Integrative Health emphasizes mindful awareness and self-care, in addition to excellent professional care by a skilled team.  The Circle of Health highlights that Nutrition is one of several important aspects of self-care, along with Surroundings, Personal Development, Recharge, Spirit and Soul, Mind and Emotions, Physical Activity, and Family Friends, and Co-workers.

An Integrative Health approach to nutrition also incorporates complementary and integrative approaches  to prevent or improve acute and chronic symptoms related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, mental health, and chronic pain.  Nutrition is a vast area, and while this overview cannot cover every option a person can consider, it provides a starting place, building on the material provided in Chapter 8 of the Passport to Whole Health.  Whether someone chooses to add in a food or food group, remove something from their diet, or change a behavior, focusing on nutrition can have a profound impact on health. The narrative below shows what a Integrative Health visit could look like and how to apply the latest research on dietary recommendations.

Key Points

  • The Standard American Diet (SAD) does not provide us with optimal nutrients.  Poor eating habits associated with this diet have a profound impact on our health.
  • Clinicians should individualize care to meet people where they are at; even small changes can lead to good results.
  • People often are put off by the word “diet.”  This overview focuses on a number of “eating plans” that are popularly followed, noting pros and cons for several of them.  Remember, a plan is more likely to succeed if a person persists; tying in the benefits of healthy eating to what really matters to a person can be extremely helpful.  Be cautious when it comes to fad diets. 
  • Enlist the assistance of dietitians as part of the Integrative Health care team.  They can be an incredible resource.
  • When it comes to food safety, pay attention to the Dirty Dozen™ and Clean 15™ guidelines on the Environmental Working Group website.

Please see the downloads section for more detailed clinician and patient information.

Disclaimer: This information is for general education. Please work with your health care practitioner to use it in the best way possible to promote your health.