What is nutrition?
Is it calories? Carbs? Fats? Proteins?
Which diet will lead you to optimal nutrition?
So many questions and so many opinions on nutrition make it very confusing. It also makes it very difficult to know where to start and how to stay on track. As a professional dieter, I can tell you where I am on this subject.
I have been a many diets. One year, I even lost 80lbs! Unfortunately, I wasn't much healthier than when I was 80lbs heavier. My diet consisted of lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Sounds good, right? But, even moreso, it consisted of 100 calorie packs of processed food, small cups of sugar-laden yogurts,gelatin and pudding cups. Healthy? I don't think so. Not anymore.
This is what I recommend to my clients:
Eat REAL food. Real food is food you recognize and can pronounce. It is whole and unprocessed. There is no ingredient list.
Eat organic and non-GMO as much as you can. Organic ensures no pesticides or herbicides will be in your food AND it will be non-GMO. It also means your food was grown in healthy soil.
If you cannot afford organic but still want to eat right, I HIGHLY recommend reading this fantastic blog post by All the Nourishing Things What if I can't afford organic food?
Eat fat. Good fat.
Did you know your brain is the fattiest organ you have? It is approximately 60% fat. Fat in our diet is very necessary. Fats help to carry, absorb and store fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. Fat also helps to regulate body temperature and cushions organs from injury.
The good fat in your brain matter creates ALL the cell membranes in your body. If bad fats are used, then the nerve cell membranes will not be top quality.
Omega 3 fatty acids are good for your brain. They help with concentration, focus and clarity. They are also good for your heart. Omega 3s protect against abnormal heart rhythms, may decrease the risk of heart attacks and strokes and may also provide protection by enhancing the stability of heart cells and increasing their resistance to becoming overexcited.
Which fats should you eat? Eat full-fat dairy from pasture-raised cows, preferably raw or fermented. Raw milk contains many components that kill pathogens and strengthen the immune system. To read about the benefits of raw milk, go to Real Milk. I buy raw milk from a local creamery and it tastes better than pasteurized milk.
Eat animal fats such as lard, tallow, egg yolks, cream and butter liberally. Use only traditional vegetable oils—extra virgin olive oil, expeller-expressed sesame oil, small amounts of expeller-expressed flax oil, and the tropical oils—coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil.
Eat meat. Eat pasture-raised meat whenever you can. Eat organ meats. Find ways to hide them in your food if necessary. The benefits far outweigh the grossness. Eat wild-caught fish, fish eggs and shellfish. Never eat farm-raised fish.
Eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables. The more colors you eat, the wider variety of nutrients you will get.
For a more in-depth overview of dietary guidelines, I HIGHLY recommend the Weston A. Price Foundation. They teach the importance of eating the way our ancestors ate. It is real, down-to-earth teaching on what to eat as well as how to properly prepare your food in order for your body to receive the maximum amount of nutrition.
At the end of the day, eating real food instead of chemicals and preservatives will bring you so much closer to optimal health. You will feel better, think better, have energy and live a long, productive life. It is worth the effort!
Nienhiser, Jill. “Dietary Guidelines.” The Weston A. Price Foundation, 1 Jan. 2000, https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/dietary-guidelines/.
“Real Food Defined (The Rules).” 100 Days of Real Food, 25 Sept. 2019, https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/real-food-defined-a-k-a-the-rules/.
Reynolds, Susan. “The Skinny on Brain Fats.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 22 Sept. 2011, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prime-your-gray-cells/201109/the-skinny-brain-fats.