I’ve mentioned before that weight loss and health go hand-in-hand. In fact, helping my celebrity patients achieve optimal health is my ultimate goal — helping them look great on the red carpet is just an added bonus. Really, you can’t have one without the other. And you can’t have ANY of it if you’re not eating wholesome, nutritious foods.

A study I want to tell you about today brings that problem into sharp focus. According to a report published in JAMA, a substantial proportion of deaths in the United States from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are associated with a suboptimal diet.

Naturally, the researchers and I differ in some respects in regards to what constitutes a “suboptimal diet,” but the general message is one we can all agree on: What we eat (and what we don’t) largely determines our health outcomes.

According to this study, high sodium intake was the biggest dietary culprit in cardiometabolic disease-related deaths. That’s the part I take the biggest issue with, since, in general, salt isn’t a huge concern of mine. Unless you’re consuming vast quantities of it, I just don’t see it as an issue. If you’re eating fresh, organic foods and salting them to taste, I can virtually guarantee you’re not going overboard on sodium.

But here’s where it does become a problem: The people who are consuming the most sodium tend to be getting it from unhealthy sources, like fast food and junk foods. And those types of foods on their own are a source of disease.

The next biggest dietary risk factors this study singled out were low intake of nuts and seeds, high intake of processed meats, low consumption of omega-3 fats from seafood, not enough vegetables or fruits, and too many sugar-sweetened beverages.

Bottom line: The better you eat, the better you’ll look AND feel. And the longer you’ll live. Period.

With The A-List Diet, you have all the tools you need to make good dietary choices, and, in turn, to cut your risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiometabolic disease. It covers all the bases mentioned in this study…and goes even further, with a personalized method of making sure you’re eating all the right foods and none of the wrong ones.

If you don’t already have a copy, you can find one at your local bookstore or order one now by clicking here.

A-Listers’ Corner

Question: Is there an alternative for eating eggs during the detox phase of The A-List Diet?

Answer: For anyone who is allergic to eggs, or has a strong dislike of them, seaweed is a great substitute during the Detox phase of the program. It’s widely available (I’ve even seen it in Costco), super nutritious, and delicious. (I promise!)

If you can’t find seaweed, or find you don’t like it, you can always just incorporate avocado a day early, and eat unlimited quantities of it (along with liquids and broth) on both Day 4 and Day 5.

One more thing…

Breaking the cycle of emotional eating is every bit as important as breaking your physical dependence on certain types of food. Of course, in this day and age, with a Dunkin Donuts and a McDonald’s practically on every corner, it can be really difficult. But it’s not impossible.

The key is to learn the difference between an emotionally driven craving and true hunger. The longer you stick with The A-List Diet, the farther you’ll move away from your food addictions. Which will make it easier to recognize — and push through — those emotional cravings.