Let’s Talk Nutrition
It is said the majority of all diseases, up to 80% are caused by what we put in our mouths and expose our bodies to. Genetics and/or predisposition are only 5 to 15% responsible for disease. This is mind blowing when we think that we could prevent most diseases. It is not easy, but this article explains ways that we can feed our family and ourselves good nutritious foods that actually improve our health and quality of life and not just sustain it. Whole foods are what our bodies require for optimum health.
Think about our grocery stores. It is true that if we shop the perimeters we will get most if not all the foods required for a healthy diet. Grains are the only thing I can think of that we would need to venture into other isles for. But do we really need those grains? Turns out studies are showing that grains are not as good for us as once thought. Whole grains have been marketed as a good source of fiber. True they do have fiber, but that fiber is the type that causes inflammation when the body tries to process it. Some grains that are not as inflammatory are brown and wild rice and quinoa, good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. If we eat the washed peels of our apples, skins of potatoes both sweet and white etc we are getting fiber that our bodies can digest and utilize without causing inflammation.
We are bombarded daily by dietary information. Some good and some not. As a result the misinformation we receive could slow down our goal to reach optimum health. Remember the Food Pyramid that had grains and other high carbohydrate foods being the foundation of a “healthy diet” and formed the pyramid base? Fats were to be restricted and were found at the top of the pyramid. Turns out this is not how we should be nourishing our bodies. Unfortunately, those recommendations couldn’t be further from the ideal path.
Here are 7 top “fatty foods” that a healthy diet (in moderation) should include, whole eggs, nuts (such as almonds, pecans, walnuts and cashews), seeds (such as sunflower seeds and flaxseeds), avocado, olive oil, coconut oil and fatty fish (such as mackerel, tuna and salmon, sardines and anchovy). All of these “fattening” foods help to improve satiety, the feeling of fullness after a meal. These “fatty foods also have many other unique health benefits which our bodies and especially our brains need. For example, egg yolks are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This makes the myth about only eating egg whites to stay healthy is completely false. Avocados and olive oil are rich in heart-healthy acids which boosts their healthful properties. Many species of fish are a great source of inflammation reducing omega-3s. Coconut oil is a prime source of medium-chain triglycerides well known for their appetite regulation, energy, and immune benefits. A diet high in wheat and other grain products inevitably leads to inflammation, high blood sugar (diabetes), high blood pressure (hypertension) and weight gain (obesity). When we understand how to choose the right fats, replacing high-carbohydrate items in our diet such as bread, bagels, muffins, other baked goods and pasta with more of these fat-burning, healthful “fatty foods”, we’ll be on our way to better nutrition.
We would also do well restricting or eliminating processed sugar and excess salt from our diets. This is not an easy task since most processed foods are made with large amounts of sugar and salt to give flavor which is appealing to our taste buds. Trying to eliminate sugar from a diet that is high in sugar leaves us feeling “hangry” a new term used when we are hungry and angry. Three days into a sugar free diet will have you feeling more energetic and the craving for sweets is almost totally gone. Give it a try and see how good you can feel when your body is not doing overtime trying to process excess sugar and processed foods.
There is so much information on nutrition it is difficult to cover it all in this article. Let’s take that grocery store challenge and see if we can keep to the perimeter aisles for all our food needs. Better yet, with summer coming check out the fantastic farmer’s markets in surrounding towns for a wonderful assortment of colorful good for you foods. If we try our best to eat whole healthy foods and avoid processed, synthetic foods (ie artificial anything!) we are giving our bodies the best fuel to live which will hopefully be a long healthy life.