When one scours the internet, there is perhaps not a single food that everyone agrees on. A typical representative of the changing opinions of the professional and lay public is the egg - once demonized and now praised by some as a superfood. Meanwhile, the poor egg has not changed its cholesterol content.
On the one hand, we have carnivores who have nothing but meat as the basis of their diet. Quality steak, eggs, vegetables (be careful not the sweet kind). At the other end we have the vitarians who eat only fruits and vegetables that are not cooked. All dietary guidelines boast positive health outcomes. How is this possible?
And what am I supposed to eat when all these opinions are so different?
Let's try not to look for differences instead see what the nutritionist, the nutrition guru and the professional public agree on.
That might help us when choosing "what to put in the shopping cart", don't you think?
1. CARE ABOUT QUALITY
My first Food Science lecture began with these words from the Associate Professor: "Now, go eat, because after you hear from me, you won't be eating it."
That's right, the food industry has gone a little awry and chosen quantity (both of products and of their own profit) as their primary goal instead of quality.
Quality, on the other hand, is what the new dietary guidelines are talking about. And it doesn't matter if it's a Paleo dieter enjoying a steak or a vitarian with a pear from the farmer in the next village. When you buy a new car, you'll be caring for it and cuddling it. You'll buy quality oil and maybe pay extra for better gas with additives. The car will be happy to pay you back, it won't clog and it will run like clockwork.
It's the same with food. You want your body to run like clockwork? Then you need to look for quality food. Quality food is easy to know:
- you know what it is.
- you know what it's made of
- ideally, you know who made it and how.
When you read the label you will know all the ingredients, with the number of ingredients being minimal. Can't pronounce the name of the ingredient? Don't buy it.
Maybe this article will help you: Labels... to read or not to read?
2. EAT MORE VEGETABLES
Everyone also talks about the need to increase the proportion of vegetables on our plates. It depends on the dietary direction you choose, whether it's cooked or raw, whether it's all vegetables or just certain types. Because vegetables equal nutrients, fiber and also reducing the acidic content of our digestive system.
3. BUY LOCAL PRODUCTS
The same docent once asked us: "You will have an apple from the store. It will be beautiful, red, regular in shape. Next to it will be an apple you found on a dirt road. It will be quite conical, maybe a little wrinkled, and a worm will crawl out of it. Which will you choose?"
The answer is obvious, but the docent's words say it best, "And you think the worm is a complete moron?"
4. BUY SEASONAL PRODUCE
Seasonal foods go hand in hand with local producers, of course. Strawberries in December are perhaps only managed by Marushka from 12 months old in our latitude.
It's natural and traditional that we don't have all fresh fruit on the table throughout the calendar year. The naturally occurring sugar in fruit indicates to our body that it is summer, i.e. a time of abundance. In order to survive the winter successfully, we need to harvest and store this energy in our fat tissue - this is to get us through the winter in peace. Nowadays we have an abundance of sugars across the year. The body is therefore constantly informed that it is summer and therefore - see point 5.
5. SUGAR AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE
Sugar, that white powder, is a highly industrialised food that we enjoy very much. Perhaps it is because in nature, what is sweet is edible. It also gives us quick energy. It's just... in biology, everything is only good "from - to", and with sugar, we've kind of missed that line. Too much sugar over the long term will tire out the insulin-secreting pancreas, which is in charge of making sure the sugar is used by the cells. Too much sugar the body starts to store in fat for a worse time, which we can see in increasing body weight across all ages.
Try incorporating these 5 points into your shopping routine. You might be pleasantly surprised to find new products or suppliers. And if you're not sure which way to go after all, check out how different Nutrition Counseling can look or let's make a discovery call.