Friday, March 20, 2015

Brenda Davis R.D. Lecture Highlights

Brenda Davis is a Registered Dietitian who has written 9 books and I am grateful that I was able to attend the lecture she presented recently at the U of A titled Designing An Optimal Plant Based Diet.  More information about Brenda Davis can be found here: 

She spoke of the Blue Zones of the world (which includes Okinawa, Japan, and Sardinia, Italy) where people live healthy active lives into their 90's and beyond.  Some of the steps she mentioned to help us achieve this increased level of long term health include:  eating less, moving more, eating primarily unprocessed foods, eating more plants, eating less meat, and eating homemade food more often.

She also spoke of 10 steps to take to build and achieve an optimal plant based diet.  These steps include:
1. making whole plant foods the foundation of the diet
2. focusing on complex carbohydrates/whole grains rather than refined carbohydrates/grains
3. boosting fiber intake
4. enhancing healthy gut flora balance
5. aiming for healthy forms of protein (i.e. legumes over processed replacement meat products)
6. focusing on healthy saturated (i.e. coconut oil), monounsaturated (i.e. olive oil), and polyunsaturated (i.e. flax oil) fats
7. choosing a wide variety of anti-inflammatory foods (including antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables) over pro-inflammatory foods (including deep fried and fast food)
8. aiming for certified organically grown food when possible
9. ensuring we are meeting our nutrient requirements
10. maintaining a healthy body weight

I really like that Brenda Davis pinpointed a number of practical and relatively easy steps/changes for us to make in our daily lives/routines - even working on a few of them at a time will support and strengthen our overall health.

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