The modern-day “Standard American Diet” is S.A.D. This is because it’s mostly salt, sugar, fat, processed foods and very low in water-rich foods. But what’s also really sad, is that it’s a cell-damaging diet that makes people sick, tired and overweight.
I know from my patients that people want to eat better, but just don’t know where to start. That’s why I created a simple teaching tool called the Pitcher of Health. The Pitcher helps people visualize what a healthy diet really looks like.
I designed the pitcher with these goals in mind:
- Help people eat their water
- Help people get the building blocks they need to build strong healthy cell membranes that can hold water and resist damage
- Vegetables: 5 or more servings
- Fruits: 3 or more servings
- Whole Grains: 4-8 servings
- Lean protein 4-6 servings
- Fats: 3-4 servings
- Supplements: Daily multi-vitamin
A key aspect to think about as you look at the Pitcher of Health is to consider these guidelines as part of what I call the “80/20” rule. Your diet should consist 80% of great, healthy nutritious foods and 20% should be more flexible—foods you love regardless of whether they are “good for you.” If you never allow yourself the joy to experience your favorites treats in moderation, eating can become a chore and the tendency to binge eat will be much greater. Plus, when people eat the 80% portion of the pitcher regularly, they tend to decrease intense cravings for less than ideal foods so that, over time, their 20% starts to look a lot like their 80%.
And the health benefits of eating well are so clear. I often like to say that, “Before there was medicine, there was food.”
Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement.