There are so many nutrition lifestyles today that it’s almost trendy to be on a diet. We see it increasingly on menus and grocery store labels every year. How many “points” is this one? “Non” this. “Free” of that. When did eating become such a procedure? It’s no wonder so many of us fail such programs.
We have enough work to sort through in our lives without having to complicate our basic survival needs. Yet, we also have the ability to optimize our health. So we choose not to completely ignore our options. Side effects may include weight loss, increased energy, and stable moods. Diet changes for healthy living are worth our attention.
Process of Elimination
The food fad of the moment is the elimination diet. If something does not serve us then let us remove it from our lives. Once it’s gone we may instantly feel better, or we may feel nothing at all.
This can be difficult to figure out. More severe conditions such as food allergies we are probably already aware of and have integrated necessary precautions into our daily routines. But what if we have sensitivity, not a full blown allergy?
There are various tests our healthcare providers offer, but these are not time and cost effective, especially since it’s not a medical necessity. So let’s pick an ingredient, prevent it from entering our bodies for a week to a month, and take notice of how we feel during this period. Let it back in and see if there’s any change. Try a different ingredient.
This experiment could drag on for a lifetime and there’s too much fun to enjoy to try everything. So let’s just focus on some of the main triggers.
Yes, this word is all the buzz. “Gluten free” is on menus and labels everywhere we go for food. What exactly is it? Gluten is a plant protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It provides the elastic quality to dough and our stomachs may find it challenging to break down. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA)reports that only about one percent of the population has Celiac Disease and must avoid all gluten, but many experts argue that as much as 40 percent of us are sensitive to the protein. Because of the popularity of gluten-free diets, options are readily available, but some label reading is required to exclude it from all ingredients.
This is another food where few of us are lactose intolerant, but many may be sensitive. The ability to digest this milk sugar may vary depending on the dairy product. Fermented versions such as yogurt and cheese have significantly lower levels and may not need to be excluded. We may be surprised by how many foods use some form of dairy as an ingredient.
Galacto-oligosaccharides. This plant carbohydrate can be as difficult to digest as it is to spell, and it is found in soy. Thankfully, fermented versions are also well-tolerated, so experiment and enjoy. Once again, versions of soy in ingredients are more common that we realize.
This grain is one of the most common genetically modified organism (GMO) in the food industry and is used in various forms to produce thousands of processed products. This alone can cause several gastrointestinal issues. Compound that with corn’s ability to inhibit satiation hormones and we may not realize when we’re full of crap.
Worth the Effort?
There’s a lot to experiment with and even more to read about. These changes can also increase our eating budget. We all have to pay a price, but do we choose to pay up front with better food or on the back end with increased healthcare?
If our bodies are constantly battling the sustenance we put into it, then we are not expending the energy to absorb the nutrients we need. Elimination is used to identify the source. From there we focus on replacement, not removal. In this way we don’t suffer a loss and will gain more life in our years and more years in our life.