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Nourishing Nutrition, The Foundation of Health

I love March for several reasons: my middle child and a few friends and family members were born this month, and the second is National Nutrition Month. 

I ponder the famous African quote, "when the diet is wrong, medicine is of no use; when the diet is right, medicine is of no need."

How powerful are the benefits of our nutritional pattern? Unfortunately, our foods have become unrecognizable due to the multiple food processing. I want to talk today about the differences and how we can aim ourselves with knowledge to make better options.
So, what is Processed Food? It is any food that has been changed from its natural state. An example is turning an orange into orange juice or an apple into apple pie. A great rule of thumb when considering processed foods is to minimize foods where anything harmful is added, or nutrients are removed. Some processing forms can be considered as a healthy such as blending fruit into a smoothie, protein powder or bars, or even chopping lettuce.
Ultra-processed foods, on the other hand, are those in which the original form of the food is unrecognizable. These foods usually have minimal nutritional value or have had nutrients removed. They are higher in calories, salts, fats, and added sugars and increase the risk for inflammation, insulin resistance, and unhealthy gut microbiota, which subsequently leads to chronic lifestyle-related diseases and cancer in some cases. To achieve optimal well-being, we must make every effort to remove ultra-processed foods from our diet and replace them with whole, plant-based, and nutrient-dense foods.

So, where do you start this National Nutrition Month to eliminate unhealthy processed foods and ultra-processed foods from your diet?

You start by;
  • Being a label reader, don’t be fooled by the marketing and food industry claiming foods are healthy in the front of the package only to find 32 grams of added sugar, which is equivalent to 8 teaspoons of sugar, which is way above the average amount of daily intake of added sugar. Look for the fiber, saturated fat, and protein content. Ensure the ingredient list is at most five, and you can recognize them. Want to learn more about how to read food labels? Check out my YouTube Video: What Is In Your Food? Real or Fake Ingredients
  • Out of sight, out of mind. Let’s keep it real. If you bring it home, you will eat it sooner or later. So don’t rely on willpower but on skill power. Indeed, you can follow the 80/20 rule but do the 20 out of the house to minimize its consistency and derangement of your healthy options. 
  • What is good for the goose is good for the gander. This means it benefits the whole family, both young and old, to eat nourishing foods to ensure generational health.

The science is precise that embracing a plant-predominant dietary pattern can be your most excellent shield against weight gain, chronic lifestyle-related diseases, and some cancers. These should include a daily consumption of a minimum;

-3 Servings of Vegetables

  1. Dark leafy greens: Kale, Spinach, Collard greens, lettuce, etc

  2. Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, etc

  3. Allium vegetables: onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, chives, etc

-3 Servings of Fruits

  1. Berries: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc.

  2. Low-glycemic: apple, pear, grapefruit, plum, orange, etc

  3. High magnesium and potassium: kiwi, banana, papaya, fig, etc.

-1 Serving of Legumes

-1 Serving of Legumes

-1 Serving of Nuts

-1 Serving of Seeds

-1 Serving of Whole Grains

-Half of your body weight of filtered water in ounces

I hope we will do our best during this month and beyond to be mindful of what nutrition we fuel ourselves because we deserve to live at our finest well-being.

Cheers to Living At Your Finest Well-being: Whole, Vibrant, and Healthy.

#NationalNutritionMonth #ProcessedFoods #UltraProcessedFoods #DrBabs #layfwellness #livingatyourfinest #DPC #holisticphysician

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