It seems like every time you bring up the topic of nutrition, there is some fancy cure-all diet that promises to heal all that ails you. Whether it is the Zone Diet, Atkins Diet, Paleo, Primal or Vegan, nutrition seems to get more complicated with every new year! Certainly calories do matter-and if you have specific performance goals, you will likely need to pay more attention to the amount of protein, fat or carbs that you eat.
But what about the rest of us? Those of us that want to be healthy enough to do the things we love but aren’t trying out for the next Olympic Pentathlon Team? I find it is easier to get into the details of nutrition after you have a grasp of the basics. For me, those basics start with Eating Clean.
Here is my basic list for Clean Eating and how I will be using the phrase in future discussions:
1. Avoid bagged or boxed foods-especially those with ingredients that you can’t pronounce. If you must by a processed products, just make sure the ingredient list is only whole foods. For example, the Millet Bread that I buy is made by Deland Bakery and the ingredients are Millet Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Water, Sea Salt and Yeast. If the list have more than 5-6 ingredients, you might be getting in trouble,
2. Choose meats, poultry and fish that have been fed diets appropriate for their well being-grass fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, wild caught fish. If possible, avoid protein from animals, poultry or fish who have been fed meals made from corn or soy. Most corn and soy used in the US have been genetically modified (are GMO foods),
3. Choose fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. Select those that are organic and locally grown when possible,
4. Reduce or eliminate refined sugar,
5. Avoid all sugar substitutes. Instead sweeten with Coconut Palm Sugar, Honey or Stevia,
6. Avoid or reduce intake of genetically modified foods or those foods made from genetically modified ingredients. The top of the GMO food list includes soy, corn and canola. While wheat is not genetically modified, years ago wheat was been hybridized to increase yield. Some research indicates this modification may have raised the glycemic index of wheat. The increase in the glycemic index may be problematic for some people.
7. Drink water. As a very general guideline, men should aim for 13 cups and women for 9 cups of water per day,
If you simply shop the perimeter of your grocery store (by-passing the sweet bakes goods) and skip the aisles, you will be well on your way to Clean Eating 101.