A Nutritionist’s tips for eating well with any diet.

So, what type of dietary philosophy do you follow, do you follow any at all? Are you doing it the right way for your body? Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, paleo, low histamine, keto. All of these diets can be done well, or miss the mark. Many people believe they are being healthy, but they’re missing out on easy tweaks to make it optimal. No matter what type of diet you eat (even a “normal” diet), you can make some easy upgrades to get more health from your healthy diet.

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Focus on wholefoods

If there is one thing that every diet should have in common, it’s a focus on wholefoods. Refined, processed and additive-packed junk foods don’t help anyone. But wholefoods that are unprocessed and as nature created them are full of nutrition and flavour.

Wholefoods include:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Grass-fed meat
  • Free-range/pasture raised poultry and eggs
  • Sustainably sourced fish and shellfish

Increase plant intake

Almost everyone could benefit from adding more vegetables into their diet. They contain many essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Vegetables are also an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fibre, supporting your gut health, balancing your gut microbiome and relieving constipation.

But the best part is that there are vegetables to suit every diet approach out there. For a ketogenic diet, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are fantastic. Following a Paleo diet? Fuel up with some sweet potato. Gone plant-based, vegetarian or vegan? Feast on every vegetable available! For a low histamine diet, you will need to avoid the main culprits. High histamine containing veggies are eggplant, spinach, avocado, tomato, chilli, olives and anything fermented (eg. sauerkraut).

When it comes to plant foods, don’t make perfect the enemy of good. If you can’t afford or access organic, biodynamic rocket, it’s fine to eat rocket from the supermarket.

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Prepare your food well

There is a reason why many ancient cultures have elaborate ways of preparing food. They knew that many foods can be prepped to maximise flavour AND nutrient absorption. Many of these necessary preparation steps have been forgotten with the introduction of highly processed modern foods. Grains and legumes require rinsing and soaking to get the maximum nutrients and limit anti-nutrients that prevent mineral absorption. See more on how to cook quinoa here.

If you don’t like it, don’t eat it

If you hate the food you eat, you are not eating a healthy diet – no matter what the food is. Research has actually shown that people absorb less nutrients from foods they dislike or are unfamiliar with. By eating food you dislike, you could actually be preventing yourself from getting enough nutrition.

So find a way to make healthy food enjoyable for you. Try different cooking methods, using seasonal ingredients and new flavours. There is a way for everyone to enjoy good, nutritious food.

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Eat mindfully

How you eat is just as important as what you eat. If you’re shovelling down a salad on the run, in the car or at your desk, you’re not going to get much out of it. In fact, you’re less likely to chew your food properly and feel satiated. Instead of making meal time stressful, take 20 minutes out to focus on your food.

I have a habit of rushing my meals and eating super fast. Pausing, having 3 deep slow breaths and concentrating on the flavour of the food helps slow me down. Also counting to 30 chews for each bite, and put down the knife and fork between bites. Even better, eat with someone you love and chat about your day between bites.

Everyone has a different ‘perfect’ diet and no single diet works for everybody. Improve your gut health and energy levels with a dietary upgrade. To get a program tailored to your needs book in an appointment today.

 

 

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