Friday, October 8, 2010

What is Good Real Food?

It seems like we are so concerned with fat grams or carbs or calories that we don't even think of nutrition. OK, so it's low fat and low calorie. Does that mean it's good for you? Not necessarily. What makes a food healthy is the amount of nutrients it delivers to your body.
It's a way of thinking that will take some getting used to.
There are 2 kinds of nutrients: Macro-nutrients and Micro-nutrients and our bodies need them both.
Macro-nutrients are fat, carbohydrates and proteins. Macro-nutrients are necessary, but we should limit how much of them we eat.
Micro-nutrients are vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. (Phytochemicals are plant based chemicals that have disease preventative properties, like lycopene or beta-carotene.)
For a healthy body, the goal is to increase your micro-nutrients without going overboard on calories. So you need to choose the most nutrient dense foods and limit your macro-nutrients. How do you do that? You eat vegetables and fruits! They are naturally low in calories and saturated fat and contain all kinds of good for you phytochemicals that scientists are still discovering and haven't even named yet.
If you're going to eat for maximum health, you should be eating:
* Lots of high-nutrient, healthy foods like green vegetables, berries and seeds.
* Few, if any, animal products.
* Avoid things like HFCS, sugar, white flour, artificial sweeteners and processed foods in general.
The more I learned about nutrition, the less I focused on losing weight. I became more interested in being healthy and the weight loss just came naturally.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman calls this way of eating "Nutritarian". To learn more about it and to find out which vegetables are the most nutrient dense, read his book titled "Eat For Health".

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