There's so much conflicting nutrition info. What the heck should I eat?

There’s so much conflicting nutrition info. What the heck should I eat?

There’s so much conflicting advice when it comes to nutrition, right? How do we know what’s healthy anymore!?

You want to eat well and take care of your health but it’s so dang confusing. I get it.

Here’s where I stand:

Firstly we’re all wonderfully unique, with different genetics and environments. What works for your neighbor, partner or friend, might not work for you. It’s no surprise that there are so many raving fans of this or that diet or food philosophy. We all have different needs.

In addition, we have different nutritional needs at different stages & periods of our lives. What works for you now might not work for you in 10 years.

Surprisingly we do need some of the things we’ve been led to believe are bad.

That can include:

  • Fats
  • Carbs, which includes veggies
  • Red meat
  • Sugar, that also means fruit
  • Animal based products
  • Saturated oil, such as coconut oil and butter
  • Gluten
  • Cooked food
  • Raw food
  • Legumes
  • Fibre
  • All plant foods

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As you can see there is A LOT of contradicting advice out there! Yet when we go without certain foods for too long, even if we feel fine initially, it can have adverse effects on our health.

Here a few things to keep in mind:

  • Nutrition isn’t black or white. It’s nuanced.
  • I’m not a fan of a strict, all or nothing approach. Flexible, food freedom is how I roll.
  • Sometimes strictly eliminating certain foods is necessary. It can be therapeutic and  worth it.
  • Food doesn’t belong in a good or bad category. The mindset is more important.
  • Food can lead us closer to or further away from health.
  • There are no cheat days. Eat what makes you feel good and guilt-free.
  • We can enjoy food. It’s not just fuel. Eating can be a pleasurable, sensory, a shared experience and be beneficial for our health at the same time.
  • You can eat animal products and care about & do good things for our planet (& even do good things for yourself).
  • Not all foods are equal. Factory-farmed isn’t the same as grass-fed, farmed isn’t the same as wild, packaged isn’t the same as fresh, organic isn’t the same as conventional. Choose the best quality when you can.
  • Vegan, plant-based, vegetarian eating isn’t synonymous with health. These diets can also be damaging for certain folks or with a certain approach (there’s vegan junk food too).
  • Micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients for (hormone) health.
  • Health’s about the approach as much as it’s about the content of your diet.

So keep in mind that what may work for me, may not work for you or someone else. Also what might work for you may not work for me. We are all bright and beautiful individuals, which means we each have to find our own ideal diets.

Although one last nugget towards the end. What we eat influences our hormones which in turn can influence how we respond to foods. Since this can change, your diet will probably change over the years too.

What works for you?

Citations:

Hemler EC, Hu FB. Plant-Based Diets for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: All Plant Foods Are Not Created Equal. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2019 Mar 20;21(5):18. doi: 10.1007/s11883-019-0779-5. PMID: 30895476.

Silva T, Jesus M, Cagigal C, Silva C. Food with Influence in the Sexual and Reproductive Health. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2019;20(2):114-122. doi: 10.2174/1389201019666180925140400. PMID: 30255750.

 

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, manage, or treat disease or serious conditions. Always check with your doctor before making any changes. It’s important to consult a well-informed health practitioner for personal advice about your situation before relying on general information we’re all wonderfully unique.

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Laurie Villarreal, FNLP, CHWC, FNS, LMC, CPT, RYT

Hi, I'm Laurie, a functional nutritionist and health coach, athlete, dog-mom, and biohacking adventure-lover. After having struggled for years to find lasting solutions for my own debilitating hormone-related symptoms, I created my online practice to begin helping other active, driven women get the support they need. I now help  women around the world elevate their health, energy, business and life by optimizing their hormones with personalized nutrition and lifestyle tweaks. Together, we discover new tools and strategies that keep you showing up at your best so you can play even bigger in your life and work.