Back to Basics: Good Nutrition Should Not Be Complicated

| Sarah Johnson, MS, RD

Contrary to what we are led to believe by the diet industry, our bodies were designed to work and to work well, if only we can stop getting in its way. It can be easy to get lost in the newest diet trend promising a quick fix or to believe that a certain supplement is a cure to your problems. Do not get lost in the ‘Nutrition Noise’. Long-term studies have analyzed the various fad diets, and what they found was that while it can be easy to get lost in the details, there are a few common threads that repeatedly prove to be the key to good health. Here are the 3 areas you can focus on to see true improvements in your health.

#1: Daily consumption of fruits & vegetables. This health goal really covers a lot of ground: Reducing your risk of almost all types of cancer, decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol, and helping you maintain proper digestion and body weight. Do not get caught up in feeling the pressure to count servings, and certainly do not expect yourself to go from zero to 60 in a day. Remember, as Mark Twain said, “The secret of making progress is to get started.” Even one serving per day is better than none, so find the fruits & vegetables you love and start there. Remember, the more color on your plate, the better.

#2: Regular intake of healthy fats: A sharp brain and younger-looking skin- what more can we ask for in a nutrition goal? When the diet culture made fat intake the enemy in the 1990s, we saw obesity and obesity-related health issues skyrocket. The truth is that your body needs proper fat intake and the proper types of fats to work properly. Fat intake is key for supporting cell growth, appropriate cholesterol & blood pressure, and the absorption of key nutrients- many of which you are consuming in those fruits & vegetables you are now eating more of. The best types of fats to eat for your health are monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated. In human speak: Olive oil, nuts & seeds, avocado, salmon. The main types of fat to limit are called trans fats, which are found in margarine, baked goods, and pre-packaged snacks. When making any type of change, we tend to be more successful by focusing on what to get in (good fats) rather than what we should avoid.

#3: Water intake: Drinking sufficient water is one health goal that many people claim to see benefits from even faster than goals #1 and #2, and seeing progress helps motivate us to stay on track. It should be no surprise that this is of high importance to your overall health, with water making up 60% of your body weight. While clear skin and an increase in energy from sufficient water intake are wonderful, the other roles of water are even more important for your long-term health. Water brings key nutrients to your cells, assists with eliminating waste from the body, and helps keep joints and organs protected.

Bottom line: Ignore the noise, and focus on color, healthy fats, and water.

If you are struggling with your nutrition and eating habits, click here to learn about the mobile dietary services and nutrition counseling at Live Your Life Minnesota and contact us for a free consultation.  

Sarah Johnson MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian with a strong passion for helping people discover the healing power of food.

Today’s world offers more nutrition information at our fingertips than ever before. However, when it comes to nutrition, there is no one size fits all solution leading many to feel exhausted by years of “trial & error.” Sarah’s mission is to help people weed through the noise and to educate and empower them on simple ways food can help them regain their energy for life. She believes your body was designed to work well; you simply need the tools to get it back on track.

Sarah graduated from the College of St. Benedict with a B.A. in Dietetics and went on to receive an M.S. in Human Nutritional Science from the University of Wisconsin Stout where she focused on using nutrition to help those living with multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory diseases.

Sarah lives in Mahtomedi with her husband and 3 children and loves the access to nature Minnesota living provides all year round


“Lower the Risk of Dying from Cancer with Fruits and Veggies.” American Institute for Cancer Research, 23 Feb. 2017,

Harvard Health Publishing. “How Much Water Should You Drink?” Harvard Health, Harvard Health, 25 Mar. 2020,

Harvard Health Publishing. “Know the Facts about Fats.” Harvard Health, 19 Apr. 2021,

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