Like many naturopathic doctors, I firmly believe in individualized nutrition – there is no one way that all people should eat to optimize health. There are, however, general guidelines that may apply to all:
- eat food in as close to its natural state as possible; i.e. whole, unrefined food
- consume essential fatty acids from cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring), flax, walnuts, etc.
- lots of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables – the more colorful, the better
- when meat/ dairy are concerned, eat organic whenever possible
- limit or avoid high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils
- limit or avoid genetically modified foods (not required to be labeled – eat organically to be sure to avoid)
- limit or avoid artificial sweeteners to help your taste buds learn to appreciate the subtle, natural sweetness
- minimize refined sugar (fruits are not refined sugar!)
The more that you eat whole foods, the more your taste buds adjust to the nuances of real food flavors. And, you’ll be able to listen intuitively to what your body needs! Making these changes as an individual or as a family has the potential to positively impact energy, sleep quality, body composition, and overall well-being.
After a solid nutritional foundation has been created, details can be added per a person’s unique individuality.
Other factors to consider when designing an individualized nutrition program include stomach acidity, digestive enzyme levels, nutritional status, family & personal health histories and, of course, personal taste. After all, food nourishes our bodies and souls – if it’s not delicious and satisfying, then it’s time to change what you’re eating!