Eating for Health - A Food System We Can LIVE With!

Eating for Health® is a system—not a diet—developed by Dr. Ed Bauman, as an alternative to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) dietary recommendations and other one-size-fits-all dietary approaches. It seeks to strategically develop food plans for people rather than having them eat according to a food model that has worked for some but not all people; it also serves to clear up the confusion engendered by the vast array of supposedly very different popular diets. It features fresh, whole foods that align with people’s needs, preferences, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds, with attention paid to changes in seasons, situations, aging, and health challenges.”

Ed Bauman, M.Ed., Ph.D.

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I began my formal nutrition training 29 years ago when I enrolled in Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts, and where I had the very good fortune of having the founder, Dr. Ed Bauman, as my teacher and mentor. He has long since become a very treasured friend.

Over the years, I have seen many diet models come and go. However, the Eating for Health system has stood the test of time and continues to be relevant today - no matter whether you’re omnivore, vegetarian, or vegan.

Let’s take a look at some history about food “models”:

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From 1956 to 1992 the USDA recommended the Basic 4 Food Groups model - dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables, and grains. The problem with the visual used was that it appeared that we should eat equal amounts of each group - rendering it high in refined carbohydrates and dairy products. And healthy fats weren’t even shown. Still, as I recall of that time, refined and processed foods weren’t the mainstay of people’s daily diet so this wasn’t too bad….yet!

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In 1992, the introduction of the USDA's food guide pyramid attempted to express the recommended servings of each food group - with a whopping 6 to 11 servings a day of mostly refined grains and dairy products still playing a significant role - both of which cause inflammation and an overly acidic body pH, which is an underlying factor in almost every chronic disease. According to Wikipedia, the first chart suggested to the USDA by nutritional experts in 1992 featured fruits and vegetables as the biggest group, not breads. This chart was overturned at the hand of special interests in the grain, meat, and dairy industries, all of which are heavily subsidized by the USDA. This, along with the low-fat/no fat craze, the manipulation of nutrients in food products, and the increase in popularity of fast convenience foods opened the door for processed and junk foods to take off and our health in general to take a nose-dive.

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In 2011, the new “My Plate” was introduced and is still used currently. While it is much easier to visualize what it actually means on your plate and it’s easy to see that fruits and vegetables should make up 1/2 of what is consumed at each meal, dairy products continue to have a prominent role (despite very little real scientific support for ANY health benefits from them). And despite these somewhat healthier guidelines, the confusion about what to eat to be healthy and the addiction to processed and junk foods had already taken hold and many of the population have just chosen to ignore it.

WHY we were told to eat these obvious unhealthy diets? Well, think about ALL the products that have been created for us to consume and that fill most of the aisles of our grocery stores as a result of these guidelines and you have your answer. 

"Sadly, science is for sale and many recommendations that scientists and the Government make comes from studies funded by big food companies that pay big bucks". 

~ Dr. Mark Hyman

And then there are the multitudes of diet “fads” (low-carb, low-fat, low-glycemic, South Beach, Atkins, Paleo, Keto, etc.) that have conflicting “rules”, are confusing, and possibly even dangerous. Again, this is BIG business with tons of books, products, and supplements being sold in the bargain.

Dr. Bauman’s Eating for Health model (at the top of this article) represents a system of eating that isn't controlled by the big food companies that have bought and paid for the Government's support or by individuals who are selling products, but rather is based on whole foods, organics, and a lifetime way of eating that actually results in reversing disease and developing and maintaining optimal health, life quality and well-being.

I'm so grateful to be part of the growing number of people who are spreading the word about Eating for Health...and a diet we can actually LIVE with!

Happy, Healthy Living!


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JoAnn Newton is a Holistic Nutrition Educator and Master Massage Therapist with a private practice in Graton, CA.

Passionate about helping people transform their health through holistic nutrition, she facilitates the 23 day online Nutritional E-Cleanse Program with coaching, compassion, and humor.