Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RNWe get asked a lot of questions about what to eat on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many of the people we speak to admit they don’t have even the slightest of a clue.
Well, if this in any way resembles how you feel, then this blog’s for you.
These days, things aren’t so simple. There are diets everywhere coming from every angle. You’ve got your paleos, vegans, and even your primals. So what’s a health-minded boy or girl to do?
Well, here are a few pointers, just to get you grounded a bit.
And for all of the experienced health foodies out there – yes, this post may just be too basic for you. If so, please consider sharing it with someone who may benefit!
Eat Foods that are Low GlycemicSounds complicated? Not really. Low glycemic just means low sugar.
Diabetics are taught to eat this way and simply put, we think a lot of people would be better off if they ate like this too. High-sugar diets can cause all sorts of serious health problems … not to mention, they're not at all “waist-friendly.”
All you have to do is pick foods that will have a minimal impact on your blood sugar levels. Avoid processed grains, starchy vegetables, and fruit juices. And pair your carbs with protein, fat, or fiber to minimize blood sugar spikes.
If you’re curious, there are also nutrients that can help to lower blood sugar levels. These include cinnamon1 and green coffee extract.2 You can take these with your meals for additional glucose support.
Eat Foods that are Low InflammatoryInflammation is a major cause of disease, and many of the foods Americans eat are inflammatory in nature. These include dairy, poultry, and red meats.
Now we’re not advocating that people avoid dairy and animal products altogether — although we’re pretty sure that many of you do and are healthy. All that we’re saying is that if you do eat animal products, go easy on the portions.
Lighten your portions and focus more on seafood and plant-based foods where you can. Remember, seafood contains omega-3s which help to fight inflammation too!
Eat Plant Based FoodsThe bulk of a healthy diet should come from fresh produce, and local is even better. Fruits are great, but please don’t go crazy with the smoothies and home-made juices. At times, these can pack way too much sugar. It’s best to eat fruit fresh and whole.
If you’re wondering what veggies and fruits to eat, go for the deep colors. That’s where you’ll find the best concentrations of antioxidants.
And make sure to eat a variety. You don’t have to eat carrots daily or spinach on a weekly basis. Rotate your foods and eat the rainbow to reap the most health benefits.
Also don’t forget about nuts and beans. They’re really good for you too.
Eat Minimally Processed FoodsThis seems like common sense, but it really isn’t. Many people will buy organic packaged foods, and think they’re eating healthy just because they got it at a health food store. This is dead wrong.
When food is processed, it removes important vitamins, minerals, and even fiber … not to mention that high temperatures may produce cancer-causing chemicals in the food.
And let’s not forget all the chemicals found in the packaged materials to begin with. Do you really want to eat your soup with a serving of BPA?
So, if you want to play it super smart, you’re way better off preparing your own meals. We know this may sound dreadful to some of you, but you don’t really have to cook up a storm. Preparing salads and basic soups are often good enough!
The Bottom LineThere’s no such thing as a perfect diet, and eating healthy can and should be simple. That being said, the tips above are a great starting point for finding your own way.
So what works best for you? Please share your take in the comments!
- FASEB J. 2010; 24:722.1.
- Effect of Green Coffee Bean Extract (GCE), High in Chlorogenic Acids, on Glucose Metabolism. To be presented at the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society, October 2011: Poster Number: 45-LB-P, Assigned Poster Category: Single Dietary Component/Gut/Lifestyle.
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