“The only good diet is a mental diet from negative thoughts.” (based on You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay)

DIets - VegetablesEditor’s Note: I HATE DIETS! Why let someone else tell you what to eat when you can select healthy, nutritious options based on your own personal tastes and needs? In my work as a dietitian I have had far too many people say, “just give me a diet, and I’ll follow it,” only to have them back in my office a month later frustrated and bored with the daily plan that I had devised. Truth is everyone has his or her own individual needs. That is why there is no one diet that will work for everyone. That being said – if you want diet information, I will do my best to offer you sound advice and resources here. – Michelle Traub, RD

Healthy Dieting Tips

  • Focus on eating plant-based foods – fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
  • Add spices and herbs to your meals because they contain antioxidants and phytochemicals that are healing.
  • Limit saturated fat intake from animal products.
  • Avoid white flour, sugar, trans-fatty acids, and partially hydrogenated oils.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation (1-2 drinks per day) and remember that it contains extra calories that are easily stored as fat.
  • Drink plenty of water daily (6-8 cups, or enough water to keep your urine a pale color).

Popular & Healthy Diets

  • U.S. News Diet Rankings – this annual review takes input from some of the leaders in nutrition.
  • The DASH Diet – ranked #1 by U.S.News & World Report, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet emphasizes fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy – classic, sound nutrition advice. For a variety of diet resources see the National Heart Lung and Blood Institutes Site, or view a DASH Meal plan (PDF) here.
  • The Elimination Diet – There are 5 main dietary components that cause the majority of allergies, and intolerances. These include wheat, corn, dairy, sugar and sometimes soy. When those are removed through an elimination diet for 2 weeks, people tend to feel better. Here is a Elimination Diet Handout from the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine
  • The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health provides a variety of helpful Diet Plans here.

Diets for Autoimmune Disease

  • The Gluten Free Diet – Similar to the elimination diet, the gluten free diet strives to improve digestion by eliminating all gluten-containing ingredients (the protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and some oats). The gluten free diet is quite restrictive and is generally followed by individuals who have gluten intolerance or the autoimmune condition, Celiac Disease. Find references for Celiac Disease here.
  • Autoimmune Disease and Naturopathic Treatment – an article from
  • The Autoimmune Hypothyroidism Diet – a diet from Dr. Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS, MNeuroSci designed spefically for those with thyroid disease.
  • Information and a suggested Lupus Diet from

Diet Reviews

As part of the Integrative Health and Healing master’s degree at The Graduate Institute, colleagues were asked to review a popular diet. Click on the links below to be taken to a PDF of several reviews:

See the Nutrition page for additional resources on general nutrition.


Horowitz, S. (2004). Chapter 18: Integrative Approach to Cardiovascular Healthin Integrative Medicine. McGraw Hill Companies.

David Forbes, MD, Lecture at The Graduate Institute, December 4, 2011 Holism and Healing: Shifts in Thinking  

[Last Updated:1/13/16]

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