Wellness Wednesday Tip #34: General Consensus on Healthy Eating Pattern

Hey Folks! Happy Wellfie Wednesday! 

     This month is surely flying by; I just cannot believe that February is almost over! This week's tip is a quick and simple one. It comes from the conclusion I presented on just this past week at a conference for physical therapists (PTs). The course focused on health promotion in PT practice and my topic was geared towards the general nutritional recommendations that PTs should implement into practice. 

     The consensus I have found is a summation of the guidelines from the USDA Dietary Guidelines, the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Guidelines (pulling from research on the Mediterranean Eating Patterns, Vegetarian Eating Patterns, and the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension), and cancer prevention recommendations from the American Institute for Cancer Research

     In accordance with the evidence, an eating pattern consisting of the following is found to help reduce the onset of chronic lifestyle diseases and subsequent consequences (such as obesity, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers):

  • Increase servings of fruits and vegetables - Choosing from a variety of colors!
  • Increase consumption of nuts and legumes
  • Increase consumption of fish
  • Choose whole grains
  • Choose lean meats
  • Choose fat-free/low-fat diary 
  • Limit salt intake <2300mg/day - Season with herbs and spices
  • Limit saturated fat intake to <6-10% of total Calories/day
  • Limit sugary beverage intake - Aiming to keep those discretionary Calories <100-150/day
  • Limit red meat consumption (beef, pork, lamb) to <18oz cooked per week
  • Avoid processed meats
  • Avoid trans-fat
  • Don't depend on lifelong use of supplements
  • Basically.... EAT MORE PLANTS 

     The biggest piece of advice I have, DO NOT to try to implement all these at once. Pick the easiest one and gradually make a change in your eating pattern, it's a way of life, NOT a diet! Remember, it's the small things that add up to pay off big. 

     So try implementing at least one of these and let us know how it goes! As always, thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures again this week and tag Eric (@Eric_in_AmERICa) or myself (@PBernerSPT) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-       Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT

-       Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT