The overall best diet for optimum health, does it really exist? Here are the top five trend predictions for 2020.
We all should know by now that diet is one of a few key ingredients to a healthy life; the rest being sleep, exercise, hydration and mental balance – our mind needs to be equally as healthy as our body. All components must be achieved harmoniously and consistently for our optimum health to be reached and maintained. And as we know each and every one of us is made slightly differently and so we must adapt any guidelines to suit our personal needs.
Today we are focusing on the diet; that which we consume daily. As we develop within the dietary world, combining ancient concepts with technological and medical advances, the modern diet is constantly progressing and changing and it can be hard work keeping up, let alone trying to find the time to work out what half of it means and actually trying to incorporate it into our daily lives. The following is a list of some of the top trend predictions for the coming year (and the long term) to help us try to stay ahead of the dietary game!
This is absolutely here to stay and on the rise, according to research scientists, and well, me actually! I mean how can it not be one of the best ways to sustain our beings by eating a variety of natural, healthy, nutritious plants every day? A plant-based diet is pretty self-explanatory but basically it is a good balance of vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits. It leads to a healthy microbiome (healthy gut) which, in turn, leads to a healthy mind (yes the two are connected), and promotes a more environmentally-friendly approach to eating as meat ingestion is either non-existent or minimal.
This way of eating, and way of life, is gaining some legs in the dietary world, and it is beginning to run with them. The theory behind the diet is that we take time to fast during particular hours of the day or week, and break said fast (this is not a far cry from eating three meals a day and then sleeping/fasting and then breaking our fast at ‘break fast’). One type of intermittent fasting calls for us to eat within an eight hour window and for the rest of our day whether waking or sleeping we refrain from ingesting. Other versions of periodic fasting range from ingesting few, if any, calories all day every other day or several times a week to fasting for 16 hours or more every day. One variation named the 7-11 diet means eating nothing from 7 p.m. until 11 a.m. the next morning, every day. This allows our metabolism to thrive, allows our system to function effectively, and can support weight loss. Studies show that intermittent fasting improved such disease indicators as insulin resistance, blood fat abnormalities, high blood pressure and inflammation. Doctors state that during a fast, the body produces few new proteins, prompting cells to take protein from nonessential sources, break them down and use the amino acids to make new proteins that are essential for survival. Then, after eating, a lot of new proteins are produced in the brain and elsewhere. If you are keen to try intermittent fasting you must always adhere to the remaining pillars of health whilst partaking; sleeping well, hydrating well, exercising well and, when doing so, eating well (see plant-based diet!).
The celebrity diet of the century looks like it is here to stay, but it has taken a far more ethical/environmental turn as well as a less saturated one. The Keto 2.0, as it is becoming known, is an updated version of the original diet which was high in saturated fats, and meat intake. The new Keto means you can have all the benefits without the heart disease risk by replacing the meat with plants, and some of the saturated fats with nuts, seeds, avocado oils, etc. It will still have the same positive effects such as weight loss, decreased appetite, increase in good cholesterol, reduction of blood sugar levels, help in preventing brain disorders, lowering of high blood pressure.
PROBIOTICS & PREBIOTICS
The health of our gut has become a mainstream dietary concern in recent years and is not going to change. It is a scientific, factual reality that our gut health determines a lot more than regular bowel movements. Our overall health is affected by what we ingest and how our gut deals with it. It produces an environment full of bacteria, and how good that bacteria is, and its positive benefits, comes down to what we put into our bodies. The gut microbiome or home base for the bacteria in your digestive tract is the place where food is broken down and nutrients are converted into useful things such as energy. A healthy balance in the gut – basically meaning that you have plenty of good bacteria to outweigh the bad – leads to a healthy body and mind, whereas the reverse can lead to a multitude of diseases and illnesses. Probiotics (healthy bacteria) and prebiotics (food for the healthy bacteria), can be an amazing way to keep that balance in check and promote a healthy gut.
Whatever you choose to eat, the common consensus is, and will continue to be, that we need to promote sustainable farming and diet. Ethically produced foods are the only kind we should really be selecting. It can be difficult to understand all the small print but we need to make that effort to be sure that we are eating good, whole, real foods. Processed food should take a back seat, in fact it ought to walk right out the emergency exit because it is NOT good for us. It isn’t even really food when you look at it in comparison to something that just grew from a seed and was plucked directly from Mother Nature’s bosom!
So, bottom line – the best food you can eat is the food you grow yourself, second best is from a local, organic, ethical farm. To know your food is to know your body and your own health. That is an important lesson, so whatever way your diet leans, be sure it has sustainability as an equally important sub-heading.
Online distance learning diploma courses in Nutrition
Nutrition is a popular topic here at the School of Natural Health Sciences, so much so that we have developed 8 different courses tailored to specific nutritional needs.
Click on any of these links to go straight to the course page for more information and to enrol: