellness.