With so many resources available on the internet, information overload is pretty much inevitable. It leaves you questioning should I be gluten free? IS dairy the issue? Should I try keto? This is where things get complex.
When it comes to general health, your #1 goal should be optimized gut health. When you have a happy and healthy gut, everything else will fall into place. If you have dietary restrictions (like Celiac) then this post defffinitely doesn’t apply to you and you should do you so your body doesn’t shut down! 🙂 But for the rest of us…
Why You Should Start by Making Healthier Choices
While I have my specialization in fitness nutrition, I’ve fallen victim to the realm of fad dieting within the last 6 months. I was convinced that because I have an autoimmune disease, I was automatically doomed to leaky gut and everything else. I believed this fully, even though I never exhibited any type of symptom whatsoever, just because scholarly articles told me that everyone who has MS automatically has 100 other things going on with them. I have never had any issues, including in the bathroom (sorry, but it’s true 😀 ).
If you start your health journey by simply making healthier choices (your protein, healthy fats, and slow digesting carbohydrates) and stick to it for long enough, you will more than likely experience results you want and better health. What I DID find, however, is that I am definitely somewhat intolerant to dairy! Depends on the dairy though – for example, I’m totally good eating cheddar cheese (minimal lactose) and Greek yogurt, but cream cheese does not work out well for me. Everyone is different, everyone’s gut microbiome is composed differently, so safe experimentation is the way to go.
I’ve made Healthier Choices, but I’m still not where I want to be
Okay, this is where things get a little tricky. You may be tempted to completely cut gluten or go on the keto diet, and those things are perfectly fine! Our bodies weren’t really meant to digest gluten, but you can read more about that in my other post here, so making a choice like that won’t steer you down the wrong path, but may lead to more binge eating because you are restricting foods you formerly enjoyed (like pizza…dude, come on you’re gonna give up PIZZA?!). In all seriousness, I support people who choose to go gluten free because it definitely optimizes gut health in a way that you wouldn’t realize it could. But remember just because an expert says you should doesn’t mean you must. It may not be the best option for YOU. So pay better attention to yourself and your digestive health before making any major decisions.
Keto on the other hand….. 🙄
I can’t lie, I’m extremely biased against the keto diet because when you do it for longer than about a 3 month period you put yourself at risk for a world of hurt. Yes, it can lead to exponential weightloss in the beginning. Yes, it can train your body to burn fat for energy as opposed to carbohydrates. BUT this diet should always be done under the supervision of a physician, nutritionist, or dietician because many things can go wrong, such as higher cholesterol, decrease in brain functionality as the brain needs the sugar from carbs to function properly, and more. Commonly used in a medical setting to treat various illnesses, such as Epilepsy, I am a fan of Keto being a natural treatment for these patients; I am not a fan of people fad dieting with the Keto diet because it is dangerous, no matter how “experienced” someone may be – but that’s just my single professional opinion. Read more about my thoughts on Keto in my blog all about it.
At the end of the day, it’s really just an experiment to see what works for you! It’s why I always recommend the guidance of a health professional for figuring out your food intolerances, allergies, etc. so that you can experiment safely. The best place to start is just by choosing whole foods with pure ingredients. The less ingredients and processed junk on your label, the better. Fad dieting doesn’t work because they are rarely practical for the long term and once you give up on your strict meal plan, the weight normally comes right back. By just learning to make healthier choices, you eliminate a ton of stress and never have to worry about restriction. Do your best and never quit even when things can become overwhelming! You got this 😀
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