Intuitive eating concepts like food freedom and ditching diet rules often don’t match up with the strict food guidelines for many chronic conditions. You may be thinking, is it possible to eat intuitively and manage a chronic condition? The short answer is absolutely. Let me elaborate.
When being diagnosed with a chronic condition like diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol, it’s common clinical practice to create diet plans based on foods that are off limits. Often, weight loss is highly encouraged. It’s normal for patients to have health-related fears around food given the strict recommendations usually provided to them, and telling a patient to intuitively eat foods that feel right for their body within these restrictions might not resonate.
The truth is, there are no perfect diets for chronic conditions. Nutrition education and guidelines are important, and are considered with factors that impact food intake like medical history and medications by healthcare providers when designing a nutrition plan for someone with a chronic condition. Recommendations should always be individualized on a patient-by-patient basis.
In addition to your healthcare provider’s recommendations, it’s also important to assess how food choices make you feel and to let your healthcare provider know. Making informed adjustments with your healthcare provider around guidelines and weight loss goals can result in sustainable changes. Letting go of the shame around making the perfect food choices for a condition can reduce stress and may even help to improve that chronic condition.
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