What’s the single best diet for your health?
The quick answer would be: there isn’t one.
Despite what all the internet ads and TV commercials tell you, the science suggests there is no one, perfect formula for healthy eating or for losing weight.
But there are lots of things you can do to upgrade your eating habits and ultimately improve your health and quality of life.
1 – I’d say start with getting a bit more informed: Check out our Healthy Eating 101 Whiteboard (below), which we put together with the input of lots of experts. It reviews the evidence and can hopefully help cut through all the mixed messages you get everyday about food and diets.
2 – Then think about your type. When making changes to your behaviours it’s really helpful to understand what your default settings are. Are you a grazer, do you eat out a lot, is time management a problem? No need for very complicated self analysis. Instead it’s about a bit of reflection on your current eating behaviours so you can make effective tweaks and changes which you’re more likely to stick to long-term.
3 – Check out your environment and daily routines. Can you do some planning ahead and build your “choice architecture” to help nudge yourself towards healthier options? Pre-chop those veggies to leave at the front of the fridge? Switch the jar of jelly-beans on your desk for some almonds? Try out smaller dinner plates? How can you make the healthy option easier? There’s a lot of psychology to this eating thing. For more on the science of food choice have a browse of Dr. Brian Wansink’s Cornell University Food and Brand Lab site
And don’t forget the bigger picture – where eating is part of a cascade of behaviours (check out our It’s Not Just One Thing infographic below).
||What the best diet? What nudges us towards better eating? Why is healthy eating about more than losing weight? Check out our Whiteboard for Healthy Eating 101.|
|It's not one behaviour. It's not one big change.
||Here is a infographic that reflects a healthy behaviour cascade (Not in order..is there an order?). It's big picture, small changes and it's not about perfection.|
|Talk Medicine: 23.5 Hours to Switch Behaviour
||In this British Medical Journal (BMJ) podcast Doc Mike joins a panel discussion about why changing your behaviour is so hard and what you can do to make healthier choices easier.|
The Best of the Rest
|Eating and Living Well: A Here to Help B.C. Wellness Module
||This PDF focuses on the importance of eating well, not only for our physical health, but our mental health as well.
||Love these Wellness Modules from Here to Help. This one does a great job explaining how changing one behaviour, like eating, can big effects on other areas of health. Make me think of the EHL It's Not One Thing infographic |
|Harvard School of Public Health: What Should I Eat
||Using Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate as a guide, we recommend eating mostly vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, healthy fats, and healthy proteins.
|Simple Rules For Healthy Eating
||This New York Times article by Aaron Carrol gives seven guidelines for healthy eating based on what the science says.
||Aaron Carroll is doctor/writer whose articles are always accessible, humorous and evidence-based. In this piece is a nice summary of some of the science of eating and makes very reasonable suggestions about how to improve your diet.|
|The Centre for Child Nutrition, Health and Development (CCNHD)
||As the Chair of Patient Engagement in Child Nutrition at CCNHD, Dr. Evans joins a network of University of Toronto researchers and educators focused on nutrition and the prevention of obesity, chronic disease and malnutrition in children.
||Sooo...obviously we're a little biased here, but there are some really great resources on this site which address some of the most important nutrition-related health issues facing children and their families in Canada and around the world!|
|The Restaurant Menu That Nudges People Toward Healthy Food
||This article from Atlantic Magazine discusses how we could design a diner menu that encourages healthy eating.
||This piece provides a nice example of how design can affect the choices we make with input from food psychology guru Dr. Brian Wansink.|
|Michael Pollan talks about food
||Michael Pollan is a journalist and authour of books like "Food Rules: An Eater's Manual" and "In Defense of Food". In this video he talks about where the things we eat come from and how we can change our relationship to food.
||Love Michael Pollan's boiled down quote: Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants. This video gives a bigger picture on the food you eat - interesting and, whether you agree with it all or not, it'll get you thinking.|
||This app from The Dieticians of Canada Apps helps with meal planning and food logging can be downloaded on android or iphone.
||Changing behaviour is tough and takes lots of planning and effort. Evidence based tools like this app from The Dieticians of Canada are a great way to help you keep up your healthy lifestyle choices and hopefully make them your new normal!|