What should I consider when trying to choose the right food?

Laura Motosko, MSEd, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats as described below, proteins including lean meat, poultry, fish, nuts, legumes, beans, soy or dairy and reduced saturated fat, sodium and sugar.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, fatty acids make up about 20 to 30% of calories in your diet. Fatty acids include saturated and trans fatty acids which should be limited in your diet. Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids should be the majority of fats in your diet to reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, and reduce risk of sudden and cardiac death. Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids include alpha-linoleic acid found in flaxseed, canola oil, soybean oil and walnuts; eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docasapentaenoic acid, docasahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in algae, fatty fish, fish oil and foods supplements with these oils. A variety of designer foods are now supplemented with EPA and DHA including cereals, eggs, and milk as labeled.

Lisa Oz
Health Education Specialist

When you are awake and aware, you can eat whatever you feel like and it will probably be the right choice—even without sticking to a diet. It does not take a registered dietitian to recognize that hot dogs are bad and spinach is good. The only guideline you really need for food is this: if it was made by God, great. If it was made by man—which means processed, colored, homogenized, enriched, refined, preserved, and packaged—avoid as much as possible. If it comes from an animal, sparingly, if you must.

The food you choose should have a high nutrient-to-calorie ratio. Ideally, you would have lots of fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. You would stay away from white breads, chips, cakes, and candies, and meat and dairy would be feast foods, not a daily staple. This is pretty close to the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown over and over again to be one of the most healthful ways of eating.

But, remember that while being healthy is definitely part of the higher self's agenda, so is joy. So if eating spinach makes you gag, do not do it. Living consciously is not about becoming a puritan. You do not need to give up the sensual pleasure of eating just because you select nutritious food. Actually, being totally present while you eat, savoring every bite so that you completely experience its full flavor is a key element of eating with awareness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.