Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, immune illnesses, psychiatric illnesses, and hormone imbalances are just a few life threatening and chronic health problems facing more and more Americans today. The connection between what, and how we eat, and the development of these diseases is in many cases quite linear. Following this linear reasoning, if food can makes us ill, than food can make us well. The key in finding Health through nutrition is identifying the food related factors which cause the illness in the first place. In some cases the cause is simple - too much food intake will cause weight gain, excessive consumption of sugars can cause diabetes. Other relationships between illness, health, and food are less easy to sort out but with some effort and detective work most people can improve their health and vitality by making changes in their diet. There is no "one size fits all" diet that will cure everyone, but there are simple principles, such as eating mindfully, eating whole unprocessed foods and eating moderatly that can be of great benefit to most people. Once these simple principles become (imperfectly) a part of our way of life, a deeper look at nutrition as the cause of decrease in health and vitality can be undertaken. For some this will mean eliminating foods that cause systemic reactions, for others this will be increasing or decreasing caloric intake. Still others may find that a diet which allows for digestive healing is required or that there is an increased need for protein or some other macro or micronutrient. Even the most saavy consumer can find ways to use nutrition as a tool for healing because each day our body changes and our nutrient needs change as well. The more informed we become about what our body needs, the better care we can take of our lives.
It's surprising that information about food is so varied depending on the source. Some people recomend low fat, others low saturated fat, still others low animal fat. Some recomend eating no carbohydrates, others no simple carbohydrates, still others recomending avoiding foods with a high glycemic index. Every day new information comes out - lead in balsamic vinegar, benefits of coconut oil, changes in the government recomended food pyramid. Learning about nutrition can be confusing and overwhelming. As a result, making informed choices doesn't mean simply knowing the facts. What is required is knowing what works best for you. Sometimes this means a process of trial and error, or an elimination diet. Sometimes it means ordering lab tests. It can mean reading books or a undertaking a multi-phase nutritional plan, or joining a self-help weight loss program. Whatever you choose, continuing to pay attention to your body and your responses to food will allow you to evolve and change and sustain Health.