The importance of the whole family eating healthfully receives plenty of attention in the news, on social media sites, and in casual conversation. In fact, it receives so much coverage that choosing what is healthiest for you and your family can become downright confusing as each recommendation seems to contradict the last. Whole grain/no grain, dairy/soy, local/organic/non-GMO–it can all leave you wondering what’s really best.
If you are looking to make sense of the abundance of information, look no further. We’ll help you navigate the recommendations and move towards healthier living for you and your family.
Discern the Universal Advice: In the midst of all the varying advice out there, some things are almost universally agreed upon. Suggestions that appear in multiple dietary recommendations are likely some of the best tips to adapt.
Determine Your Goals: Part of the reason that different healthy eating advice can be confusing is because it applies to different situations. Look at the reasons why a food is being recommended to determine if the advice is right for your family. For example, many foods that may be effective in helping someone lose weight are not necessarily the same foods that will serve to increase your family’s nutrient intake or strengthen immune systems. Whether your goal is more vegetables, less processed food, or increased energy, let your goal be the lens with which you evaluate each different dietary recommendation.
Be a Detective of the Gray Areas: Once you have taken universal recommendations into account and considered your family’s personal goals, the final criteria to look at is what works for each member of your diet. For example, the popular Paleo lifestyle tells people to avoid beans entirely. Other dieticians claim bean’s protein and fiber content make them a perfect food. By doing some sleuthing of your own, you’ll discover that while beans are high in fiber and protein, they are also one of the more difficult foods to digest. The right answer for you and your kids? Pay attention to how they make you all feel to determine if they should be part of your diet. Use the same criteria for other foods that can fall into ‘gray areas’ of dietary recommendations.