There is nothing quite like a delicious breakfast to start your day, or snack to hold you over, or dinner to put you to bed. Right? But as you eat your tasty food, do you ever think about what exactly is in it? Or what it does to your health? Join us in this episode to talk about how the food you eat can play into the leading causes of death in women: heart disease, cancer, and stroke. To explore the health effects of food, we touch on what diets are maybe not the best and what diets are recommended by nutrition experts and physicians! We also get into the history of some of the best diets and how they have changed throughout the years. So whether you are a tree-eater or a meat-eater, or someone in between, tune in this week to see how changing your diet could benefit you in the long run.
**Disclaimer: Consult professional nutritionists for advice on dieting, we are not nutrition professionals and are just providing general information and history**
What diet are you leaning towards and why?
So how can we do a better job of approaching these conversations with patients (or even people we are close to in our lives) and recommending diet changes?
Listen to the episode, discuss these questions with friends and family, let us know what you think!
In this episode, we are talking about some diets that aren’t the greatest and also talking about diets that you should look into, as well as diving into the history of those a little. Additionally we are not talking about diets in the realm of body image and if you diet for those reasons then we are all here for it, but we are talking about diet in the realm of medicine and why the way you eat can have positive and negative effects on your health.
To start with some numbers, according to the CDC, in 2019 it was reported that 41.5% women in the United States over the age of 20 are considered obese. Also, 45.2% of women over 20 have high blood pressure, aka hypertension. And these numbers are important to mention mainly because of their relationship to the food we eat and how that influences disease and bodily processes. For example, we know obesity has negative effects on the body for various reasons. High adipose tissue (fat cell) levels in the body result in a release of factors that affect your body’s metabolism which can lead to hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and even higher estrogen levels. And many of these health concerns can be curbed by lifestyle changes. And the same can be said for diseases such as hypertension and heart disease. And lifestyle changes such as changing your diet are extremely beneficial.
But first off, let’s talk about the diets to stay away from. Those are the carnivore diet, keto, cleanse, and intermittent fasting. Any diet that cuts out major food groups or requires purchasing items is something to think twice about before starting. But always talk to a professional nutritionist if you want to consider one of these diets!
Okay so what diets should you check out? First the Mediterranean diet. The diet mainly consists of: olive oil, pasta, bread, veggies, herbs, onions, and other veggies with only some meat. But what exactly makes the diet so great in terms of our own health? Well first the use of olive oil over butter. Though they are both sources of fats, they are different. Olive oil is a healthier fat. Additionally foods like nuts, salmon, and avocados also contain ‘healthy fats’. And ofc factors like eating less red meat and dairy and water as a main beverage daily is incredibly beneficial. Then there is the vegetarian diet. And there are many reasons to become vegetarian, such as animal rights and environmental effects of mass animal farming and industries. You are also ⅓ less likely to die of heart disease due to less meat and higher focus on whole grains, nuts, veggies, and fruits and also increase your bone health! And lastly, check out the vegan diet, which has been shown to be good for your gut biome and therefore your digestive system. This is mainly due to the higher fiber intake by vegans. And this is great because it can lower inflammation and boost your metabolism!
Of course, we are two medical students, not professional nutritionists. All of our information is based on research but reach out to licensed nutritionists if you have more questions about dieting or are interested in changing the way you eat and learning how it connects to your health!
Altomare, R., Cacciabaudo, F., Damiano, G., Palumbo, V. D., Gioviale, M. C., Bellavia, M., Tomasello, G., & Lo Monte, A. I. (2013, May 1). The Mediterranean diet: A history of health. Iranian journal of public health. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3684452/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, February 1). FastStats – Womens Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/womens-health.htm
Dairy products and Breast Cancer Risk. Susan G. Komen®. (2021, November 11). Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.komen.org/breast-cancer/facts-statistics/research-studies/topics/dairy-products-and-breast-cancer-risk/
Diet Review: Mediterranean diet. The Nutrition Source. (2021, October 22). Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/mediterranean-diet/
Fraser, G. E., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Orlich, M., Mashchak, A., Sirirat, R., & Knutsen, S. (2020). Dairy, soy, and risk of breast cancer: Those confounded milks. International Journal of Epidemiology, 49(5), 1526–1537. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyaa007
Hazlegreaves, S. (2021, January 11). Veganism and women’s Healthcare: Contraceptive options for Vegans. Open Access Government. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/veganism-and-womens-healthcare-contraceptive-options-for-vegans/101246/
Marcin, A. (2019, March 8). How and why to become a Vegetarian. Healthline. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/becoming-vegetarian#benefits
Migala, J., Treon, R., Kadey, M., Kennedy, K., Migala, J., Upham, B., Millard, E., & Manning, J. (n.d.). The best and worst diets for sustained weight loss. EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/best-worst-fad-diets/
Suddath, C. (2008, October 30). A brief history of veganism. Time. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://time.com/3958070/history-of-veganism/
Vegan women and health: Nutrition expert tells all. VegNews.com. (2013, August 29). Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://vegnews.com/2013/8/vegan-women-and-health-nutrition-expert-tells-all
Waldbieser, J., Treon, R., Kadey, M., Kennedy, K., Migala, J., Upham, B., Millard, E., & Manning, J. (n.d.). Detox cleanses: The most popular types and what to know. EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition/diet/detox-cleanses-most-popular-types-what-know/World history of Vegentarianism: The Vegetarian Society. Vegetarian Society. (2019, March 1). Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://vegsoc.org/about-us/world-history-of-vegetarianism/