With the new year come all sorts of declarations about which diet you should adopt to meet your healthy resolutions. Studies are cited. Experts are sought out. Sure, the list includes a ranking of several diets, but why wouldn’t you choose the #1 option? I mean, it must be perfect if it’s ranked #1!
But, do you want to know the honest truth about your perfect diet? There is no one perfect diet for everyone on the planet. Period.
How can that be, Paula? The “experts” in those articles must know what they’re talking about. Right?
We read, and even seek out, these experts and their articles every year, because we want the quick fix. We want someone to tell us what to do. I know, because I’ve been there, too. In reality, the #1 diet listed is the perfect one for some of the readers, and once they embrace its principles, they are on their way to feeling better every day. Hooray! But, what about the rest of us?
What you really need to do is become familiar with exactly where you are, personally, and pay attention to what your very own body is trying to tell you, to form the perfect diet for YOU. And the next level of truth about that diet is this… it’s going to change throughout your life.
The nutritional needs of a woman in her prime years for starting a family are completely different than her mother in the midst of menopause.
A young man who is involved in year-round athletics and is sleeping well each night should be following a much different menu than his classmate, who spends most of his time gaming and struggles to fall asleep.
Someone battling a chronic illness needs to pay special attention to what makes it onto the grocery list, in comparison to their neighbor who has good overall health.
Even a person whose main goal is to lose weight in their 50s has different demands than the 30-year-old at the desk next to them with the same goal. Even if their health status is the same.
The good news is there are some basic self-health truths that apply to everyone:
- Eat more healthy fat. High fat content in your diet will help maintain blood sugar levels for longer periods of time than any other food. You get less hungry less often. Natural forms of healthy fat are necessary to many functions, including proper regulation of cholesterol.
- Eat more healthy protein. Instead of a sweet snack, go for that baggie of bite-sized meat, or raw milk cheese, or lightly roasted nuts. Amino acids are one of the building blocks of collagen. And what person of any age can’t use that super glue of beauty and fitness?
- Eat more vegetables. Very few of us eat enough of these health-giving morsels. Even if you eat vegetables, you need more. Especially dark leafy greens, preferably as organic as your budget allows.
- Reduce processed foods. In a perfect world, we would get rid of boxed and canned food items all together. However, their convenience can make the difference between eating at home and stopping at a drive-thru. At the very least, educate yourself on the healthiest options out there.
- Eliminate refined sugars. We all need a little sweetness in our lives, and healthy sweeteners exist. Get in the habit of using them in your favorite treats for special occasions. Grabbing a piece of whole fruit will often satisfy a craving for sweets and offer up some of the vitamin complexes, minerals, and fiber your body needs.
- Drink more spring water. This is the most important beverage your body needs, and you need a good amount of it. How much? Your water intake depends on your current daily lifestyle.
Finding out the truth behind your perfect diet is going to take some self-health exploration, but you’re worth it. Here are some SRP posts that may describe your health situation and give you some starting points.
Help! My Body is Getting Flabby, by Maria Atwood, will help those who want to understand how aging affects their body composition.
Tylene Welch makes suggestions for those living with anxiety in The Anti-Anxiety Nutrition Plan.
If you’ve been encouraged to go dairy-free but dread the thoughts of it, Monica Corrado offers hope in Dairy-Free Is Not a Life Sentence!
Images from iStock/Maestria_diz (main), Banepx (post).