Why is Nutrition Important?
As mentioned previously in our site, the combination of poor diet and stress contribute to the development of 80% of disease in Americans. For many conditions, without some diet modification, complete healing can be difficult to achieve. Our obesity epidemic is another red alert that our diet as a nation is a serious issue. Currently, about 65% of Americans are overweight while 35% of women and 31% of men age 20 and older are considered obese (30% or more above recommended Body Mass Index). These statistics are up from approximately 30 percent and 25 percent, respectively, in 1980. What’s worse is that children are becoming more obese as well. Obesity is a major crisis facing our country as it is a significant cause of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, sleep disorders, cancer, fatigue and many others.
Just because you are not overweight does not mean nutrition is not impacting your health. Poor nutrition choices and lack of vitamin/mineral/fiber content in the diet contribute to a host of debilitating conditions in people of normal weight including: acne, anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, irritable bowl, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, cancer, fatigue, autoimmune disorders, sinus issues, chronic infection, skin problems, allergies, chronic urinary tract issues, accelerated aging/premature wrinkling, poor concentration, ADD/ADHD in children, and the list goes on. Although acupuncture and herbal medicine can treat these disorders successfully, lasting health and recovery do depend on adoption of a reasonably healthy diet.
I have been trained extensively in both Eastern dietary therapy (eating based on your constitution, and in harmony with the season, climate etc) and have obtained a Master’s degree in nutritional sciences. My advanced training in nutrition has provided me with an in-depth understanding of the biochemistry of foods, vitamins, minerals, and how they directly impact the body. With my knowledge and research, I develop a customized plan for patients based on their goals for health.
My nutritional plans are very easy to follow, as I believe food is one of life’s true pleasures, and obsession regarding food choices are almost as damaging as making poor nutritional decisions. In an age where so much of the nutritional advice we receive is distributed by food manufacturers wishing to promote their products, it is crucial to understand what is marketing and what is scientifically proven. Remember in the 1980’s when margarine (trans fat) was touted as the ‘heart healthy’ alternative? Marketing dollars promoted margarine, and nearly 20 years later, this very product is under fire as one of the most artery clogging substances available in food sources.
All patients can request my general diet tips paper which outlines foods that must be avoided, the healthiest treats, best oils for cooking and eating, how to read labels, where to obtain the most nutrient dense foods in our age of ‘big agriculture’, which meats are really healthy, sample recipes of tasty and healthy meals, and other valuable general information. For more in-depth nutritional analysis, a nutritional consult includes electrodermal screening to customize a diet to achieve specific goals (i.e. weight loss, gluten avoidance, insomnia, pain, anti-aging etc.), and specific for your constitution (based on Chinese Medicine diagnosis). Vitamin and mineral supplements are recommended, and I generally encourage food based vitamins for long term use. High-dose synthetic vitamins can create synthetic deficiencies, and I reserve use of these for very specific, short term interventions.