Confused is how most people feel when reading about nutritional guidelines. What dietary changes to make? What foods to eat? Not to eat? What diet to follow? What cleanse to do? Low carb? Low fat? Atkins? South Beach? Palaeolithic? Vegan?
Who is right? Unfortunately no one is right and very few are wrong (but there are some crazy diets out there). The quest for the right diet lies within yourself. Each one of us is bio-chemically unique and as individuals, we all have diverse dietary needs that depend on a variety of factors including gender, genetics, hormone levels, age, stress levels, culture, seasonal changes, gut microbiology, blood type, physical imbalances, food preferences and many others.
We are all pre-programmed to require particular foods and we may not be aware of these individual needs because we’ve grown up with foods that are common to the culture in which we live now. If your ancestors lived near the sea and ate a diet high in fish then your body will have a higher need for those foods that contain iodine and omega-3 fatty acids. This nutritional need will be different from a person that came from a society that farmed and ate a diet high in grains and dairy.
Sunil Kochhar, of the American Chemical Society says “We know that some people can eat a diet that is high in steak and carbs and generally remain healthy, while the same food in others is unhealthy.”
Some people will thrive on a vegan diet while others will feel horrible. The key is to listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel. If you really pay attention to your energy levels, your thought patterns, your digestive system and all those quirky symptoms that come and go, you’ll soon figure out what foods your body prefers and in what quantities. Dr. Joseph Mercola says “You’ll know you’re eating right for your Nutritional Type if you feel satisfied, free of cravings, and full of energy one hour after you eat.”
It gets even more complicated if you are trying to follow a candida diet. There are many differences in opinion from website to website and from book to book. There are even disagreements between practitioners as to what is the ‘right’ way to do a ‘cleanse’. Listen to what resonates with you. Find a practitioner that you trust. Find recent studies and literature that explain in detail what you need to know. And most importantly pay careful attention to what your body tells you. It talks if you will listen!
Author: Kira Neumann, RHN