Regular exercise has a host of benefits, from weight control to bone strengthening to improving heart health. Changing your diet can improve the benefits of that exercise, or even be a good start to improving your health all on its own. You might wonder if you really need to consult a doctor before starting a diet, though. Here are some things to consider.
What Kind of Diet Is It?
Many people say they’re starting a diet. But for some, that means a complete overhaul of their eating, and strict restrictions on what they’ll eat. For others, it means a few changes. And for still others, their diet means they’ll add a salad to a meal once a month. If you’re making small, sustainable changes over time to the way you eat, there’s little to be concerned about. But if you plan to do a complete overhaul and restrict foods, calories or particular nutrients, you might not want to go it alone.
Why Are You Doing It?
Have you recently been diagnosed with a health condition? Do you or someone else in the family have an allergy that you’re trying to avoid? Do you just want to eat healthier overall? There are some situations where a doctor’s guidance is more useful and necessary than others.
What Medications Do You Take?
If you’re taking any medications, you should definitely talk to your doctor before beginning a diet. For example, if you have kidney disease, you would want to avoid a diet high in protein, or if you have high blood pressure, a diet high in salt would be bad for you. Your doctor can help you find or modify a diet that is appropriate for your specific health conditions and any medications you take.
Who Else Will Be on This Diet?
If you’re planning a diet change for the whole family, it may be prudent to talk to your family doctor. Children have different dietary needs than adults, and teens have different needs as well. Professionals, like those at Southern Family Medicine Inc., know that it’s important to ensure than any diet you intend to implement for the whole family is appropriate for everyone. A doctor can help you do that.
For most people who are generally in good health, starting a new diet is no big deal. But if you plan to make huge changes, have health conditions, or want to change the diet for everyone in your family, the advice and guidance of a doctor can be very beneficial. It never hurts to run things by your family physician just to be safe.