Recently we had Julie Rosenberg, MD as a speaker at The Ranch. I attended her very insightful class about food as medicine and nutrition made easy. The entire time I was busy scribbling down notes, there was so much useful information. The gist of the class is how what we eat has the biggest effect on our health (in addition to exercise, sufficient sleep and reducing stress). By choosing to eat the right foods in the right portions we are able to turn off bad genes and disease. Sounds like a good deal to me.
So what exactly causes disease?
- Single gene genetics disorders
- Poor diet
- Chronic stress
Obesity and disease go hand in hand. Obesity rates are increasing and are expected to reach 42% by 2030 in the US. One of the major factors of obesity has been the 22% increase in the number of calories that come from cereal type foods, fats and oils.
There has been a rise of obesity in kids due to:
- Lack of physical activity
- Junk food
- Increased portion sizes
Obesity due to dining out in the US:
- More families are going out to eat
- Average adults eat out five times a week
- Portion sizes have increased significantly
By the way did you know that many of the foods at the most popular chain restaurants come pre-packaged and are just heated up? I didn’t!
Just remember that obesity leads to inflammation and inflammation leads to disease.
So what should you be concerned with? Start off by eating the:
- Right foods
- At the right time
- In the right portions
- With the right balance
It’s not just about your weight. Be concerned about with your percentage of body fat, waist size and BMI which are better indicators of your health than the numbers on the scale.
What influences your diet?
Stick to these guidelines for healthy eating:
- Three meals a day
- Manage type and quality of food
- Eat slowly
- Choose a specific location to eat and make it your only activity
- Be aware of social influences that affect your eating behaviors
- Body posture will affect your eating experience
- Chew your food
Some useful tips from The Blood Sugar Solution by Mark Hyman:
- Balance blood sugar
- Reduce liquid calories
- Eat a breakfast that contains protein
- Eat smaller and more frequent meals
- Avoid eating within three hours of eating
- Limit caffeine intake
- Get exercise
- Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep
- Reduce stress
Lastly, eat whole foods and avoid processed foods and additives. Make the bulk of your meals veggies and fruits along with other complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats. Eat mostly at home and make eating out something special instead of the regular routine. Sit down to eat at the dinner table (not in front of the tv!) and take your time to eat.
It may be work, but your health will thank you.