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Functional Medical Nutritional Therapy – A better way forward in Healthcare

Functional Medical Nutritional Therapy –
A better way forward in Healthcare

The divide between Western medicine and functional nutritional therapy stems from different philosophical approaches to healthcare and treatment.

Western medicine is based on the biomedical model, which focuses on diagnosing and treating specific diseases or symptoms with drugs or surgery. It emphasizes the use of scientific evidence and standardized protocols in medical practice.

Functional nutritional therapy, on the other hand, takes a more holistic approach to health and wellness. It considers the root causes of illness and seeks to restore balance and optimize bodily functions through diet, lifestyle changes, and nutritional supplements.

While Western medicine may be effective at treating acute illnesses and emergencies, functional nutritional therapy may be more effective at preventing and treating chronic conditions. This is because functional nutritional therapy addresses the underlying imbalances and deficiencies in the body that can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune disorders.

There is growing interest in integrating functional nutritional therapy with Western medicine to provide a more comprehensive and personalized approach to healthcare. However, there are also differences in the training, regulation, and acceptance of these two approaches within the medical community, which can create challenges in collaboration and communication between practitioners.

The Complexity of Nutritional Research

Nutritional research is complex for several reasons. Here are some of the main factors:

  1. Human variability: Every person is unique and nutritional needs and responses can vary greatly depending on a range of factors such as genetics, age, sex, body composition, and lifestyle.
  2. Difficulty in controlling variables: It can be difficult to isolate the effect of a specific nutrient or dietary pattern because people tend to consume a variety of foods, and it is challenging to control all the variables that may affect health outcomes.
  3. Ethical limitations: Nutritional studies often involve human subjects, and ethical considerations limit the types of studies that can be conducted. For example, it would be unethical to feed participants a diet that is known to be harmful or to withhold nutrients that are necessary for health.
  4. Long-term effects: Nutritional research often involves studying the effects of diets or nutrients over a long period of time, and this can be challenging to do because it requires following participants for many years, and people may drop out or change their diets over time.
  5. The complexity of food: Foods are complex mixtures of nutrients, and it can be difficult to isolate the effects of individual nutrients or to determine the optimal combination of nutrients for health.
  6. Confounding factors: Nutritional research is often confounded by factors such as socioeconomic status, education level, and access to healthcare, which can affect both dietary patterns and health outcomes.

All these factors make nutritional research challenging and require careful study design and analysis to draw meaningful conclusions about the relationship between diet and health.

What is poor diet quality?

Poor diet quality refers to a dietary pattern that is lacking in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that the body needs to maintain optimal health. It can also refer to a diet that is high in calories, saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium, which can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. Poor diet quality may also include diets that lack variety or balance, and diets that are heavily reliant on processed or fast foods.

What is good diet quality?

A good diet quality provides all the essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly while also reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. A healthy diet is characterized by a balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), adequate intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and low amounts of added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.

Some key components of a healthy diet include:

  1. A variety of fruits and vegetables: These are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and are important for overall health.
  2. Whole grains: These provide important nutrients and fiber and are a good energy source.
  3. Lean protein sources: These include poultry, fish, beans, and legumes and are important for building and repairing muscles and other tissues.
  4. Healthy fats: These include omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, nuts, and seeds and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, avocado, and nuts. They are important for heart health.
  5. Limited intake of added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium: These can contribute to chronic diseases when consumed in excess.

Good diet quality is balanced, varied, and based on whole, minimally processed foods. It is also important to consider individual needs and preferences when determining a healthy diet.

Why education is a crucial aspect of patient care.

Patient education about nutrition and lifestyle is crucial because it can help individuals make informed decisions about their health, prevent or manage chronic diseases, and improve their overall quality of life. Here are some reasons why it is so important:

  1. Promotes healthy behaviors: Educating patients about nutrition and lifestyle can help them adopt healthy behaviors, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet. These behaviors can lower the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
  2. Prevents chronic diseases: Many chronic diseases are preventable through lifestyle changes. For example, a healthy diet can help prevent or manage high blood pressure and high cholesterol, while regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  3. Improves quality of life: Eating a balanced diet, being physically active, and getting enough sleep can improve an individual’s quality of life, boost their energy levels, and reduce the risk of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
  4. Increases patient empowerment: When patients are educated about their health and how to make informed decisions, they become more empowered and take an active role in managing their health.
  5. Saves healthcare costs: Educating patients about nutrition and lifestyle can ultimately lead to fewer hospitalizations, less use of healthcare resources, and lower healthcare costs overall.

In summary, patient education about nutrition and lifestyle is important because it can help individuals make informed decisions about their health, prevent or manage chronic diseases, improve their overall quality of life, increase patient empowerment, and save healthcare costs.

At Antigravity Wellness, we believe in working without a collaborative team that includes the client, the healthcare team, the client’s support network (family and friends), and other functional practitioners (such as chiropractors and massage therapists) to educate and empower the client to live their best, healthiest life. 

We do this by digging deeper into the root causes of why the client is not thriving using in-depth questionnaires, full functional labs, and developing a trusting relationship with our clients over time. We then use the power of nutrition, exercise, lifestyle changes (sleep, stress), supplements, and, most importantly, education with clients to help them to transform their lives for good.

If you are ready to finally have the answers you’ve been looking for and to transform your life and body, set up your free consultation today.

Be your own advocate, and take charge of your health.

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