When you hear the word “nutrition,” do you immediately think about dieting (and then cringe?) The word diet is too often associated with here-today-gone-tomorrow fads that promise unrealistic results and sometimes exclude whole food groups vital for your health. Proper nutrition, however, is a way of life. It encompasses living a lifestyle where you have a healthy relationship with food, eating only in moderation those foods that don’t support physical and emotional wellness, and choosing heart-healthy, whole, natural staples.
Whether you worry that you need to gain weight, lose weight, or simply choose more natural, unprocessed, and less mass-produced foods, an understanding of proper nutrition and what it can do for your health, is vital. If you’d like to learn more and receive custom recommendations for nutrition choices you can start making today, look no further than your primary care physician (PCP). To motivate you to talk about fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins at your next annual physical, here are four reasons to speak with your PCP about nutrition.
1. Your PCP Can Help You Set Reasonable Goals
Improving your approach to nutrition can feel overwhelming. Where do you start, what should you change, and do you really have to give up your daily grande mochaccino? Not only is it challenging to decide where to begin, but people who don’t see immediate results when they make dietary and lifestyle changes are also easily tempted to revert to their former ways. Your doctor can help you set reasonable goals and understand how long it will take you to see changes, and help you feel confident about sticking to your plan.
2. Your PCP Can Determine if You Aren’t Getting Proper Nutrition
If weight isn’t a concern, but energy, skin and hair issues, and digestion are, your symptoms may stem from an overall lack of proper nutrition. If you share your concerns with your PCP, they can look for signs of improper nutrition that might not be apparent to you, such as unusual fatigue, brittle hair, skin rashes, a pale tongue, and cracks at the corners of the mouth. If there is a more concerning underlying health condition at play, your PCP can identify the cause and help you get the care and treatment you need to feel better.
3. Diet is the Biggest Risk Factor for Dying of Heart Disease and Other Illnesses
Diet-related illnesses account for 11 million deaths around the world annually. Every individual is accountable for their health. At your annual physical, your PCP will check your vital health statistics, conduct a depression screening, talk to you about your family health history, and answer any of your questions or concerns. If they don’t ask you specifically about nutrition, feel empowered to broach the subject and take control of your health. If you’re unsure how to begin the discussion, know that doctors always welcome talking to patients about their diet. Simply say, “I’d like to ensure I’m getting proper nutrition.” Your PCP will help guide the conversation from there.
4. Your PCP Will Be Your Greatest Health Advocate
With your PCP by your side and cheering you on as you aim to meet your nutrition goals, you’ll benefit from the ongoing support and guidance of a confident ally in your quest for a long and healthy life. With every milestone you reach—lowering your cholesterol, improving your sleep, reaching a weight goal—your PCP will be there to celebrate with you and help you continue to adjust your nutrition plan for ongoing success.
If you don’t already have a PCP, many of our compassionate caregivers at Nova Health are accepting new patients. Make an in-clinic or telemedicine appointment today. Find a location near you or search our provider directory.