There’s so secret that diet plays a huge role in keeping us healthy, as well as in the management of many chronic conditions. There is more to sustainable eating habits than simply eating well-balanced and nutritious meals all the time. Of course, well-balanced meals are essential for making sure we meet our nutrient requirements, supporting growth and development and preventing and managing chronic diseases. But there is so much more that goes into sustainable eating habits.

What Are Sustainable Eating Habits?

If sustainable eating habits are not just about eating well-balanced meals that support our health, then what are they?

Sustainable eating habits can include many things, including eating patterns or behaviours that we can stick to for long periods of time and environmentally-friendly food habits. However, this nugget of a blog post is focused on the health benefits associated with sustainable eating behaviours.

In simple terms, sustainable eating habits (or behaviours) are patterns of eating that we can stick to and include a wide variety of foods. These habits are not meant to feel “restrictive” or limit what you can or cannot eat in a day or week. That’s just called a diet. And they are never sustainable.

Sustainable eating habits include eating both high and low-nutrient foods. This means a diet of nutritious foods and well-balanced meals sprinkled with treats” such as cakes, donuts and ice cream. It doesn’t mean you’ll be eating a donut with lunch every day, but it does mean eating foods you enjoy and joining in on celebrations.

There are many physical and mental benefits of sustainable eating habits including, 

    • Improved relationship with food
    • Management of chronic disease progression
    • Improved weight management
    • Boosted immune health

In the long run, these habits can provide you with more health benefits than intermittent periods of ultra-healthy eating.

Health Benefits of Sustainable Eating Habits

There are many health benefits associated with sustainable eating habits, including growth and development support and improved management of chronic diseases and weight management.

Sustainable eating habits ensure our bodies have the nutrients required for normal growth and development, as well as for the support of many systems including,

    • Immune system 
    • Metabolic system
    • Digestive system

Learn more about the role micronutrients play in supporting healthy growth and development by checking out my Micronutrient Monday series

Chronic Disease Management

Nutrition plays an essential role in both the prevention and the management of some chronic conditions. Sustainable eating habits can be beneficial for, 

    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
    • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
    • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
    • Celiac disease

Sustainable eating habits can help regulate lab values associated with chronic conditions. For example, they can help lower your LDL cholesterol and blood pressure while providing you with antioxidants to further support your heart health. In the case of diabetes, sustainable eating habits can help lower your HbA1c while allowing you to include treats in your diet. 

Sustainable Eating and Weight Management

Sustainable eating habits can also play a signficant role in weight management. Weight has been implicated in many chronic conditions including heart disease and diabetes, and many doctors recommend reducing weight to help manage some conditions.

Developing sustainable eating habits can help you lose weight and keep it off. Although there are so many appealing weight-loss diets out there, they do not provide you with the sustainable results you are looking for. Particularly when you are also managing a chronic condition. Yes, diets can help you lose weight. Often quickly (or too quickly). But they don’t teach you how to keep it off.

Having sustainable eating habits can help us manage our weight, while also eliminating many challenges we face during weight loss. Some key challenges addressed by sustainable eating habits include,

Inadequate Nutrition

Limiting calories to achieve weight loss often comes with the side effects of limiting our nutrient intakes. As little as 2 or 3 months without adequate nutrients can have negative effects on our health and even impact our metabolic system.

Sustainability of Habits

Diets are usually super restrictive, in one way or another. The rules and restrictions associated with diets are one of many reasons they do not last for long periods, and people regain weight after a few months. Sustainable eating habits keep cravings and favourite foods in mind, so we don’t “fall off the horse” after a couple of weeks or months.

How I Can Help

As a Registered Dietitian, I have the knowledge and expertise to support you in the development of sustainable eating habits.

No two people have the same lifestyle and challenges, and they shouldn’t have the same nutrition plan. I will help you develop your nutrition plan based on your lifestyle, nutrition and health goals and unique challenges.

Many of my services and courses offered include accountability, to keep you on track to reaching your nutrition and health goals. Regular accountability offers the additional assurance of meeting your nutrition goals while providing you with opportunities to discuss new challenges and make adjustments to your nutrition plan.

Book your FREE discovery call today, and let’s get started on your sustainable eating!