Making dietary changes is not the same thing as going on a diet. Having similar names makes the two easy to confuse. When a person goes on a diet, they often cut certain foods or a number of calories from their daily diet. When a person makes dietary changes, he or she is not necessarily cutting any foods or calories but instead swapping some foods for others. Some dietary changes even involve adding more foods to your daily diet.
Add More Vitamins and Minerals
Having a vitamin or mineral deficiency is one of the most common ways a person can be lacking in their diet. These deficiencies can cause a whole host of health problems. That’s why it is so important to get in all of your daily recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals. Don’t forget about micronutrients either! These are nutrients that your body needs small amounts of to function at its best. Micronutrients most often include minerals, but can also include some vitamins.
There are two basic ways to take in more vitamins and minerals. The first way is to add more foods to your diet that are rich in whatever vitamin or mineral you are lacking. This is also the most natural way to go about adding more vitamins and minerals to your diet. The second way is to take vitamin and mineral supplements. These supplements most often come in pill or gummy form.
Before you add any vitamins or minerals to your diet, make sure to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can run tests to let you know which vitamins and minerals you are lacking in. This is usually done through blood tests. Once the tests are complete, your doctor will be able to tell you not only the vitamins and minerals you are lacking but also how much you need to take in to fix the deficit. From there, you can change your diet or begin taking supplements.
Test for Gluten and Dairy Intolerances
Some people may have an intolerance for gluten and dairy and not even know it. Testing for these intolerances will let you know if you should cut one of these types of foods from your diet or not. There are two basic ways to test this– to see a doctor for an allergen test or to cut the food out of your diet for a couple of weeks and keep track of your health.
If a doctor does an allergen test, he or she will likely draw blood. The blood will be tested in a lab. The results should show the likelihood that someone has an intolerance.
Testing for food intolerances at home takes longer but does not require a visit to the doctor. To do this, cut gluten or dairy from your diet for two weeks. Only cut one at a time. Watch for symptoms to see how your body reacts. If you constantly struggle with stomach problems, then you may have an intolerance. If you cut food and you continue to have stomach problems, then the food itself is likely not the problem. If during your break from gluten or dairy, your stomach problems clear up, then you do likely have an intolerance. You can follow this up with a doctor’s visit to confirm your suspicions, but this is not required by any means.
If you do have an intolerance, then it is best to cut the food from your diet permanently. This will help your body to function at its best. While an intolerance is not necessarily the same thing as an allergy, it should be treated in a similar way.
Simply adding more vitamins and minerals to your diet, or cutting out harmful foods, can make a big difference in your overall health. When in doubt, make sure to ask a doctor to make big changes in your diet. It is especially important to talk to a doctor if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. Keep these things in mind as you try to support your health.
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