The Best Diet for Your Health
What is a ‘diet’? The word diet is derived from the Middle English diete meaning regular food, diet from early French diete (same meaning), derived from Greek diaita, literally, "manner of living". So the diet of an individual, group, or population is supposed to be the food and nourishment that is part of the natural living environment.
For us humans, the best diet is what helps us live a healthy life. As a dietitian, actually I cringe on the word ‘diet’. The word, which is supposed to be a noun to describe what we eat, has sadly been turned into a verb that describes the latest fad.
Our eating habits and lifestyle need to have a broader perspective of long-term health for the whole body instead of a narrow focus on counting calories or avoiding a single food or ingredient. Life is already complicated enough. Limiting food choices or following rigid meal plans can add extra stress. With any new diet, always ask yourself: "Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?" If the answer is no, the plan is not right. Never think of yourself as going on a “diet”. Instead, think long term. Your diet should address any medical issues you may have and help improve your overall health.
So avoid fad diets. Make simple goals to eat healthy. Avoid all over-processed and junk food. Eat more whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Cook most of your meals at home. Plan to be active and find ways to move more. Drink an adequate amount of water and avoid beverages laden with sugar and/or artificial colors and sweeteners. Learn to manage stress and engage in mindful living.
Parul Kharod, MS, RD, LDN is a registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist, and works as a Clinical Dietitian with Outpatient Nutrition Services at WakeMed Hospital in Cary and Raleigh where she counsels the adult and pediatric population for a variety of issues such as diabetes, heart disease, IBS, food allergies and celiac disease. She also manages the monthly Celiac & Food Allergy Support Group at WakeMed Cary Hospital. She can be reached at 919-350-2351.