The nutrition path is different for everyone
In the old days of sugar free and low fat, is the food pyramid a reliable guide or complete nonsense? For the longest time, the food pyramid set the standard for proper nutrition, and now for the first time in its existence we are finding out it’s not a healthy guideline at all. One day eggs are bad; the next day they’re good, and the same with coffee, dairy, animal protein – the list goes on and on.
In the mist of all the hype around food and the various diets these days, and in honor of National Nutrition Month, I’d like to give you some facts about food. As we know, food is essential to life and so is finding which diet works best for you. Whether it be gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan or Mediterranean, here are a few facts:
A gluten-free diet eliminates the protein gluten. You can find gluten in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. According to the Mayo Clinic, a gluten-free diet is mainly used to treat celiac disease because gluten leads to inflammation in the small intestines of people who have celiac disease.
Learn the secrets of going gluten free – such as where gluten hides in certain products and how to safely eat in restaurants – in Going Gluten Free: A Quick Start Guide for a Gluten Free Diet, by Jennifer Wells.
A vegetarian diet is defined as “a diet that includes only foods from plants: fruits, vegetables, legumes (dried beans and peas), grains, seeds and nuts.” Vegetarians do not eat animal meat.
Like vegetarians, vegans do not eat any animal meat. The main difference between a vegetarian and a vegan is that, in addition to not consuming any animal flesh, a vegan doesn’t eat eggs, dairy products or anything that comes from animals.
The Mediterranean Diet includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil. You can eat poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt in moderation and, rarely, red meat. In terms of what you can’t eat: sugary beverages, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other processed foods.
Explore exciting recipes anyone can make in The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook, compiled by the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen, that will provide the overall health benefits of this diet – including weight loss and controlled blood pressure.
It’s important to try different things and see what works for you – just remember to do so with caution and love.