March is National Nutrition Month! Many people use the word “nutrition” interchangeably with “diet,” but these two words are not synonymous. It is important to know the difference, so that you, together with your doctor, can make necessary changes and adjustments based on what is right for you and your body. To put the difference between diet and nutrition simply:
- Diet is the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
- Nutrition is the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth.
Small Steps, Big Effects
A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition and is one of the foundational aspects for overall well-being, along with regular exercise, appropriate sleep, and mindfulness. At Hoag Executive Health, improving a patient’s diet is not about making drastic changes, but rather meeting them where they are and making small, sustainable steps to improve their nutritional intake and remove harmful foods that increase inflammation in the body.
Nutrition for Organ Health
What is great about nutrition is that when we try to help one organ, we often end up improving the health of another organ. For example, eating a heart healthy diet could help lower blood pressure and decrease the chance of developing cholesterol build up in the artery. Therefore, a heart healthy diet can improve blood flow to the kidney, decrease excess pressure on the kidney, and prevent kidney disease.
An example of a heart healthy diet is the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which incorporates:
- Healthy grains (we would recommend barley, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oatmeal)
- Fruits (4-5 servings a day, we love apples, cherries, grapefruit, oranges, pears, plums, blueberries because they are low in glycemic index or sugar load)
- Vegetables (4-5 servings a day)
- Lean meats and fish
- Healthy nuts (like walnuts)
- Healthy fats and oils (like olive oil)
Interestingly, the DASH diet has also been shown to lower the risk of kidney stones.
Discover the Difference
Find out how a Hoag Executive Health program can benefit you and your health today! Call us at (949) 202-4923.