March is National Nutrition Month

What can you do to move toward a lifestyle change?

AND have a dietary lifestyle consisting of proteins, fats, AND carbs?!

Let’s take a moment to look at the most common successful “diets” around the world and some of what they ALL have in common.

6 Things Successful Diets Have in Common

These principles are common principles throughout the tried and true versions of the Mediterranean diet, low-carb diets, the paleo diet, as well as plant-based diets.

Low in added sugar.

Sugar is not only directly correlated with the levels of inflammation in one’s body, it can also produce a physiological effect similar to that of self-administering a substance of abuse.  It has even been compared to the physiological response we have to cocaine in studies regarding addiction, cravings, withdrawals, etc.  (Check this study out for more info.)

This takes us back to the first basic principle from last week’s post – “Eat Whole Foods.”

No matter which “diet” you choose, choosing whole foods vs. highly processed science experiments containing lots of added sugar is a common theme. 

WHY? Because reducing your consumption of added sugar also reduces your risk of developing Diabetes, Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease, and more.

Eliminate refined carbs.

For example, breads and pastas.  Avoiding processed foods, we can eliminate most refined carbs while still being able to consume healthy (TRUE) whole grains, leaving our bodies feeling full and satisfied for longer periods of time, all without causing spikes in our blood sugar.  Top whole grains to consume include quinoa, brown rice, and air-popped popcorn as a healthy snack!

Avoid vegetable oils high in Omega-6 fat.

Vegetable oils high in omega-6 fat are a perfect example. Let’s just avoid vegetables oils…soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, and cottonseed oil have elevated levels of omega-6.  While needed, too much of a good thing is not such a good thing.

There’s that “Eat Whole Foods” recommendation, again.  Get your fats from olive oil, avocados, and seeds.  These are more natural, whole forms of fat.

High in vegetables and fiber.

Regardless of what type of “diet” you’re considering, ALL healthy diets consist of a good amount and variety of vegetables.  The nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber found in vegetables are irreplaceable and all play a vital role in your overall health, including the ever-so-important gut health!

And there’s the other food-related principle: “Eat more fruits and veggies.”  Let’s not be afraid of them.  Eating a diet of whole foods, consisting of a good amount of fruits and veggies, has been directly linked to reduced inflammation which is the leading cause of MOST disorders and diseases (even cancer…).