Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier - The Best Alternative Medicine

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Creating a Personalized Nutritional Program

Biochemical individuality means that we all have slightly different dietary needs, based on our genetic endowment, exercise level, metabolic function, state of health, geographic location, and other factors. To sort out what this means in terms of diet and supplement choices, professional help is available from a number of disciplines.

Before making radical changes in your diet or lifestyle, remember that in order to maintain new health behaviors, these changes need to be supported by many sources, such as family and friends. Enlist the cooperation and encouragement of family and friends, and reinforce your decisions by reading material that underscores the benefits of the changes you are planning. If you are making significant changes in your diet, such as adopting a more plant-based or vegetarian diet, make every effort to ensure that your new diet is appealing to all your senses and includes a variety of colors, tastes, and aromas. This not only whets the appetite, it also helps to ensure that your diet will provide all the protective nutrients your body requires. Even a weight-loss regimen need not produce a feeling of deprivation. A slimming diet rich in grains, legumes, fresh fruits, and vegetables can be very satisfying and appealing to the senses.

It is wise to consult with your doctor or nutritionist before undertaking any supplementation beyond the use of antioxidant vitamins such as C, E, the B vitamins, and calcium/magnesium for women who require calcium throughout their lives as one deterrent to osteoporosis. Maintaining a balanced ratio of calcium to magnesium can also be delicate. Trained professionals are able to evaluate whether any medications or health conditions would contraindicate the use of the more controversial substances discussed above.

Many of the more controversial supplements have had intriguing claims made for their anti-aging and longevity properties, and research has begun to document the potential value of some of these substances for restoring and preserving youthful vigor. However, no nutrient, supplement, or magic bullet can take the place of a balanced, well-rounded diet and a lifestyle conducive to optimal health. Regular exercise, social engagement and support, good stress management practices, a feeling of optimism, and a sense of purpose in life are all just as important as any supplements you might take in assuring you a long and healthy life. Positive mental attitude grows out of and reinforces good dietary practices. Each positive lifestyle habit you cultivate magnifies and multiplies itself throughout every aspect of your life. When you know that you have made dietary changes that will be beneficial for you, your feeling of self-worth and empowerment will improve along with your level of physical well being. Even older adults with chronic diseases have a better prospect for survival and for less troublesome symptoms when they know that they have control over those areas in their lives where they can exercise choice.




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Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, Inc.
Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.

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