Healthier Together: Exploring Food Trends
The Battle of the Bulge – this is something that many of us face. But with all the fad diets, it can be confusing to know what really works.
Allie Henderson, Wellness Consultant for Regence BlueCross BlueShield, says we need to change our mindset when it comes to diet. Instead of focusing on what you take out, focus on what you put on.
“We want to think of food as food that feeds and nourishes our body, which gives it energy,” says Henderson.
Henderson says not to focus on short-term weight loss, but rather on long-term well-being and overall health.
“We know that nutrition and exercise are two important things, but did you know that nutrition will be your greatest asset? “
In fact, Henderson says that 75 percent of the effectiveness of a weight loss program will be due to changes in your diet.
“Exercise, the remaining 25%, will really experience long-term sustainability and management as you continue with your nutritional changes. So we really need both pieces.
Henderson says to beware of fad diets and look to more proven methods like the Mediterranean diet.
“This is nothing new. It just encourages you to eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, and herbs. As well as poultry, eggs and dairy in moderation, then trying to save red meats and sweets for special occasions. “
In addition to weight loss, the Mediterranean diet improves brain and heart health, reduces the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and more.
Other proven diet methods include the DASH (Diet Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet which focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
You can also try the flexitarian diet, which is mostly vegetarian, with fish and poultry on occasion.
“You’re probably thinking, well, that sounds great, but what I really want to know is intermittent fasting. It is one of the most popular diets in the world at the moment.
Henderson says intermittent fasting isn’t a diet so to speak, because it’s not about what you eat, it’s about when you eat. Typically, during intermittent fasting, you only eat for an 8 hour window each day, fasting the other 16 hours.
Henderson says, “The problem with this is that someone might do it, but during their drinking window they’re still going to eat foods that are highly processed or loaded with sugar or that have no nutritional value.”
Henderson says to always consult with your doctor, determine your goals, and when choosing the plan that’s right for you, consider the source and long-term sustainability.