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Melonie Clemmons 4Dear Patients,

I think it’s safe to say that most of us want to be healthy; however, it can be confusing as to what we should be eating because much of the information available to us conflicts with each other and the “experts” don’t always agree. Is it best to eat high protein, low-carb meals, like the Adkin’s or Paleo style diets?  Is it best to eat low-fat foods or what about the Mediterranean Diet?  Are all carbs bad?  Well, ultimately everyone has to decide what is best for themselves and I don’t think everyone is exactly the same; however, I do believe there are some basic principles that benefit everyone.

I think a good goal is to always be moving towards a healthier diet and life-style, regardless of where you fall on the nutrition line below and be more intentional on making eating healthy a priority; your overall health and vision depend on it!  You’re your best advocate!  Even making changes one meal a day or picking 4 days a week to be compliant is still a step forward. What you don’t want to do is nothing.

This is what we do know.  Vascular health affects not just our heart but almost every part of our body, including our eyes.  Compromised vascular health, even beginning stages of high blood pressure and cholesterol, can increase your risk of glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy, and ocular stokes, not to mention heart disease, diabetes and dementia.

Starting out, my goal personally was to replace a few of my unhealthy favorites with some new delicious, healthy favorites.  I read an article recently that stated, “You’re either feeding or fighting disease every time you take a bite of food.” It was convicting to me.

“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine thy food.”  Hippocrates

Where are you on the nutrition line?

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The Worst:   The Best:
The standard American diet: high-fat fast food, chips, sodas, French fries, cookies,cakes, fried foods, and other foods high in bad saturated fats and processed                                  Unprocessed foods, Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds

 

Some of you may have heard, or even been a patient, of Dr. Leila Denmark, a pediatrician from the Atlanta/Cumming area.  She lived to be 114 and retired after 73 years of practicing at the age of 103!  Her diet was composed of mostly farm vegetables, her favorite being black-eyed peas. She ate very little meat or sugar and no dairy. She even refused a piece of birthday cake at her 111th party due to the high sugar content.  Her diet mimics that of those found in the Blue Zones, the areas of the world in which we find the highest number of active centurions and virtually no cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Nutricious FoodsImportant Note:  If you decide to implement one of these diet plans, please make a follow-up appointment with your medical doctor in 4 to 6 weeks if you're currently taking medications.  Often times as the diet improves your blood pressure, blood sugar, and/or cholesterol levels, your medication dosages may need to be lowered or, in some cases, discontinued.  Never stop any prescription medications without approval of your medical doctor, even if you feel better.  We strongly encourage a consultation with a dietician or nutritionist for further support, especially if you have been diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes, and to always communicate with your medical doctor regularly about any major dietary changes.  

My job as your vision care provider is to keep you updated on all aspects of ocular health and research, including prevention of eye disease through nutrition!  Good luck and let us know if our office can be of further help.

Melonie Clemmons, O. D.

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