Hello My Friends
Welcome to The Vitality Project.
Throughout my career as a health care provider and consultant, I have been repeatedly asked the question….
Doc….what is the best diet for me?
This is the reason why nutrition has become such a difficult, confusing and convoluted science. Especially when you try and apply it to humans.
There are really two reasons why people want to change their own diet.
- Weight reduction and control.
- Risk reduction and prolonged improved health.
The most effective diet most humans respond to should really be designed to accomplish both tasks. This is exactly the reason why the dietary changes I make in folks who have a weight issue are similar to the dietary changes I recommend in folks who want to lower their risk of chronic disease development or improve their health status substantially.
You see, it’s not so much the calories, the amounts of fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber and gluten you consume.
The reason why people become obese, overweight or develop diseases associated with their dietary choices is more related with what they eat and how much of it they choose to consume.
In other words…..Food Quality Rules!
The degree of the food quality that you choose and the degree to which you consume it is the variable that is the most consistently shown to influence health outcomes across the board!
- High-Quality Foods: unrefined, minimally processed foods such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, healthy fats, some dairy products like low-fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and healthy sources of protein.
- Lower-Quality Foods: highly processed snack foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined (white) grains, refined sugar, fried foods, foods high in saturated and trans fats, and high-glycemic foods such as fast foods, snacks, candy, desserts, french fries, noodles and bread products. (the foods we are addicted to)
In addition: although it has been postulated that “There isn’t one “perfect” diet for everyone, owing to individual differences in genes and lifestyle”, improving your diet quality in combination with a regular exercise program can cover the bases in almost every case.
Previous advice regarding the effects of nutrition on our health have indicated that “a calorie is a calorie” is misleading at best and quite an inaccurate statement.
- For example, in a previous study conducted with over 120,000 healthy women and men spanning 20 years, it was determined that weight increased over time were strongly associated with the intake of potato chips, potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages, and processed or unprocessed red meats. These findings did conclude that the consumption of processed foods higher in starches, refined grains, fats, and sugars can and does increase weight gain.
- Foods shown to be associated with weight loss were vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and yogurt despite the caloric value associated with the diets.
What about the micronutrients….don’t they matter.
The answer is yes they do as previous research has clearly indicated.
Consuming a diet higher is quality fat, protein and complex carbohydrates low on the glycemic index scale can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, insulin levels and improve weight-loss.
Of course, by changing your diet quality without worrying too much about calories and exercising regularly, the above should be accounted for adequately.
Improve the nutritional quality of your diet and your health will subsequently improve throughout your entire lifetime.
Dr. Kevin J. McLaughlin
The Vitality Project.