Nutrition and the lifestyle choices that you make every day are the single largest health factors.
Here are my top quick tips for eating (and staying) healthy:
- Limit the BAD carbs. This generally means commercially made breads, muffins, cakes, doughnuts and anything else you would buy in a bakery. These foods are damaging to your body because they turn into sugar very rapidly and cause widespread inflammation. Chronic inflammation accelerates all chronic diseases, especially diabetes. These foods which rapidly turn into sugar are called 'high glycemic' foods. (See Glycemic Index document attached at bottom of page.) More unassuming high glycemic foods are, pasta, potatoes, parsnips, white rice, bananas and most fruit juice. Obviously, there are very unhealthy high glycemic foods (bakery items) and healthier high glycemic foods (fruits and vegetables). Part of being educated in what you should and shouldn't eat is knowing the difference and knowing how to balance the diet to maximize health. For example, high glycemic foods can be helpful after intense exercise to maximize the replenishment of glycogen stores and improve exercise recovery. But for now this is what you need to know - CARBS WHICH ARE EATEN BUT NOT BURNED TURN INTO FAT AND GENERATE INFLAMMATION.
- Protein should be eaten moderately. If you eat more protein than your body can digest and eliminate large amounts of acid waste is created. This acid waste contributes to arthritis, gout, kidney disease and auto-immune conditions. We are a culture that has forgotten - the majority of the world is vegetarian! I am not saying that you should be vegetarian. I am not a vegetarian (although I was for a few years). In addition, high amounts of protein consumption can raise insulin. Insulin is a hormone that increases degenerative inflammation and triggers fat storage. Therefore, controlling carb intake while consuming high amounts of protein can contribute to many of the same disease processes as a high carb diet. The takeaway is that overeating carbs or protein contributes to the myriad diseases of elevated insulin - diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's, and more. So what should you eat? FAT!
- Don't fear fats. The introduction of 'Low-Fat' (high refined carb) foods in the '80s created a diabetes factory out of America. THE TRUTH IS THAT (GOOD) FATS DO NOT MAKE PEOPLE FAT - BAD CARBS MAKE PEOPLE FAT! So what are the 'good' fats? The best fats/oils come from cold water fish, olives, grapeseed, nuts, seeds, hemp, flax, chia, avocados, clarified butter and coconuts. You may have noticed that most processed foods are made with corn, safflower, canola or soy oil, which are rich in the pro-inflammaroty omega-6 fats. Another problem with this is that these oils are very sensitive to high temperatures. Therefore these oils become damaged and rancidified during processing and storage. This sensitivity to heat is the reason it is not recommended to cook with these oils. Cooking should be done with olive oil, clarified butter, coconut oil, nut oils, avocado oil, or palm oil. Butter, coconut, and palm oils are solid at room temperature; this makes them technically 'fats'. Fats can withstand heat better than most oils and surprisingly, in the early 1900s when people cooked with butter, palm oil and lard - HEART DISEASE WAS ALMOST NON-EXISTENT! The worst fats of all are the ones that have been damaged. 'Rancid' fats are very toxic and highly damaging to your body - you might as well be eating rust. Rancid fats are mainly found in processed and fried foods, so save the french fries and cakes for special occasions. Now that you know which fats are good, and which are bad, eat up! IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO GET FAT BECAUSE OF EATING TOO MANY CALORIES FROM FAT - PEOPLE GET FAT BY EATING TOO MANY CARBS (AND PROTEIN) AND GIVING THEMSELVES DIABETES.