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Diet as a Vital Sign: How Coaches Can Optimize Clients’ Health and Longevity

Podcast 176

Diets should align with your near and long term health goals. Dr. Katz explains how health coaches can use Diet ID to help clients build the best version of themselves and make dietary changes that stick! 

In this episode, Cathy and Dr. Katz discuss: 

  • Dr. Katz’s career as a medical doctor turned entrepreneur 
  • How vital signs are powerful predictors of your current and future health status
  • Why diet quality should be measured and treated like a vital sign 
  • How health coaches can stay within their scope of practice and address nutrition issues 
  • Diet ID’s 2-step approach:
  1. Work with experts to develop a framework that matches dietary patterns with health goals 
  2. Identify a way of eating that appeals to them and optimize within that category  
  • What Diet ID is and how it reverse engineers the concept of dietary assessment 
  • The importance of high quality food to have a high quality diet 
  • How Diet ID supports coaches who help clients in their weight loss journey 
  • Two key trends that represent the shift to higher quality foods:
  1. Greater emphasis on plant foods, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds
  2. Emphasis on real food as opposed to junk food or processed food   
  • Why it’s important to cultivate familiarity with wholesome food 
  • Taking incremental steps to build the best version of you and your health  

Dr. Katz is a board-certified specialist in Preventive Medicine/Public Health. He is the founding director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, Past-President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and Founder/President of the True Health Initiative. Dr. Katz earned his BA degree from Dartmouth College; his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and his MPH from the Yale University School of Public Health. The recipient of many awards for his contributions to public health, he has received three honorary doctorates. He has authored roughly 200 peer-reviewed publications, hundreds of health columns, and 19 books including leading textbooks in both nutrition and preventive medicine. Katz is recognized globally for expertise in nutrition, lifestyle medicine, and health promotion. Called the “poet laureate of health promotion” by his peers, Katz has given keynote addresses in dozens of countries on six continents, and in all 50 US states.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “We ought to be measuring and managing diet routinely…treating it like the vital sign that it is, it is the best predictor of mortality and morbidity risks, it is in essence, a vital sign and we ought to be treating it as such.” 
  • “You can’t really have an optimal diet unless you’ve got a good balance of nutrients because that’s part of what defines an optimal diet. And Michael Pollan put it so beautifully in seven words: eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
  • “The food supply is willfully engineered to be addictive, and contribute to epidemic obesity, diabetes, including children in order to fatten corporate coffers, it’s really unconscionable.”
  • “What you really want to do is you want to live it, you want to make dietary changes that aren’t just about losing weight, building the best version of you, your vitality, the best energy. Healthy people have more fun, that’s what it’s all about.” 


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