April 15, 2024

Holistic Eating Advice and Mediterranean Diet Consultation - Justine Friedman RD

Photo of Justine Friedman, Registered Clinical Dietician and Mindset Mentor
Justine Friedman
Registered Clinical Dietitian and Mindset Mentor

Choosing the proper diet can be a pivotal step toward improving one’s health and wellness. As a registered dietitian, I guide my clients through various dietary options, tailoring advice to fit their unique health needs and lifestyle preferences. This article explores popular diets, including structured approaches like the Mediterranean diet, the flexible, symptom-managing Low FODMAP diet, and the mindset-oriented practice of Intuitive Eating.

Mediterranean Diet: Embracing a Wholesome Lifestyle

The Mediterranean diet transcends mere eating habits, encapsulating a lifestyle steeped in regional cooking traditions of Greece, Italy, and Spain. This diet emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and seeds. Lean proteins from seafood and poultry are preferred over red meat, and the diet minimizes sweet treats and heavily processed foods. A standout feature of this diet is the generous use of olive oil, celebrated for its heart-healthy fats and antioxidants. The Mediterranean diet is associated with longer life expectancies and has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

The Mayo Clinic Diet: A Weight-Loss Program for Life

Developed by weight-loss specialists at the Mayo Clinic, this diet aims to foster healthy lifelong habits. It encourages simple, enjoyable changes that promote weight loss and sustainable healthy living. Instead of rigorous calorie counting, it focuses on choosing satisfying, nutritious foods and incorporating daily physical activity. This scientifically-backed approach supports not just weight loss but also overall health enhancement.

Ketogenic Diet: Shifting Metabolism for Health

The ketogenic diet, or keto for short, dramatically alters the body's macronutrient intake: low carbohydrates, moderate proteins, and high fats. This shift forces the body into ketosis, where fat becomes the primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates. Celebrated for its potential to aid weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity, keto is particularly appealing for those managing type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. The diet can support people with epilepsy and certain conditions like bipolar disorder. also need to state that men and women respond very differently to keto, and it needs to be done under the guidance of a medical professional with regular blood tests to monitor liver and kidney function.

Vegan Diet: Thriving on Plant Power

The vegan diet excludes all animal products and non-animal-based fats and focuses instead on vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds. This diet reflects both ethical considerations and health-conscious choices. Vegans often experience lower rates of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. However, careful planning is required to avoid nutritional deficiencies typically provided by animal products.

Intermittent Fasting: Time-Restricted Eating for Health

Intermittent fasting alternates between eating and fasting periods, improving metabolism and reducing cardiovascular risk factors. This pattern can enhance brain function, extend lifespan, and aid weight management. However, it's unsuitable for everyone, especially those with particular health conditions or nutritional needs. Speak to a registered dietitian before embarking on IF to determine if it will fit your lifestyle and health needs well.

Paleo Diet: Eating Like Our Ancestors

The Paleo diet is based on consuming foods that early humans might have eaten. It focuses on lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and seeds—whole and unprocessed foods. Advocates suggest this diet helps with weight loss, blood sugar stability, and increased energy. However, it requires avoiding grains, legumes, and dairy, which can be controversial among nutrition experts.

DASH Diet: Nurturing Heart Health Through Dietary Approaches

Designed to combat high blood pressure, the DASH diet emphasizes foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are crucial for heart health. It encourages a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy, with moderate amounts of fish, poultry, and whole grains.

Gluten-Free Diet: Managing Digestive Discomfort

Necessary for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, a gluten-free diet involves avoiding wheat, barley, and rye. While beneficial for managing symptoms like bloating and diarrhea, it's essential to ensure one's diet remains nutritionally balanced, as gluten-free foods often lack important nutrients and may be low in fiber and more refined or processed.

Flexitarian Diet: Blending Plant and Animal Foods

The Flexitarian Diet is a more flexible approach to vegetarianism, incorporating occasional meat and fish. It's an attractive option for those looking to reduce meat consumption without eliminating it, offering a balance that can be easier to maintain for some.

Raw Food Diet: Embracing Natural Foods

Mainly consuming raw foods, this diet claims to preserve nutrients and enzymes that cooking might destroy. Advocates believe it boosts digestion and energy levels, though it requires careful management to avoid potential risks associated with raw foods.

Plant-Based Diet: Nurturing Health and the Planet

Focusing on whole, unprocessed plant foods, this diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. It's known for its benefits to heart health and its potential to reduce the environmental impact of our food choices.

Intuitive Eating: A Non-Diet Approach

Intuitive Eating is a holistic approach that rejects the diet mentality. This method encourages individuals to listen to and honor their body’s hunger and fullness cues. It promotes a healthy attitude towards food and body image, making peace with food to achieve psychological well-being and physical health.

Low FODMAP Diet: Managing Symptoms for IBS

The Low FODMAP diet is specifically tailored to help manage irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and other digestive disorders. It involves restricting foods high in certain fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs), which contribute to abdominal pain, bloating, and other IBS symptoms.

Table Summary

Diet Nutritional Approach Health Benefits Ease of Adherence Goals
Mediterranean Diet Focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, seafood, and poultry. Minimal red meat and processed foods. Generous use of olive oil. Longer life expectancy, reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. Generally easy to follow. Promote longevity, heart health, and prevent chronic diseases.
Gluten-Free Diet Avoids wheat, barley, and rye. Necessary for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Manages symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity such as bloating and diarrhea. Moderate difficulty, especially when dining out. Manage digestive discomfort and maintain a nutritionally balanced diet.
Flexitarian Diet Primarily vegetarian but allows for occasional meat and fish. Reduces meat consumption, potentially lowers risk of chronic diseases. Easy to follow, flexible approach. Reduce meat consumption, embrace a semi-vegetarian lifestyle to improve health.
Raw Food Diet Mainly consumes raw foods, claiming to preserve nutrients and enzymes. Boosts digestion and energy levels. Difficult due to the need for careful management. Maintain natural nutrient content of foods, promote digestive health and energy.
Plant-Based Diet Focuses on whole, unprocessed plant foods: fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes. Benefits heart health, reduces environmental impact of food choices. Easy to follow, especially with planning. Promote health and sustainability through plant-focused nutrition.
Intuitive Eating Rejects dieting in favor of listening to and honoring the body's hunger and fullness cues. Promotes psychological well-being and physical health. Easy to follow; based on personal mindfulness. Develop a healthy relationship with food, achieve psychological well-being and health.
Low FODMAP Diet Restricts high FODMAP foods to manage symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive disorders. Manages IBS symptoms and other digestive issues. Moderate difficulty due to dietary restrictions. Control and alleviate symptoms of IBS and improve digestive health.

Choosing the Right Diet for you.

Selecting the proper diet should be a personalized decision based on individual health needs, lifestyle preferences, and, ideally, guidance from healthcare professionals. While various diets offer specific benefits, a common theme persists the importance of focusing on whole, minimally processed foods to support overall health.

Remember, before starting any new diet, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure it's appropriate for your health conditions and nutritional needs.

Begin your journey to a healthier, more vibrant life by connecting with Justine Friedman, Registered Clinical Dietician. Through personalized consultations or group sessions, Justine can help you develop a diet plan that celebrates your health and well-being. Join her today and start your path to a nourishing lifestyle!

More Resources

A holistic approach to dieting and healthcare offers numerous benefits for women over the age of 40, addressing their unique health challenges and enhancing overall well-being. Here are some key benefits supported by recent statistics and research:

1. Holistic Health Care Facts and Statistics:

Disabled World provides comprehensive statistics on the utilization and benefits of holistic healthcare, including its growing acceptance and integration into mainstream medical practices. Read more here.

2. The top wellness trends in 2024:

McKinsey highlights trends in personalized wellness products and the increasing preference for clinical over natural ingredients among consumers, emphasizing the importance of tailored healthcare solutions. Read more here.

3. Diets for Women Over 40:

The Healthy offers insights into dietary adjustments, portion control, and macronutrient balancing tailored to women over 40 to support weight management and overall health. Read more here.

4. Charting Women’s Health Trends in 2024:

GWI explores current trends in women’s health, including the growing emphasis on natural remedies, gut health, and the rise of women-centric health brands, underscoring the demand for holistic health solutions. Read more here.

Photo of Justine Friedman, Registered Clinical Dietician and Mindset Mentor
Justine Friedman
Registered Clinical Dietitian and Mindset Mentor
Justine is a seasoned Clinical Dietician with over two decades of experience in private practice. Holding a Bachelor of Science from WITS and an Honorary Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from UCT, she is both South African qualified and Israeli licensed. Justine's journey into nutrition was deeply personal, stemming from her own battles with weight management, emotional eating, and adapting her diet post-40 to meet the changing needs of her body. This personal connection to her field fuels her mission to empower clients to forge a harmonious relationship with food and their bodies. Understanding the complexity of diet, hormones, gut health, and eating habits, Justine brings empathy and expertise to her practice. She is dedicated to helping individuals overcome the cycle of dieting and self-sabotage by fostering a profound understanding of their own bodies. Justine's approach is grounded in the belief that knowledge is power—by understanding your body, you can work with it, not against it, to achieve lasting health and wellness.
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