Dietary Considerations: What's in a Healthy Diet

Diet is critical to wellness.  Beyond merely fueling the body, building muscle and maintaining proper weight, a healthy diet can prevent illness and ensure greater overall well-being.

However, a quick search of the Internet will reveal as many opinions about diet as people out there writing about nutrition. With so many experts, it can be confusing to determine which diet may be a good fit.  The next series of articles will explore specific components of diet and how each of these affects the body systems.

What Foods Make Up a Healthy Diet?

Anyone who has taken even an elementary health class, understands that variety in diet is important.  While experts often differ on specific portion guidelines for diet, most agree that the human body requires a range of nutrients and vitamins for proper functioning.  Healthy diets include portions of the following foods:

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Whole Grains

  • Lean Meats

  • Low-Fat Dairy

  • Small Amounts of Fats or Oils

How Much of Each Food Does My Body Require?

This is a difficult question to answer.  Different research has churned out varying results.  According to the USDA, how much food a body needs is dependent upon age, weight, gender and activity level.  There are simple ways of calculating what your body needs based on an expansive body of research. However, different experts across the country offer passionate arguments about specific diet choices.  Vegans promote a plant-based diet with no supplementing of animal products, while some fitness experts insist a high protein diet is best. Consulting specifically with your physician before starting a diet you aren’t sure about is always your best bet.  

Vitamins, Proteins and Fat

Regardless of which diet you choose, and which expert you believe, there are some simple nutritional truths that everyone agrees upon.  First, your body gets vitamins and minerals from the food you eat. These vitamins are necessary for the body’s systems to function properly.  For example, Vitamin C is extremely important in supporting the immune system. Proteins are also an essential nutritional element. Higher protein diets have been shown to build muscle effectively for those working on muscle development, with no ill side effects for increasing protein intakes up to four times the recommended daily allowance.   Most reasonable research concludes that fat intake should be limited to prevent obesity, but a diet requires some healthy oils. In fact, a diet with recommended amounts of olive oil and/or coconut oil has been shown to decrease incidents of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

How Do I Calculate My Dietary Needs?

The research is always improving and studies are constantly being done.  However, the USDA has commissioned an impressive amount of research over a long period of time.  As new things are discovered, the information is updated. This link is a great resource in helping a person determine how much of each nutrient and protein a body needs.  


Closing Thoughts from Dr. Tali

This article is merely an introduction to the importance of nutrition for health and wellness.  Next week, we will explore how critical protein is with regard to building and maintaining muscle, losing and/or maintaining a healthy weight, and allowing proper functioning of body systems.  For those seeking chiropractic care, the skeletal-muscular system is often experiencing some level of dysfunction. Knowing how protein works in the body can help you make positive dietary choices to promote optimal functioning of this system.  At Radiant Health Chiropractic, we hope to educate our clients and improve every area of physical wellness. Stay tuned for our next articles about protein to build and maintain a strong skeletal-muscular system. Call today for a consult regarding nutrition, range of motion or treating any problematic condition.  

In wellness,  

Dr. Tali