The Health Corner Vol. 48 – Diet: What’s Left?
It has been said that there are three subjects that should not be discussed in polite company: sex, politics, and religion. I find that on the whole this is a good rule, as these are such hot button topics.
But I would extend this rule to include that nasty four-letter word, diet, as well. For most people, their eating habits are a highly charged emotional issue just as in the above mentioned topics.
For instance, one of the diet principles it is hardest for my patients to accept is the need to reduce the intake of white flour or even carbohydrates in general. It is very difficult for most people to conceive of a life without breads, rolls, and pastries. Their very first question when I mention this is…
“Well, what’s left to eat?”
Now, I understand that in a society where breads and carbohydrates have been touted as a diet mainstay, it is hard to see other possibilities. But the truth is, there’s a whole host of foods that can be eaten, which are much closer to nature, and which haven’t been adulterated by extensive processing and added chemicals of every description. Specifically, I’m talking about the vegetable kingdom and the many choices that can be eaten in that particular group.
Here, at Milford Chiropractic Clinic our biggest emphasis is in the area of diet as a means to fuel a healthy body. And we instruct our patients that vegetables should be the largest portion of their daily intake as opposed to breads and grains. To start them out, we usually ask our patients to incorporate a good salad into their diets. We encourage them to compose that salad of as many different vegetables as possible, such as a variety of lettuces, carrots, celery, cucumber, radishes, sprouts (bean and alfalfa), tomatoes, and peppers. One could even include spinach and raw mustard or turnip greens to add even more variety. We find that if a person gets in the habit of eating a large salad every day at lunch time, it is easy to get at least 3 to 4 servings of fresh vegetables in, thus increasing health potential greatly. All raw foods contain live enzymes vital to good digestive health, so a salad is a good way to get these important enzymes in the daily diet.
We realize that most people are not even aware of the variety of vegetables that are available to them, so we have a good comprehensive list of common and not so common vegetable choices available to our patients. Also, we are always happy to sit down with anyone who is interested in learning more about healthful eating. Learning anything new is a process and we want to make the process as easy as possible. Hours and hours of research have gone into the materials we use for patient education. We do this so the patient does not have to work so hard to just get started on a new and beneficial way of life.
One thing we have found to be an issue whenever we start a patient out on a new diet plan is that he may not ‘like’ the new foods offered. This is understandable, as each person’s pallet has been conditioned to certain tastes and textures. It can be hard to exchange a familiar food for one that is not so familiar. But it is important to remember that a person can retrain himself in time to actually like the healthier choices. That is why changing the diet is best done as a process. Eventually, most people find that the things they found unappealing in the beginning become their favorite foods as time progresses. This is simply because the taste buds are awakening to the new and better foods. I have known people who started out absolutely addicted to sugar and other carbs, but after pursuing better choices for a few weeks, they found that their old choices tasted too sweet.
Changing the diet can seem an almost torturous thing to many people, so it is important to remember that it is a journey to be undertaken, not an immediate goal to be reached. It is good to set small, more easily attained goals instead of going ‘cold turkey’ off the foods we are used to eating. So, take a deep breath, count to ten, and give us a call, so we can make the process as simple as possible.
Here’s to your good health.
Dr. Jon R. Link