The food that becomes our regular intake (e.g. “the diet”) is one of the most influential contributors to optimal health. In this time of a fast-food, snack-food culture, the quality of our diet directly affects our health. In 2017, 11 million deaths and 255 million DALYs (disability-adjusted life years) were associated with dietary risk factors. What we are choosing to eat can kill us, through causing chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and coronary artery disease.
YHF will now begin showcasing healthy recipes.
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The foods that we choose to eat are influenced by multiple factors, some of which are unconscious. We make an average of 200 food choices daily. Some of the decisions are obvious such as taste, familiarity, and price. Certainly, palatability, convenience, health and emotional state of a person also influences these decisions.
Growing up a child, our favorite family meal was pasta and pizza. These foods were tasty and comforting, including the odor, the texture, and the taste. I struggled with being overweight, often confounding a healthier diet for less amount of the foods that I routinely ate. I struggled with adding new foods, such as vegetables, for lack of knowledge in how to prepare these.
Fast forward 30 years later, I am now at a healthy weight and eating largely a plant-based diet. As an overweight child and adult, I could not fathom that a plant-based diet would offer such a variety of tastes, textures and ingredients to usurp the go-to foods that led to my becoming overweight.
In the clinic, patients explain to me when I talk about a whole foods, plant-based diet that I somehow am taking away their “last pleasure in life,” as they grapple with chronic disease from their obesity. I can testify that the foods that are staple in my diet, vegetables, nuts, legumes and fruit, draw me to them as much as the pizza, pasta and subs of my unhealthy diet did. You can even crave them!
Since the crux of Your Health Forum is optimizing health and overcoming disease through creating positive behaviors, I have decided to collaborate with partners in nutrition and culinary arts to provide useful, practical and tasty recipes featuring natural foods. These recipes will be featured in the Nutrition and Natural Food Recipes title on the menu tab.