Eat real food
Food has changed more in the last 100 years then it did in all of human history. Man has created food that looks good, tastes good and lasts long on the shelves but we did not evolve with any of this in our natural diet. There is a lot of controversy these days about what we should eat. Low carb versus high carb, Atkins, high protein, low protein the list is endless and can become very confusing. In future posts I will go more into detail about what I believe is the optimal diet but no matter what your eating philosophy you choose to follow there are a few simple rules to follow.
1. Eat food in the form that it is found in nature. Ever seen a loaf of bread growing out the ground? Up to 75% of your local grocery store will be full of processed fake, food. Limit everything that comes in a box and buy all your food from the fresh produce section
2. Choose high nutrient quality and high nutrient density. You want to get the most bang for your buck buying foods that give you the highest nutrient quality in a form that is easily absorbed by the body
3. Check the ingredients of your food. If you need a degree in biochemistry to read what youre eating then it probably isn’t good for you.
4. Watch out for hidden sugar. Again this links to staying away from food packaged in a box. Many low fat products have hidden sugar lurking in them. Fat is much healthier than sugar.
5. If it lasts forever on the shelf it is not in its natural state. Real food does not have a long shelf life and should go off within a couple of days.
6. Judge a food by how you feel after eating it not during. Have you ever regretted eating a big salad?
So what foods would tick all the above boxes?
The must haves – This fuelled our hunter gatherer ancestors
Fresh fruit and vegetables
Meat – grass fed
Poultry – Free range and anti biotic free chicken and eggs
Nuts and seeds – Raw unsalted Almonds, Macadamia, Brazil nuts (leave out the peanuts)
Fats – Coconut oil, Avocado, Olive oil (fat is not the bad guy its made out to be)
Eat these foods until you are full no calorie counting required
Acceptable in small quantities
Dairy is a bit of a grey area so I would limit it and only consume full fat and organic. Many people are lactose intolerant and unaware of it so if you feel bloated after dairy rather leave it out.
Limit to special occasions or treats
Grains especially wheat – bread, pasta. This is highly processed and not in the form that nature intended. We evolved over thousands of years with almost no grain in our diet.
Limit as much as possible
Transfats – Biscuits, Donuts, pastries, take aways (all the stuff in a box)
Sugar – Make sugar a rare treat instead of the norm.
Remember that eating well is not an all or nothing concept, having a bad day is not failure. The body is very fair and allows you to go off the path from time to time. If you’re going to have that piece of chocolate cake make sure that you enjoy every bite knowing that you can make better choices tomorrow. You are allowed to have a treat and feeling guilty is not going to help everyone.
I believe that half the battle is one when you are making your choices while shopping. If you don’t buy it you wont eat it. One of the best things you can do is shop on a full stomach. Your food purchases will be much healthier.
Some people do well on the 5/2 rule meaning that out of the 7 day week you eat real food for 5 days and then add in the odd treat for the other 2.