This week I had the pleasure of attending a fabulous conference called Food as Medicine. I always love presenting and/or attending this conference because we talk about the science of how food impacts the health and disease. This conference focuses on the benefits of different types of foods can help people prevent diseases like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, certain cancers, arthritis, or mental health diseases, just to name a few.
One of the main topics is that is implicated in so many chronic diseases is trunkal obesity. Trunkal obesity is having body fat around the belly. Increased fat is now being considered in the medical community as another endocrine organ. What that means is the extra fat around the middle is releasing hormones and throwing off our hormonal balance. The extra fat impacts insulin levels, cortisol levels, and male and female hormones in a negative way by causing imbalances.
The key point that continues to be driven home from each of the speakers is the type of food and the amount of food you eat can reduce the risk of all of the chronic diseases that impact the health of Americans. What this means is if you have a chronic disease, eating an appropriate whole foods diet can help repair the damage. If you don’t have a chronic disease then eating a whole foods diet acts a preventative step to increase your longevity and quality of life.
What is whole foods diet? It is a diet that focuses of plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and beans. Small amounts of organic free-range lean meats, eggs and dairy, and fish are acceptable too. Appropriate hydration, or drinking enough water is also high on the list. I love the fact that stress reduction techniques, exercise and lifestyle changes are discussed in most lectures talks as well. All the lectures show that we have the power to create great health in our lives. We just have to take the time to incorporate healthy attitudes and changes in our lives. You can create better health just by starting to increase one more serving of vegetables per day.