One of the most common things you’ll hear when you visit your doctor is that you “need to eat healthier”.
But in many cases, that’s where the doctor’s advice ends. They tell you to eat better, but they don’t give you much explanation or elaboration about what that actually means or how to do it.
Part of that is due to the fact that doctors are busy with many other patients, and so they don’t have time to explain everything in detail—especially when they know that most patients don’t comply with their doctor’s recommendations.
You need to be your own advocate. It is your responsibility to ask questions, take notes, and learn about your medical conditions, and how to take care of your health.
Eating healthy is a huge part of being healthy. So if there is anything you don’t understand, ask your doctor directly so they can give you the answers you need.
Here are 10 questions you might want to ask your doctor at your next appointment:
What Specific Dietary Changes Should I Make To Improve My Health?
If your doctor just tells you to “eat better”, you need to ask them what exactly that means in your particular case.
Asking your doctor for specific dietary recommendations tailored to your health needs is a great way to get started on a healthy eating plan.
Should I Follow a Specific Diet Plan, Such As the Mediterranean or DASH Diet?
Dietary guidelines can be overwhelming, and there are countless fad diets that may not be effective or healthy. Your doctor can recommend a diet plan that is evidence-based and tailored to your specific needs.
Is it Safe For Me To Try This Particular Type of Diet?
If you’re considering making a major dietary change, such as going vegan or cutting carbs, consult your doctor first. They can help you understand any potential risks or side effects associated with the change, and can help you decide whether it’s a good choice for you based on your medical history and current health status.
Are There Any Foods That Could Potentially Interact With My Medications or Medical Conditions?
Some foods can interact with medications or exacerbate certain medical conditions. For example, grapefruit juice can interfere with the metabolism of some medications, while people with acid reflux may need to avoid spicy or acidic foods. Your doctor can help you understand any food-related issues you need to be aware of.
Are My Medications or Medical Conditions Affecting My Diet and Appetite?
Just as your diet can potentially interact with your medications, your medications can interact with your diet. Certain medications or medical conditions can affect your appetite, digestion, or nutrient absorption, making it harder to maintain a healthy diet. Your doctor can help you understand how your medications or conditions may be affecting your ability to eat healthily and can offer guidance on how to manage these issues.
How Will I Know If I Am Getting Enough Nutrients In My Diet?
It can be challenging to know if you’re getting enough of all the essential nutrients in your diet. Fortunately, there are usually some indications and early warning signs that you can learn to pay attention to. Your doctor can help you understand what symptoms to look out for and how to assess whether you’re meeting your needs.
Should I Be Taking Any Supplements To Support My Diet?
In some cases, taking supplements can help fill nutrient gaps or address specific health concerns. But for many people, they aren’t very effective, or they might even have negative side effects. Your doctor can help you understand whether you should be taking any supplements and which ones might be most beneficial for you.
Should I Be Monitoring My Calorie Intake or Tracking My Macronutrient Ratios?
Depending on your health goals and medical needs, tracking your calorie intake or macronutrient ratios (e.g., protein, carbs, fat) may be helpful. Your doctor can help you understand whether you should be tracking these metrics and how to do it effectively.
Can You Recommend Any Resources or Experts?
Your doctor may be able to recommend resources or experts (e.g., registered dietitians, nutritionists) who can provide additional guidance and support for your dietary needs and goals.
How Frequently Should I Be Checking In With You or a Dietitian?
Depending on your health needs and goals, you may need to check in with your doctor or a dietitian periodically to ensure that your diet is meeting your nutritional needs. Your doctor can help you understand how often you should be checking in and can recommend a plan for monitoring your progress.