5 Steps for Building a Sustainable Healthy Eating Plan

 

Healthy food that tastes good.

Wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to join a cult to use good nutrition to control your blood sugar, prevent diabetes, and ideally reverse prediabetes altogether?

Wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to commit to overhauling your entire way of eating to be keto or vegan or whatever the fad of the week is?

Wouldn't it be great if you could simply eat healthy food that tastes good?

Well, it turns out a few simple tweaks and adjustments are all most people with prediabetes need to go from stuck to getting results.
In this part 3 for nutrition for prediabetes, let's discuss the 5 steps you can use to build a sustainable healthy nutrition plan that will work for you.

Woman 50+? Prediabetes? You want to be healthy, but the world makes it hard to follow through on your good intentions. We've got a program that will help you. Your first month is just $1: https://www.ReversingPrediabetes.com

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4 Goals for Every Healthy Eating Plan

nutrition prediabetes Apr 27, 2021
 

Nutrition for prediabetes shouldn't be hard.

The internet is full of conflicting and confusing information about how to use good nutrition to control your blood sugar, but the principles of healthy lifestyle are really straightforward. They're easy to learn.

In this part 1 of a 3 part series, let's learn about the 4 goals that every healthy nutrition plan needs to meet for it to be successful for you.

Woman 50+? Prediabetes? You want to be healthy, but the world makes it hard to follow through on your good intentions. We can help you. Join Reversing Prediabetes, your first month is just $1: https://www.ReversingPrediabetes.com 

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Dietary Fatigue

What is dietary fatigue?

I've often discussed the difficulty we all have in making healthy choices consistently, and the need to build a personal system that helps you make "the healthy choice" on a regular basis. Without this, most programs rely on willpower, and therefore eventually fail.

On the Sigma Nutrition Podcast, I heard a fascinating discussion with Gregg Slater. He is head of education at Lift the Bar, a company which educates fitness professionals, and a former PE teacher and Physical Training Instructor for the Royal Air Force.

This interview resonated with me as he focused on providing solutions for the decline in adherence, the ability to stick with a program, that invariable occurs over time. For weight loss, he called this dietary fatigue, and introduced the concept that:

  • Dietary Performance = Energy Deficit - Dietary Fatigue

That is, the result that you would see with your weight loss program is equal to the calorie deficit you intend to create minus...

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Revisiting the Blue Zones

My great aunt Barbara is 98 years old. She lives alone, still plays bridge, does her own shopping, and really seems to enjoy her life. She's fairly agile, and one would have a hard time calling her frail. She gets to enjoy 3 generations of descendants in her family. She really enjoys her life.

While none of knows how long we will live, I suspect most of us would agree that we would like to live whatever years we have with a minimal degree of disability, pain, and limitation. We'd like to live our years as healthy as possible.

If that's true for you, you need to know about the Blue Zones.

What are Blue Zones?

I think this research is really cool. Dr. Dan Buettner and his team have identified 5 areas in the world where people seem to live, on average, significantly longer and healthier than the rest of the world, and they have studied what makes these people unique. The story goes that they originally circled these 5 areas on the map in blue marker, hence the name Blue Zones...

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Can You Use Food to Decrease Inflammation? A Look at Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Nutrition and Energy

In last week's post, we focused on energy production, and one of the points introduced was this:

  • Think about inflammation and healing. Your body works best when its repair system is functioning well, and excess inflammation can impair the healing process. Excess inflammation is associated with many adverse health outcomes including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Ways you can help:
    • Choose unsaturated fat over saturated fat (there is controversy about saturated fat currently but the scientific literature clearly supports that unsaturated fat has greater health benefit)
    • Choose quality carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits, whole grains)
    • Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

I received several inquires about omega-3 fatty acids, so let's take a deeper look.

One way to improve your nutrition, and therefore your health, is to simply start thinking about food quality, and looking for ways to "upgrade" what you eat....

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Where Do We Get Our Energy?

I felt like I'd been unplugged

In 2018 I had surgery to repair a damaged leg artery. I was recovering nicely for the first week, and then something changed. It was like I had been unplugged. For 2 days, I could barely get out of bed. It was hard to keep my eyes open. The trip downstairs to the couch was so taxing I'd nap for hours. I recall wondering if I'd ever get back to normal.

To this day, I don't know what happened. After 2 days, my energy improved and I got back to recovering from the surgery. When I think back, I feel gratitude that my energy was restored and 

But what  if you have fatigue and it's not getting better? What if you're not recovering? I frequently evaluate and treat people for whom fatigue is a daily struggle.

Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints that lead people to see a physician. Unfortunately, an explanation for fatigue is not always available, even after thoughtful analysis and testing. If you are experiencing fatigue, I...

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What Is The Best Diet? Results of the DIETFITS Study

What is the Best Diet?

I know, we keep coming back to this question. I get asked this question frequently. I think that's cause lots of people are frustrated with the glut of conflicting information available, and want to know how to get results.

I wish there were a quick answer. I will say, when it comes to healthy lifestyle, I've be come obsessed with helping people understand what will produce the results they want in their own bodies. We all grow tired of the same advice of "just eat less and exercise more." While there is a certain truth to this statement, for most people such advice does not lead to changes that actually produce benefit. Something is missing.

Low-fat vs. Low-carb

Low-carb is an approach that works well for many people. Low-fat diets have fallen out of favor, although traditional low-fat diets are not the same as healthy low-fat diets that don't rely on processed foods (think vegetarian approaches that emphasize plants and whole grains).

So,...

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Three Things - 3 Food Categories to Watch

Ahhh, the aroma

I come home from a day in clinic, and as I open the door from the garage I can tell there are cookies waiting in the kitchen. My wife and my daughter both love to bake, and during the pandemic they've both spent more time in the kitchen honing their craft. So on this day, I'm greeted by oatmeal raisin cookies, my personal favorite.

From the onset of social distancing in March, it didn't take long to figure out that having cookies on the counter all the time was not going to be a brilliant strategy for my health. Even when I might not be thinking I'm hungry, the sight of these treats is very hard for me to resist.

Not wanting to be a downer for my family, experimenting let me discover that as long as the cookies moved out of direct view (into the freezer is great), I greatly increase the odds that I won't succumb to temptation.

We are creatures of our environment

One of the lessons from the Blue Zones is that in healthy cultures, the environment "nudges" people toward...

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There Are No Shortcuts to Good Nutrition

When I was in medical school and learning how to perform basic tasks, like reading an ECG or a chest x-ray, I was taught very specific protocols for each process. For example, reading an ECG was RRABEIIM - rate, rhythm, axis, bundles, enlargements, intervals, ischemia, morphology. The goal was to make sure nothing was missed, nothing was inadvertently overlooked.

In other words, taking shortcuts - such as jumping to the evidence of a heart attack occurring - might mean missing a long QT interval, which could lead to serious problems if medication choice did not take this into account.

Pilots, auto mechanics, chefs, and in fact almost every profession uses checklists or SOP's in some form to make sure a vital process does not get short-circuited.

Supplements - Do They Work?

I have to admit, it seems logical to assume that if a substance is found to have health benefit in nature, it should have similar benefit if taken in the form of a supplement. But is this true?

It turns out...

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Cleaning up debris, again. Sigh.

Yesterday I swept out my garage in the morning. It's amazing how quickly the dust and dirt accumulates in that space. Then I swept the kitchen. We have a new dog (our pandemic addition), doubling our canine count and apparently our dog hair production. In the evening, I sat on the front porch for my final Zoom meeting of the day and couldn't help but notice the cobwebs and old blossoms accumulating around the bench and front door. Sigh. I saved that cleaning for another day.

Debris accumulates

It struck me that just like debris seems to accumulate around my house, debris accumulates in my lifestyle. It's a slow creep, but little things start to show up. A bit more liberal with snacks in the evening after dinner. A bit less attention to getting enough vegetables. Even a bit less focus on staying connected with my wife.

Does this happen to you too? I suspect it does. And just like our homes need a periodic sweeping and dusting, our lifestyle choices would likely benefit from periodic...

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