With every new piece of dieting advice comes a new contradiction, after reading countless diet books, wading through hundreds of studies and…watching Dr OZ every day (of course!) I have boiled all that food advice down into these 5 guidelines.
1. Most Importantly if you do nothing else…..EAT REAL FOOD!
Really try to stay away from anything in a box or processed, shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store. So choosing chicken breast over prefrozen nuggets, or a real potato over the boxed stovetop kind. Don’t eat packaged diet food, its not real food and it will just mess you up. I could go on and on but please just eat real food and that’s most of the battle, your body will begin to regulate itself once in understands the fuel your putting in.
- Buy organic/no spray, ESPECIALLY YOUR MEAT
You know I’m not completely sold on the whole Paleo lifestyle, although they have many good points and what I agree with the most is making sure your meat and vegetables (but more importantly meat because you can wash vegetables) is organic. I have never been inside of an industrialized farm- but I have watched many a documentaries and the stuff they give to livestock is nasty, and toxic. You don’t want that in your or your family’s body. Plus the way they treat animals is so sad. I know its more expensive but my response to that would be to eat less meat but of higher quality.
- Eat Less Meat
This is not just the yogi in me, eating less meat is directly linked to a substantial reduction in heart disease. Heart disease is the biggest killer of human beings, taking more lives each year then even cancer. Speaking of cancer those who followed a vegetarian diet were also less prone to certain cancers, (by the British Journal of Cancer) they think either because the high fat content increases the hormones in our bodies that trigger cancerous cells to grow, or because of the hormones contained in the actual meat itself. There’s a lot more research but I’ll save it for another post, the take away here is add more vegies to your diet and reduce the meat. (And there are a tons of plant based sources)
- Avoid Processed Wheat
Now notice I didn’t say Glutton Free, although if you can handle that all the more power to you. Most studies have found that eliminating wheat greatly reduces inflammation in the body. Sadly Canada has some of the worst wheat in the world, its 99 percent genetically modified and in almost everything. Food manufactures love to use it as filler because its cheap and addictive. For many people going glutton free is said to clear rashes, improve digestion and aid in weight loss, but it takes a while for the main protein to clear your system about 3-4 months, so stick with it if you are experiencing any of those side effects. To be clear I still eat artisan/organic sprouted grain bread and wraps on occasion but my feeling is that since its not GMO or sprayed it would likely have a different effect then the traditional stuff on your body. The point is to be conscious about your consumption of wheat products and to eat sparingly.
- Consume Dairy in Moderation
Many people think beans are the most difficult food to digest, but turns out that’s not true. A recent study (as seen on Dr Oz) determined that the most difficult things for humans to digest is actually dairy products, mainly due to a protein called casein, its also been shown to increase inflammation in the body, and creates excess mucus.
I feel like it always has to be all or nothing, most diet plans say no meat, or no dairy or no carbs ect, but life doesn’t have to be black and white, I think most of us live in a “grey” area. The key is moderation, follow the 80/20 rule- eat good most of the time but leave an allowance for the occasional indulgence. Plus if you live a healthy lifestyle most of the time your body is able to heal itself when you don’t make the “right” choice… just remember point one (Eat Real Food!)