In plain language, base your diet on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and limit sugar intake. That’s about as simple as we can get. Many have observed that keeping your grocery cart to the perimeter of the grocery store while avoiding the aisles is a great way to protect your health. Food is perishable. The stuff with long shelf life is all suspect. If you follow these simple guidelines you will benefit from nearly all that can be achieved through nutrition.
Protein should be lean and varied and account for about 30% of your total caloric intake.
1 g protein = 4 calories
Carbohydrates should be predominantly low-glycemic and account for about 40% of your total caloric intake.
1 g carbs = 4 calories
Fat should be predominantly monounsaturated and account for about 30% of your total caloric intake.
1 g fat = 9 calories
Calories should be set at between 0.7 and 1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass depending on your activity level. The 0.7 figure is for moderate daily workout loads and the 1.0 figure is for the more active athlete.
The Caveman or Paleolithic Model for Nutrition
Modern diets are ill suited for our genetic composition. Evolution has not kept pace with advances in agriculture and food processing resulting in a plague of health problems for modern man. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and psychological dysfunction have all been scientifically linked to a diet too high in refined or processed carbohydrate. Google for Paleo nutrition. The return is extensive, compelling, and fascinating.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Excessive consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates is the primary culprit in nutritionally caused health problems. High glycemic carbohydrates are those that raise blood sugar quickly. They include white rice, non-multigrain bread, candy, potato, sweets, soda/sugary beverages, and most processed carbohydrates (think chips, crackers, cookies, etc). Processing of carbohydrates greatly increases their glycemic index, a measure of their propensity to elevate blood sugar.
What is the Problem with High-Glycemic Carbohydrates?
The problem with high-glycemic carbohydrates is that they give an excessive insulin response. Insulin is an essential hormone for life, yet acute, chronic elevation of insulin leads to hyperinsulinism, which has been linked to obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood dysfunction and a Pandora’s box of disease and disability.