Last week, this came across my radar, and it’s worth sharing to reinforce the importance. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released their:
2020-2030 Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research
Why do we need a strategic plan for nutrition? Why are they investing MILLIONS in nutrition research?
We need to definitely answer the question: What should we eat to stay healthy? While many people may think they absolutely know the answer, we need to understand that one size does not fit all. As stated in the NIH publication, there are profound differences between individuals in dietary responses along with links between diet and disease risk.
Some people are gluten sensitive, lactose intolerant, or have allergies to tomatoes or other foods. While some people can eat just about anything and live into their 90s, most cannot! Many people have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and other disorders which are worsened by an unhealthy food intake. On the other side, we are learning that the human body is absolutely amazing with the inherent ability to fight off disease and stay healthy, and for many to live to be 100 plus years of age – and NOT in a nursing home! Unfortunately, we can find ourselves cutting years, if not decades, off that number by unhealthy food consumption combined with physical inactivity, self-induced stress worrying over things not under our control, and taking in all sorts of toxins.
The answer to the seemingly simple question: “What should I eat to be healthy?” is not simple at all, nor is it the same across people of different ages, sizes, food environments, and internal microbial milieus known as the microbiome. We have a better understanding of the critical interplay our body has with our microbiome (the trillions of organisms that inhabit our mouth, gut, skin, and other areas) and how it is influenced by our diet. But, there is much we do not know. Providing individuals with the right answer to this question of what we should eat requires considering dietary patterns, metabolism, microbiome variation, disease, and many factors unique to an individual and his or her environment.
Importantly, NIH states this fact: “Health conditions linked to poor diet constitute the most frequent and preventable causes of death in the United States and are major drivers of health care costs, estimated in the hundreds of billions of dollars annually.” Talk to any cardiologist or neurologist. They will tell you the majority of heart attacks and strokes that occur are preventable with one of the major factors being food consumption. To add to the importance of our diet in our health, in June the American Cancer Society released their 2020 American Cancer Society Guideline for Diet and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention. One of their 4 recommendations to lower your risk of cancer: consume a healthy diet focused on “real” food: vegetables, fruits, whole grains. The question for all of us: What can I do NOW to improve my food consumption AND am I willing to do?
The healthcare profession has been focused on TREATMENT of disease primarily with medications and surgery. NIH, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and many other medical institutions are realizing the need to concentrate efforts on disease PREVENTION through lifestyle interventions. NIH will be investing heavily to answer the questions: WHAT should we eat? WHEN should we eat?
Until more reliable information is available, what should we consider? The hottest science based recommendations in food consumption currently: glycemic control and caloric restriction. The tables have been turned. We were sold unhealthy messages.
- Myth #1: Fat is bad. Carbs are good. With this message, we created an obesity and prediabetes / diabetes epidemic by pushing carbs. We now know glycemic (blood sugar) control is a key aspect to our health, greatly influenced by our carb intake. We need to assess not only HOW MUCH we eat but how many carbs we are taking in.
We were also told:
- Myth #2: Breakfast is the most important meal. Now, premier medical institutions around the country are researching the benefits of intermittent fasting to improve numerous aspects of our health. Fasting is NOT a fad. It’s backed by science. Most of us don’t need to be eating all day long.
Want to live longer AND livelier? Critique Caloric Consumption: Living WELL Aware Essential Element to Health and Happiness #2.
THANKS to Education Service Center 3 in Victoria Texas for having me present to employees last week on Seven Things We Can Do to Up our Defense Against SARS CoV-2 and Chronic Diseases. I truly enjoyed discussing the 7 strategies including healthy food consumption with an emphasis on glycemic control and the benefits of intermittent fasting and HOW to do it. It’s about Living WELL Aware!
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT “UPPING YOUR DEFENSE AGAINST SARS CoV-2 AND CHRONIC ILLNESSES”? DOES YOUR GROUP NEED A WELLNESS AWAKENING WEBINAR OR PRESENTATION? Have Dr Sulak speak to your group!
It’s about Living WELL Aware!
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