HJ: Opinions and beliefs about health are increasingly becoming like beliefs about politics and religion — highly charged and vehement. Ultimately, this serves no one as even the most extreme diets are based on some core truth that has validity. For instance, proponents of the Paleo diet (focus on high quality meat and unprocessed, whole organic food — no dairy or grains) believe that meat is a healthful food when caught wild or raised by purely natural methods. Meat is an excellent source of high quality protein which from a purely nutritional standpoint is more complete and in some sense superior to vegetable proteins (I can hear all the vegans and vegetarians out there cringing — I am a vegetarian and have been for nearly 5 years (Vegan for 2) and I still stand by that statement! That doesn’t mean you have to eat it to be healthy though… those are just the cold, hard nutritional facts).
Most people benefit greatly from cutting out dairy and wheat from their diets and eating whole, unprocessed foods. Does that mean that everything they claim is true and right for everybody? Absolutely not. The point is, that there are underlying truths about diet on which that particularly philosophy is based and this goes for any dietary paradigm — raw foodism, veganism, fruitarianism… even the Atkins diet! Those truly interested in health will learn to identify those common core truths as that is where the balance lies and where the best dietary advice is to be had.
Neda’s article below does a pretty good job of summarizing many of these important points. We have added in commentary where it is necessary to clarify some of the claims she has made. At the end of the day, lets lose the polarizing, militant beliefs about what diet is right or wrong and lets focus on what’s really important here: being happy, healthy and eating in tune with our body’s unique needs!
By Neda Smith, FDN, MTA, HHC | Natural Neda
Food Rule #1: Not all carbs are bad.
Carbohydrates do NOT need to be eliminated. They just need to be eaten in reasonable quantities. To really make things simple, most of your carbs should come from fruits and vegetables. You need to minimize your intake of grains, breads and pasta and have a cheat day once a week to incorporate these foods into one of your meals. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and other tubers are a better option for starchy carbs, which your body can digest better than grains, breads and pasta. Turn to these foods instead. The more active you are the more starchy carbs you can have. And the best time to consume these starchy carbs are within an hour or two post work out.
Food Rule #2: Healthy vs Deadly Protein Sources
[HJ Note: While Neda focuses on animal protein sources here, there are quality sources of vegetarian and vegan protein. Vegetarian sources of high quality protein are whey, cheese and milk (go for organic, raw and grass fed). Vegetarian and Vegan sources are: Organic Tofu, All Seeds — hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, and lentils and beans (combine with other grains and veggies to make complete proteins).]
Focus on quality protein sources such as wild game, wish fish and seafood, grass-fed meats, and free-roaming organically fed eggs, while trying to avoid most farmed meats and farmed fish that were fed mostly grains and kept in unhealthy “factory farm” environments. If they are sick, you will become sick by consuming them. Steer clear of the unhealthy versions as much as possible.
Food Rule #3: Your OMEGAS are out of Whack.
Most people need to be more aware of the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of the food they eat.
The ancestral human diet appears that it had a ratio of approximately 1:1 to 2:1 omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats. The current average western diet contains anywhere from 20:1 to 30:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats due to the high consumption of grain and soy-based foods and derivatives like soybean oil and corn oil that is pervasive in the food supply (and don’t forget the corn and soy that’s used as the main animal feed component instead of natural forage).
This is a major problem causing massive inflammation in most people, and one of the causes of many degenerative diseases. In order to balance this out better, you need to AVOID corn oils, soybean oils, cottonseed oils (or anything cooked in these oils), and minimize grain-fed meats and farmed fish that were fed grains. Instead, focus on wild fish, grass-fed meats, grass-fed dairy, free-range eggs, as well as other foods that can help you get more omega-3’s like chia seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, and fish oil and/or krill oil. Take note that animal sources of omega-3 fats are MUCH more powerful to your health than plant sources of omega-3’s like walnuts, chia, and flax.
Food Rule #4: 3 Worst Foods
Aside from processed sugar, if I had to pick 3 of the WORST foods in the average western diet that would be most important to start avoiding, it would be:
1. Corn [HJ Note: Organic Corn is safe to eat]
2. Soy [HJ Note: Organic, unprocessed Tofu is fine and not of concern.]
That would include their derivatives such as corn syrup, corn oil, soybean oil, soy protein, etc.
Do you want to hear an appalling statistic about what the average person eats? Currently, the average adult eating a typical modern western diet in countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, etc consumes approximately 67% of their total caloric intake from only 3 foods — CORN, SOY, AND WHEAT (and their derivatives).
Look at your diet and see what changes you can make.
Food Rule #5: Beware of Hidden Sugars
Beware of hidden calories and inflammation-causing ingredients in condiments and dressings. Most people don’t realize just how many calories and metabolism damaging high fructose corn syrup they are ingesting in things like ketchup, salad dressings, cocktail sauce, marinades, etc. For example, 1 Tbsp of ketchup has 5 grams of sugar (usually from HFCS), but the average person uses 2-4 Tbsp of ketchup with a typical burger and fries meal. That’s anywhere from 10-20 grams of EXTRA sugar just from the ketchup alone, and not even counting the sweetened drink that most people have with the meal too. Be a label reader and avoid HFCS! And despite deceptive advertisements out there from the corn refining industry that claim “HFCS is no worse than sugar and is natural”, this is far from the truth.
Food Rule #6: Sugar is TOXIC in your body.
Most people do not realize they are addicted to sugar and how bad it is for your body. I hear people say things all the time when eating candy or drinking a sweetened drink that “Oh, it’s just sugar and I can burn it off easily!” If it were only that easy and simple.
Sugar makes you fat and it’s one of the direct causes of diabetes, heart disease as well as feeding cancer cells. Avoid sugar as much as possible with the exception of a small amount of natural sugars found in fruit.
Food Rule #7
Do NOT eat these oils or foods with these added. AVOID soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, and other cheap “vegetable oils” as much as possible. These oils are highly inflammatory in your body, disrupt your omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid balance in your body, and also are typically made of genetically modified crops, of which the long term health consequences are not yet fully understood by scientists. You might be surprised to know that fats you falsely thought were unhealthy such as butter, lard, and coconut oil are actually the healthiest fats/oils to cook with.
Food Rule #8
Canola oil is terrible for you.
Avoid this oil as much as possible…despite the false marketing claims that is is “healthy” and contains lots of monounsaturated fats just like olive oil. Canola oil is NOTHING like olive oil. It reacts very differently in your body.
Also note that is genetically modified (GMO), so yet another reason to avoid it. [HJ Note: Organic Canola oil, while still not easily digestible, is not GMO, by law]
Food Rule #9
Why you should LOVE butter & cream! Butter vs margarine? I have no idea why anybody is still debating this… I use grass-fed butter on a daily basis, but I would NEVER even touch margarine… not even the so-called “healthy” margarines, which usually still contain inflammatory soybean or corn oils. REAL butter is the only answer in this case. Also, it’s not just butter that’s good for you… dairy fat in the form of grass-fed cream, aged cheeses, full-fat yogurts and other dairy fat has even been shown in some studies to PROTECT your arteries from clogging! It is important to understand the dairy I am advocating here is from pasture raised animals. UNHEALTHY FORMS of DAIRY:
1. Homogenized/pasteurized commercial milk – homogenized milk fat is thought to be harmful to health due to the microscopic fat particles that are formed from the homogenization processing.
2. Yogurt that’s loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners (which is most brands)
3. Processed cheeses such as American cheese or cheese spreads
Food Rule #10
STOP Avoiding Egg Yolks – Eat Whole Eggs. Egg whites vs whole eggs? Once again, I have no idea why anyone is still debating this. Most of the general population has still not gotten the memo that egg yolks are actually the healthiest part of the egg, with over 90% of the micronutrients and antioxidants, and 100% of the fat soluble vitamins that are so important for our health. Why anybody would only eat egg whites and avoid yolks is beyond comprehension. And no, the dietary cholesterol in eggs is not bad for your heart… in fact, it increases your good HDL cholesterol and helps your fat burning hormones.
WOW! 10 Amazing Food Rules to live by. Not so hard to do, right?
Neda Smith, dedicates her work to helping individuals find the diet that is right for them through Metabolic Typing. In her 20’s, Neda became an expert in dieting as she tried every diet around, from Atkins to being a Vegan. Each diet left her dissatisfied and deprived causing her to “fall off the wagon” and binge on all the “bad” foods with vengeance. After 10+ years of yo-yo dieting, she discovered Metabolic Typing, which has helped her understand her body’s unique needs. Through Metabolic Typing Neda learned which foods provide her the most amount of nutrients as well as the macronutrient ratios that she needed for a healthy body and vibrant energy. She is now providing bio-individualized program for her clients, as no two people are alike. [email protected] | [email protected] | www.naturalneda.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/naturalnedanutritionist Twitter: www.twitter.com/naturalneda | (917) 881-3181