Your diet is either helping or hurting you!
Your diet or nutrition is an integral part of how your body functions. What you put in your mouth daily is either helping or hurting your body. The typical American diet is full of refined and processed foods such as white bread and high fructose corn syrup to name a couple. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or a working professional, it does not matter your diet is working for or against you depending on what you’re eating. If you had or have a high-performance sports car would you put crappy gasoline in it that would make it run less than it’s capable? No probably not so then why would you do the same to your own body? Your diet can affect everything from blood pressure, mental clarity, sleep patterns and energy levels. If you aren’t a label reader of the foods you buy in the store, then my advice to you is start reading them! At first this can be a chore becoming educated on what ingredients to avoid. Once you become educated, you will find it quite easy to pick out what you should and should not be eating.
Foods To Avoid
- Processed refined carbohydrates such as white bread are a definite do not eat. They provide very little nutritional value and are almost always high glycemic which you typically want to avoid high glycemic foods.
- Sugar is something your body can simply do without. There is ample research showing the negative effect sugar has on your body. It is nothing but empty calories and contributes to a range of health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and increased risk for heart disease.
- Saturated fat is another food you want to avoid. Saturated fat is mostly found in animal protein such as a rib-eye and many dairy products. Saturated fat can also lead to an increase in heart disease such as high cholesterol and hardening of your arteries. recently you might have seen that coconut oil has been deemed unhealthy for you because of it’s high saturated fat content. This is true as coconut oil is high in saturated fat but the difference being it’s chemical make up is off a medium chain triglyceride. This in simple terms means your body won’t break it down like a regular saturated fat. Because it is a medium chain triglyceride your body will break it down as a source of energy and will not store it like a regular saturated fat. This is a simple explanation and I am basically saying coconut oil is OK for you to consume.
- Salt should be consumed sparingly. Many processed foods are loaded with salt which is another reason to avoid them all together. I would recommend the salt that you do consume be either Kosher, Himalayan or sea salt but still in moderation.
Foods To Include
- Whole foods should be all of your diet. I am talking about fruits, vegetables and whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. There are a few quality breads out there such as Ezequiel brand that are acceptable breads to eat. If you can’t do without bread then I would make sure the first ingredient on the label says whole wheat and preferably a sprouted wheat.
- Water should be consumed adequately and on a daily basis. I cannot stress how important drinking water and being properly hydrated is to your body. Our bodies are made up of over 80% water so if your are dehydrated then it will affect you in a range of negative ways. I have had numerous clients tell me over the years how much better they feel once they start drinking the right amount of water from increased energy levels, greater mental clarity and less overall aches and pains in their body.
- Leans cuts of protein such as fish and chicken. If you are a vegetarian or vegan protein sources such as tempeh, beans and brown rice will work.
Everyone’s Diet is Different
The diet of a marathon runner will obviously be different than the diet of a professional that works in an office environment. Everyone has their unique nutritional needs based on their goals and how they wish to perform and feel. These are just a few guidelines to start with that will help you incorporate a more healthy diet into your lifestyle if you aren’t already. I have had numerous clients tell me how much better they felt when on the proper diet and water intake.