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2 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Diet

posted: 04/08/16
by: Katie Morton
diet food
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It may seem as though nutritional advice changes week to week. The world of diets and nutrition evolves as research changes and, unfortunately, as fads come in and out. So in this ever-changing world, how do you decide which diet is right for you?

Obviously, the best place to start with a new diet or nutritional advice is with a trip to your own doctor. They can help answer questions you have, review concerns, and take into account any preexisting health conditions, which may influence whether a particular diet is right for you. What may be recommended for one patient, may not work (or be healthy) for another.

Consulting with a dietician is another positive step to take when making nutritional changes for the better. Many licensed dietitians work in concert with doctors' offices to provide one-on-one evaluations and menu plans for their clients. The good news is that some of these services may even be covered by insurance plans.

Working with your doctor or a licensed professional dietician helps you to take into account all the facets that go into creating a customized healthy diet that's right for you. According to professionals, these are the two questions that will immediately help you determine if a diet is right for you.

Does this diet deprive me of specific foods?

In general, when considering whether a diet is healthy or not, doctors say you should look for one that allows you to eat a wide array of foods. Strict elimination diets or cleanses are generally not considered good for you, and may deprive your body of essential vitamins and nutrients. Rather, look for a well-balanced, sustainable diet. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean protein are all the cornerstones of a healthy diet plan.

Are there added benefits?

Certain diets have been shown to have benefits beyond better nutrition and weight loss. Consider, for example, the Mediterranean diet. The diet's focus of fresh fruits, veggies, olive oil, and fish has benefits for heart health. The diet has also shown improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Compelling new research also shows that the Mediterranean diet may also benefit another vital organ--your brain. Research studies have demonstrated a link between the diet and a lowered risk of Alzheimer's disease. Even more exciting, the Mediterranean diet may slow cognitive decline, reduce the risk of dementia, and help prevent brain tissue loss.

The bottom line is that food and proper nutrition can play a huge role in your well-being. When you're making dietary changes, don't get lost in the world of fads, enlist the help of a medical professional to find the perfect healthy lifestyle for you!