Monday, August 22, 2011

Food Certitude

A commentary titled "Dietary Guidelines in the 21st Century - a Time for Food" written by Drs. Mozaffarian and Ludwig was published this month by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In this thoughtful piece, the authors talk about the genesis of our current nutrient-based dietary guidelines which focus on consuming foods to provide an adequate amount of the nutrients (vitamins and minerals) our bodies need. They also point out how this system is flawed.

As with my blog post from Saturday and the article by Carlos Monterio and the downside of highly processed foods, there is a small but growing movement afoot that stresses eating real food and not counting calories. According to Drs. Mozaffarian and Ludwig this is precisely what we need to do.

I couldn't agree more. As a Health Coach, I am frequently asked by friends and family members how and what to eat and my advice is always the same. Eat real food. My definition of real food is "food as it arrives from nature" which excludes everything in a box or bag that can sit for weeks, months or years on the grocery store shelves. Unforunately, the vast majority of Americans mostly only eat things from bags or boxes or served in fast food restaurants. There is a direct link between processed foods and obesity (no matter how fantastic the health claim on the outside of the package).

If you want to get more healthy or lose weight, stop eating things in packages and start eating real food. Eat out less, cook at home more. As far as I'm concerned you're better off eating all of the real food you want instead of counting calories and worrying about serving sizes.

If you want to make the change, we have several ways to help. Real food is the basis of Move.Eat.Be. (our six-month wellness program), it is the focus of the food portion of our Wellness Wheel, it is the genesis behind The Real Food Label, The Real Food Hierarchy and The Real Food Plate.

Making this simple, yet profound change, could be the best thing you'll ever do for your health. And, if you're not now, do so starting tomorrow. And while you're at it, get some exercise each and every day. Lifelong, sustainable wellness isn't hard, doesn't require pills, mixes, supplements or magic. It only requires you. 

Happy real fooding!

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