Fact or Fiction: Diet and Exercise Are Enough
So, I’m pretty new to USANA Health Sciences. Like, hired-a-month-and-a-half-before-Convention new. And although I’ve learned a lot, I’d be lying if I said there isn’t some information overload going on—especially in prepping for Convention.
One of the things I’ve been doing to get ready for Associate excitement at Convention is trying to really focus on USANA culture—a culture that (at this point) I would define as doing what it takes to achieve optimal health and wellness.
Does Overall Health Include More Than Diet and Exercise?
When I was younger, I thought overall health was basically composed of a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and not much else. When it comes to exercise, I’ve always fallen back on one of my high school coach’s rules of thumb: “Push yourself to the point that it’s difficult but not so hard that you’re hurting yourself. And then keep doing that.”
I’ve always liked that way of thinking. It made the exercise piece of overall health clear and not confusing at all. But do you know what I’ve always thought is confusing? Nutrition.
Of course I know it’s ideal to get all of your daily nutrients from food. But what does that even mean? If you were to Google something like “healthy eating guide,” how many results would you get? A lot. And that’s an understatement.
You’ve all heard of the food pyramid, right? It’s that thing the United States Department of Agriculture introduced way back in 1992 that gave a visualization of dietary recommendations. And for most Americans my age it was the definitive healthy eating guide.
Although published dietary recommendations date back to the 1890s, the Food Guide Pyramid graphic introduced terms like “recommended daily servings” and “recommended dietary allowances.” The Food Guide Pyramid was pretty dope in 1992 terms.
Here’s the bad thing: some of the recommendations from that pyramid weren’t really based on sound science and have since been somewhat discredited.
You may have known this, but I honestly had no idea it had been replaced until I started looking around for blog topics. My whole food-group life has been torn down.
The newest iteration of dietary guidelines is called MyPlate. The newer recommendation simplifies things by breaking up meals into three sections instead of focusing on food groups and serving sizes. Half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, a quarter of it should be protein, and the final quarter should be whole grains.
While it is an easier template to follow, even if you’re doing your best to cover all of your dietary needs, it still doesn’t address the nutrients you might not be getting from your food.
Yep, You’re Going to Need More Than Just Diet and Exercise
Admittedly, I’m new to supplements. In fact, I hadn’t thought much about them until my most recent annual checkup. My doctor recommended I take a daily multivitamin and fish oil supplement. (I won’t mention he recommends that for people “my age and older.” What’s that supposed to mean?!)
It’s difficult to take in daily recommended nutrients from food alone, even before taking individual health needs into account. Heck, with how confusing—and sometimes conflicting—proper nutrition food guides are, it’s difficult to know what you should be taking in. But the one thing that is becoming more and more clear (to me, at least) is that it’s probably safe to say that some sort of nutritional supplementation is needed for overall nutritional health.
If only there were a place that is committed to overall health, that happens to make effective, science-based vitamins and supplements. Any recommendations?