A dietary pattern for chronic disease prevention

What is the best dietary pattern to prevent chronic disease and why!
We’ve grown up hearing that chant! “EAT YOUR VEGES” or “EAT YOUR GREENS”! Well, it’s not too far from the truth. Our ‘Western’ style diet with staples such as wheat, dairy, meat, and processed or packaged food (what I call ‘laboratory’ food), not to mention all the sugar in all of its glorious forms is making our bodies sick.

It’s not just about the type of food, but moreover the amount of ‘bad’ food eaten relative to ‘good’ food eaten. We also need to consider the origins of food, but to be honest, this is another story for another time!

It’s no surprise then that chronic disease is on the rise. Here is an example of one of those chronic diseases.

“Approximately 10 million men and women in the U.S. have osteoporosis, predicted to rise to more than 14 million by 2020”

Peak bone mass is reached at age 30, and then starts to decline, surely but steadily. The onset of osteopenia and osteoporosis is becoming more prevalent in our society. There are many factors to consider for osteoporosis, including genetics, resistance training, and hormones, but one of the contributing factors is our diet.
To illustrate, here is a simplistic example: our innate biochemistry intelligence is having to ‘buffer’ the acidic load in our tissues by drawing minerals from our bones – namely calcium to help maintain the right pH that is required in the blood for our body to function. What happens is, over time, the bones are gradually becoming more brittle to buffer the acidity caused by our diet!

Other chronic diseases that are on the rise in our society include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Autoimmune diseases – celiac, hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus like conditions, rosacea etc. etc. etc.

How can diet help?
The key is to have a predominantly alkaline diet!
Too much of the wrong type of food has been linked to the rise in chronic diseases. Generally speaking, a diet low in fresh whole foods such as fruits and vegetables relative to packaged or processed food or ‘western’ dietary staples such as wheat and dairy create more acidity in the body.

Tissue acidity is a contributing factor to inflammation of areas in the body such as the arteries, joints, and our intestinal membrane. Further, molecules within ‘acidic’ foods such as gluten (for example) may in some individuals cause disruptions to the immune system giving rise to autoimmune diseases.

There are many other contributors to tissue acidity other than diet! As humans we are naturally acid producers. For example, stress is also a major cause for tissue acidity. Over exercising is another! By making informed choices about the food we choose to eat will absolutely help to lessen the burden on our bodies and help to promote great health. This is why it is important to adopt a healthy alkaline-based diet. Without getting too caught up in the numbers, by adopting a predominantly alkaline diet you are predominantly eating…
fruits and vegetables

The dietary pattern to reduce pain, inflammation and help prevent the onset of chronic disease
So, what does this look like?
It’s the 70% to 30% rule
This means that 70% of your daily food intake is from fruits and vegetables, and the other 30% comes from animal and vegetable derived protein and starchy carbohydrates and / or grains.
Here are 7 tips to a health promoting dietary pattern
The 70% (alkaline) part

  1. Do I have all the colours of the rainbow on my plate?
    1. E.g. capsicum, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, parsley, carrot, beetroot, beans, corn, squash, butternut, etc. etc.
  2. Do I have something bitter to help with my digestion?
    1. E.g. rocket, endive, baby spinach, Chinese greens, squeeze of lemon or lime, splash
  3. Do I have the liver phase 2 detoxification vegetables included?
    1. E.g. Cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, radish, kohlrabi, kale
  4. Do I have foods to feed my good gut bugs?
    1. E.g. Sauerkraut, kimchi (1 Tbsp), leaving the skin on organic vegetables and fruit, sprouts such as alfalfa, sprouted legumes, artichokes, olives, naturally pickled vegetables

The 30% (acidic) part

  1. Is the protein a palm sized piece?
    1. e.g. 2 eggs, tuna, fish, lean meat, chicken, lentils, beans and rice (this makes up a ‘whole’ protein)
  2. Is the carbohydrate from the ‘whole’ grain and from gluten free grains? Gluten free? – especially for autoimmune tendencies/ diseases. Now, this is a bigger topic for another blog! (stay tuned). For the vegetarians and vegans – 15% from ‘whole’ grain and 15% from legumes OR from nuts and seeds, tofu, Tempe
  3. Do I have pot-set whole milk or coconut (non- dairy) yoghurt – for the good gut bugs

**Tips and tricks for getting more alkaline

    • Choose either fresh fruit (seasonal) or vegetable sticks as snacks
      • E.g. capsicum & celery sticks (with hummus, or avocado dip)
    • Have a turmeric latte or a turmeric smoothie (see my recipe)!
    • Rest and relaxation
      • Cardio exercise is great for heart health and weight loss although it does produce more acid in the body. Make sure you offset this with rest and relaxation – e.g. yoga, meditation, mindfulness bush walking/ beach walking.
  • Start the day with hot water and fresh lemon
  • Manage your stress (internal and external)
    • Stress absolutely without a doubt produces more acid in the body. Choose herbal teas (chamomile & / or passionflower) to help calm your nervous system.
    • Get an aromatherapy massage (essential oils are tailored to suit you on the day – e.g. vetiver, sandalwood, mandarin, lavender).
    • Take an Epsom salt bath with infused essential oils
    • Go to bed early – sleep is the best healer!
    • Listen to your body and pull back if you are over-stretched with commitments.
    • Turn off the modem off and put your i-phone onto flight-mode every night while you sleep.

If you’ve found this blog useful please like, comment and share!
If you would like help with a personalised dietary plan please get in touch!
If you have a gut issue, or suffering symptoms such as pain, inflammation and fatigue, feel free to get in touch!

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