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UPDATED Nutrition Guide

Updated: Oct 30, 2023


It’s vital to our health…and can also be super frustrating.

Here at modrn med, we often hear:

“I don’t know what to eat!”

“The nutrition advice out there is contradictory.”

“I’m confused about food choices.”

That’s why Dr. Mary created the Food Strategy Guide.

To make nutrition simple – especially for people with gut health concerns.

As a functional medicine doctor, Dr. Mary will also be the first to admit that keeping up with the latest research is important for her patient’s well-being, which can add another layer of complexity.

Knowing that there is a 17 year lag time from research to application in conventional medicine, modrn med prides itself on applying new information as soon as possible.

That’s why the guide has been updated. New research is here.

Some of the key difference between the old food strategy guide and the new one include:

  • Addition of fermented foods

  • Adaption of the section on healthy fats

  • Removal of “dairy” from the “foods to avoid list”

Let’s take a closer look at each one.


Public interest in the effects of fermented food on the human gut microbiome is high, but limited studies have explored the association between fermented food consumption and the gut microbiome in large cohorts.

Until the last 2 years.

In March of 2020, the first to study looked into the relationship between the microbiome and fermented food consumption in thousands of people using both cross-sectional and longitudinal data. They found that fermented food consumers have subtle differences in their gut microbiota structure, which is enriched in conjugated linoleic acid. [PMC7380580]

Even more recently, researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine discovered that a diet rich in fermented foods enhances the diversity of gut microbes and decreases inflammation. Specifically, eating foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi and other fermented vegetables, vegetable brine drinks, and kombucha tea led to an increase in overall microbial diversity, with stronger effects from larger servings. [2]

So a bowl of sauerkraut was added to the image – along with a whole new category on the list of recommended foods.


This was a big change to the guide.

The old food strategy included ghee, coconut oil and grass-fed butter, which some people can still use. However, in the clinic here at modrn med, MANY people suffer from high LDL and LDL-P/APOB levels (these are markers for cholesterol containing lipoproteins).

A good chunk of these people will lower their cholesterol by removing or reducing saturated fat intake from ghee, butter, and coconut oil from their diet.

The new guide focuses on using avocado oil for cooking and olive oil after meals. Avocado oil is easy to cook with and has a higher smoke point than butter or ghee anyways, making it a safer oil to use for cooking. And olive oil can be drizzled on foods after cooking for both flavor and health benefits.

Oleic acid is one of the many beneficial compounds in olive oil. One of the biggest mistakes I see with olive oil is using it to cook. Olive oil has a very low smoke point, which means it is damaged when you heat it up and loses some of its health properties. So make sure you are adding olive oil to your food after cooking.

Bonus Note: When you buy olive oil, make sure it is dark in color and in a dark glass bottle to avoid sun damage. Protect it from sunlight at home by storing it in a cabinet.


Dr. Mary used to be a big advocate that diary wasn’t the best for humans, and the research is now swaying her that this may not be the case. Yes, people who have lactose intolerance or have a sensitivity to dairy may do better by avoiding it.

All the practitioners at modrn med can help you go through a 30 day elimination diet which will help identify if dairy is an issue or not. Book a consult to learn more.

So why is Dr. Mary signing a new dairy tune?

A new study shows that not as many people are lactose intolerant as researchers once thought. Some researchers estimated that as many as 48% of Americans are lactose intolerant. They put the portion of African Americans with lactose intolerance at about 80%. New research shows that only 12% of all Americans and 19.5% of African Americans may be lactose intolerant. [PMID: 21329245]

Whey protein isolate is also one of Dr. Mary’s favorite sources of protein to use in post-workout shakes. Whey has high amounts of leucine in it which is the amino acid that helps us build muscle. Fermented dairy sources like kefir and yogurt are also great options to increase microbial diversity as seen above.

Bottom line? Nutrition research is CONSTANTLY changing!

So make sure to stay up to date with our emails and blogs because it’s guaranteed the food strategy guide will change again when we continue to learn more about food choices for optimal gut health and longevity.

Want help navigating the constantly changing terrain of healthy nutrition? Click the links below to get started.

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