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Holistic Nutrition Nutrition | Cure Today

posted Jul 20, 2016, 8:54 AM by Amanda Bontempo   [ updated Jul 20, 2016, 9:21 AM ]
The importance of a nourishing diet as a factor in maintaining health has been at the foundation of all medical treatment up until the beginning of the 20th century. It has been our evolutionary and cultural heritages. Ancestors would pass down the knowledge to identify foods that nourish and those that threaten a more insidious outcome. As our culture deviates further and further from our food system, so does our relationship to health.

Home gardens have been replaced by factories and the Standard American Diet has indeed become SAD. The question of what to eat in health and in sickness, plagues us all. Working with cancer patients, I try hard to be patient, sensitive and empathetic while giving advice on this dietary conundrum. When we are stuck in a medical paradigm that focuses only on medical treatments, the lack of commitment to nutrition is clear. In the face of such a formidable enemy that is cancer, I believe we must recommit to making nutrition and prevention a focus in our healthcare and scientific research. Indeed, the National Cancer Institute recognizes prevention as “the first line of defense against cancer”and this inevitably includes nutrition.

Eating fresh, whole foods is the best way to meet the intertwined goals of weight loss, health maintenance, treating cancer and then keeping it at bay. It is important to remember that food should not and cannot be judged one component at a time. Low saturated fat for heart health; high fiber for gut health; low sugar and refined carbohydrate for diabetes; low sodium for high blood pressure, etc. We cannot use one nutrient at a time to protect one attribute of health. Rather, it is overall wholesome diets that form overall defenses against a whole host of ills. Time and time again a healthy diet has been shown to be a pillar of health: to improve prevention, improve survivorship and improve quality of life. 2-6

We are unlikely to reach health if we continue to view nutrition one component at a time.

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