Dr. Khan’s Guide to Eating Smart

It's hard for most of us to figure out what the heck we should eat. My mentor, Dr. Mark Hyman, has written a book titled What the Heck Should I Eat. It's a fascinating guide to what I call smart eating. Regardless, this 4th of July I am sharing my personal ideas to smart eating.

  1. Be cautious about food labels. Things like low sugar, low fat, heart healthy, and superfoods can be misleading. A lot of my patients eat cereals full of sugar thinking that they are healthy. In general, food closest to its natural form is good for you. Apples are great but processed apple juice is not. Vegetables and fruits are all superfoods. A peach grown here is as super as berries grown in the Himalayas.
  2. Not all G.M.O food is bad. Genetically modified organisms isn't my favorite term. Genetically engineered food might be a more appropriate term. Regardless, there has been selective breeding for centuries to alter food, like wheat and vegetables. If you're not sure about using fortified food, stick to local food.
  3. Organic food is my preferred food. When farming organically, farmers use naturally occurring compounds instead of industrial pesticides to keep pests at bay. Animals raised for organic meat must not consume antibiotics or hormones and live in conditions that mimic their natural habitat as closely as possible. Eating eggs laid by hens that aren't given hormones or run cage free makes complete sense to me. Salmon from fish caught wild in the ocean is better than farm raised fish. However, when we eat organic, it is more expensive, and we should eat responsibly.
  4. The distance that your food travels is important. For example, certain important nutrients, like vitamin C, is lost if tomatoes travel over weeks from the west coast to the east coast. A good approach would be to eat local produce and visit farmer's markets to support local agriculture. Better yet, start your own organic garden and grow some vegetables at home. It's a great way to get your kids into eating healthy!
  5. There is a growing trend of sustainable and environmentally responsible eating. Americans consume a lot of meat, which isn't always the best choice for our long term health. Eat more vegetables and fruit instead. Grow your own garden. Practice intermittent fasting and take a break from food. These approaches are easier on the wallet and good for the environment.

Learn more about using food as medicine and treating your body, internal and external environment as a sacred asset. Come try our lifestyle management program at Personal Primary Care! We also offer personalized weight loss and fat loss plans, complete with meal suggestions and ways to eat healthy every day.

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