March is National Nutrition Month. However, this year there’s no official theme or message from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In fact, this was intentional to allow “greater flexibility in the promotion of health messages.” Well, as you know, I’m never at a loss for nutrition-related words. So, I will share one simple message about nutrition each week in March. This week’s topic? The best diet for you.
(Note “diet” in this post indicates a “way of eating” and does not mean a restricted-calorie eating plan.)
Searching for “The One and Only” Best Diet
Over the years I’ve actually thought long and hard about my “flexible” nutrition messaging and wondered if “easy, real food” is specific enough to be helpful to you, especially if you’re trying to prevent type 2 diabetes. “Real food” may seem too vague when we could be more specific. But I have never felt more strongly that my main message must remain this broad to be evidence-based and practical…
Because there are many ways to eat for your health. All of them include a variety of real foods. None of them include a plethora of processed foods.
So, you can stop searching for the one best way for everyone to eat. For the prevention of diabetes, research suggests it is possible to follow any one of these diets and achieve good results:
- A lower carbohydrate diet
- A Mediterranean diet
- The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet
- A plant-based vegetarian or vegan diet
But of course we all have different health risks, and what works for one person may not be practical or effective for another. Also, these may not be the only options that are effective, but they are the diets with enough evidence so far.
When you consistently make an effort to eat more real foods and minimal processed foods, it leaves room to customize (with your doctor and a registered dietitian, preferably) the best approach for YOUR HEALTH RISK and YOUR LIFE.
- Ignore flashy news headlines (or even convincing peers) suggesting quick fixes or single approaches. They are usually inconsistent, irresponsible and incorrect.
- Consider if nutrition information can be trusted with these 5 Questions This RD Wants You to Ask Yourself About Nutrition News.
- Check out the Recipe Index and try a new real-food recipe, such as this delicious Inside Out Egg Roll.