By: Kelly Atyeo, B.A.Sc., M.H.Sc., P.H.Ec.
When you hear the word “diet”, what’s the first thing you think? Many people associate the word “diet” with changing or modifying their food intake for weight loss. Yet, technically speaking – every living human is following a diet. A diet is simply a pattern we habitually eat to nourish our bodies.1
There are several diets out there that aren’t necessarily focused on “weight loss,” but rather health prevention or managing specific conditions.
The goal of this trilogy is to introduce you to three different diets that are designed by health practitioners for disease prevention and wellness. They all include a balanced diet and food in moderation. A discussion of how nutritionally chicken fares in each of these diets will be explored – as well as some recipes inspired by them!
- Mediterranean Diet: Focuses on choosing heart healthy foods to improve blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, manage blood sugar and achieve a healthy weight.
- Low Glycemic Diet: Suggested for the prevention and management of prediabetes and diabetes. This diet is often used to help manage blood sugar levels.
- DASH Diet: A heart healthy diet, focusing on blood pressure and cholesterol reduction.
These are not to be confused with the celebrity-endorsed mainstream diets that usually only offer short-term gain (if any) and are often considered “fad” diets. It’s not about finding a “miracle” or one specific super food. Our bodies need variety and balance in order to do well nutritionally.
It’s time to transform the idea of a “diet” into a whole lifestyle approach to healthy eating. You don’t necessarily need to be at risk for diabetes to choose low GI foods, nor do you need to have high blood pressure to choose foods from the DASH diet. After reading this trilogy – you may wish to take bits and pieces from each of these diets to help make your own healthy eating plan. If you would like further information on any of the three diets being presented in this chapter, please consult a Registered Dietitian or physician.
Remember, the best approach you can take is one that you will enjoy, stick to and that realistically (and safely) will help guide you to make healthier food and lifestyle choices.
Merriam-Webster. (2014). Diet. Retrieved December 18, 2014, from www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diet