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Beyond Buzzwords: The True Meaning of Eating a Balanced Diet

Updated: May 21

This article appeared in the May 2024 edition of Newcastle Living Magazine by Best Version Media, as well as in five additional publications across the nation.



Remember when we thought eating 'low-fat' and 'sugar-free' made us health gurus? Turns out, there's a bit more to the story: A recent survey revealed that while 91% of Americans believe they eat healthily, only a mere 7% meet the basic criteria for metabolic health(1,2). This startling disconnect highlights the need to demystify what a balanced diet really entails – it's not just a buzzword, but a practical, achievable goal. In this article, we'll unpack some layers behind this concept, showing that eating a balanced diet is far more than just a disregarded cliché; it's a game-changer for anyone looking to revitalize their health through simple yet effective dietary adjustments.

 

 

1. Whole Foods for a Whole New You: Embracing more single-ingredient foods can transform your health. In my practice, I've seen remarkable changes in clients who make this shift – improved energy, better digestion, clearer thinking and even weight loss. Whole foods are a powerhouse of essential nutrients that nourish your body at a cellular level, playing a crucial role in promoting overall health and warding off – or reversing - chronic diseases.

 

2. Finding Your Unique Balance: Emphasize getting enough quality protein (at least 30g per meal), healthy fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates. Every body is unique, and finding the right balance of nutrients for you and where your body is right now is key.

 

3. Cutting the Sweet Talk: Reducing sugar and refined carbs is a cornerstone of this approach. It's not just about losing weight; it’s about gaining health.

 

4. Fats – The Good Kind: Healthy fats are essential, and choosing the right ones can make all the difference. My favorites come from flaxseeds, olive oil, avocado, nuts and eggs.

 

5. Plant-Powered Eating: Incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet is a great way to boost your nutrient intake. This doesn’t mean you have to become vegetarian, but plants should be a focal point of your diet.


6. Conscious Protein Choices: Opting for grass-fed, organic meats and sustainably sourced fish can significantly enhance the quality of your diet by providing useful protein that’s less of a burden for your body to use, richer in essential nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, while also supporting environmentally sustainable practices.

 

7. Hydration Matters: Staying hydrated is crucial in virtually all functions of the human body, affecting everything from digestion to mood to temperature regulation. We also can often mistake thirst for hunger, leading to overeating.

 

These principles are simple, yet many of us rush through these steps. Incorporating them can lead to significant improvements in your health. If you're looking for personalized guidance and support, working with a functional medicine practitioner like me can be incredibly beneficial.


 

If you’re ready to take this step, click here to schedule a free Discovery Call, and together we’ll build your toolkit for genuine healing to achieve long-term well-being.


If there are any specific topics you’d like me to cover, please email me at cara@unscriptedclinic.com with your suggestions!

 

 

1. Araújo, J., Cai, J., & Stevens, J. (2019). Prevalence of Optimal Metabolic Health in American Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2016. Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, 17(1), 46-52. https://doi.org/10.1089/met.2018.0105

 

2. O’Hearn, M., Lauren, B. N., Wong, J. B., Kim, D. D., & Mozaffarian, D. (2022). Trends and Disparities in Cardiometabolic Health Among U.S. Adults, 1999-2018. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 80(2), 138-151. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2022.04.046

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