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Where do you learn about what’s “healthy” and what’s not?

If you use social media as your one place to find information, it’s time to look around. Influencers are believable, but whatever they’re being paid to promote might not be what your body needs. And there’s so much information out there that it makes it hard to figure out what’s best for you.

Even what you hear on the news can be confusing. For example, did you ever hear about the “master cleanse diet” that celebrities were doing years ago? Suddenly, everyone was buying and drinking lemon juice mixed with cayenne pepper and maple syrup, because Beyonce did it. But that’s not a balanced diet, nor is it a healthy way to maintain or lose weight.

If weight loss is what your doctor has recommended, a healthy way of eating that you can do long term is what will help you reach your goals. Lemon and hot pepper don’t burn fat, and cleanses are just a short term way of eating/drinking. But eating fresh, whole foods in ideal portion sizes can not only help you reach a healthy weight, it can make you feel great.

Bring your questions, concerns, and goals to your care team. And look online for websites that end in “.org” or “.edu” or “.gov” to find reliable information.

 

Are health claims on packaging helpful or harmful?

The food industry has one main goal: To sell their product. And they’ll do everything they’re allowed to do to reach that goal. It’s your job to look past the fun colors and excited claims and read the boring, white nutrition labels.

Claims like “gluten-free” or “dairy-free” may be true, but that same product might also be full of other ingredients that aren’t good for you. So start reading labels on packaged food either at home or in the grocery store.

The best way to crowd out foods that are heavy in preservatives but low on actual nutrition is to fill most of your plate with foods that don’t even need a label. Things like apples, rice, cucumbers, and chicken only have one ingredient. And there are so many more! Try new, colorful fruits and vegetables. Use spices and herbs instead of heavy oils or fats to add more flavor to your food. Get curious about what makes your body feel good and what tastes delicious.

And bring your providers with you on your healthy eating journey. Ask them questions, share any concerns, and let them guide and celebrate you along the way.

We are here to help you stay healthy, happy, and well-informed!