Nutrition is a highly individualized practice, dependent upon personal preference, health status, and tolerances. However, for optimal nutrition, the general principles remain the same. The types of food our bodies need to function optimally don’t change as we age; however, providing our bodies with those foods may become more difficult. Hudson Integrative provides a comprehensive nutrition program for our clients to overcome obstacles to healthy eating practices. Here are a few guiding principles to get you started.
-Focus on a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to buy organic when you can, especially when they are on the list of Dirty Dozen. Those that are on the Clean Fifteen list are less important to buy organic. Here is a link to both lists: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/?gclid=CMWYiMTZl8cCFQenaQodkQEPfQ
-Add lean meats (if you are not a vegetarian) that come from good sources, i.e. organic and grass-fed if possible. Your butcher can give you more information on where the meat is coming from and what the animal was fed.
-Make sure to include fish that is responsibly farmed and free of dangerous chemicals. For a good resource for information on good fish to buy, visit http://www.seafoodwatch.org/consumers/seafood-and-your-health. Fish is a good source of Omega-3 which has been shown to:
- Prevent coronary heart disease
- Prevent stroke
- Prevent diabetes
- Promote healthy nerve activity
- Improve vitamin absorption
- Maintain a healthy immune system
- Promote cell development
-Fat has gotten a bad reputation in the past, however, it is extremely important to include healthy fats in your diet on a daily basis. These fats will help you stay satiated, promote brain, cardiovascular, and immune health, and help maintain blood sugar levels.
Healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, avocado oil, flax oil, coconut oil, fish oil (from the fish or in a supplement), ghee, grass-fed butter (like KerryGold), and sesame oil.
-Small portions of whole grains can be a good addition to your diet if you tolerate them well. Some good sources of whole grains are quinoa, whole grain bread, brown rice, wild rice, whole grain pasta, and oatmeal. Keep in mind you want these to be as minimally processed as possible. When in doubt, check labels!
–Dairy products are the least important food source to include in your diet. If you like things like cheese, yogurt, and milk you can definitely include them. However, you want to be sure it is coming from a good source. When cows are fed grain their meat and milk will have a higher proportion of omega-6 fatty acids, which in excess can lead to inflammatory diseases (cardiovascular, autoimmune, etc.). If you are eating yogurt make sure you check the label because most brands are loaded with sugar!
If you focus on planning your meals around these 6 categories you will be well on your way to nourishing your body so it can function optimally all day long!