NUTRITION

When did this become so hard?

Nutrition and the food that we eat is the back bone of how our body works. For many centuries, the biggest challenge was finding enough food to eat; that meant hunting or fishing for our protein sources or it meant gathering nature-made nuts, fruits, vegetables and berries. In time we learned to grow certain foods, then likely by accident, we learned to ferment certain foods to help with prolonging their ‘shelf-life’. The introduction of spice from the Far East gave our palettes an explosion of tastes and the idea of nutrition was more about adequate food supply. In the 19th and 20th century, the idea of growing more food than you can eat became a business and a way to get nutrition to areas of the world without adequate food and the modern concept of agriculture and import/export took on a larger scale.

So fast forward to today; busy schedules and less ‘hunter-gatherer’ time to spend acquiring our food, even at the grocery store so we can now order on-line or have our grocer pre-package our food list that we pick up from the store. Many of us are now working through our lunchhours or our lunch-half hours and if we don’t take the time to set out a take to work lunch, then we may grab whatever is quick and convenient, whether it’s the fast food ‘city’ of multiple options on the corner close to work or the food cart on the street or you may decide to skip lunch altogether.

Our nutrition is OUT OF BALANCE with our body. Our food choices may be more in the direction of quick and tasty vs nutritious and healthy; this is a slippery slope. Now add to that the idea of prolonging shelf-life of packaged foods and the preservatives that entails and now we are putting artificial chemicals into our bodies that our bodies were never meant to deal with. It’s no wonder that there are so many of us with food allergies or food sensitivities; we may be doing this to ourselves!!!

Nutrition is all about balance; unless we choose foods that put us into imbalance.

There are 3 major food groups: Lipids, proteins and carbohydrates. Sounds simple doesn’t it? It’s how we balance those in our diet that makes all the difference; and how we are using those f For those of us riding to work and sitting at a desk job vs walking/biking to work and being more physically active at our jobs, the foods and calories that we take in may be quite different. It only makes sense that ‘calories in’ doesn’t always mean you spend those ‘calories out’ in a day.

LIPIDS

These are the oils and foods with ‘good fats’ in them and the basis of the Ketogenic dietary approach. Did you know your brain is 90% lipid? Did you know that every cell wall in every cell in your body is made up of 60% lipoproteins or lipid-proteins? Did you know that if you don’t eat enough lipids, you may actually have poor GI tract absorption? Did you know that eating good lipids is actually an appetite suppressant? You will get full faster and be satisfied longer! And eating good fats will help you burn your body fat! There are many cookbooks and websites with recipes so explore!!

For many, true Ketogenic is harsh at 80% lipid, 15% protein, 5% carbs. I recommend a modified ketogenic approach:

60% lipid

25% protein

15% carbs – as natural vs man-made

FUN FACTS:

Did you know the Ketogenic dietary approach is a treatment approach in childhood seizures?

Did you know the Ketogenic dietary approach is recommended to help prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s?

Did you know the Ketogenic dietary approach is recommended to patients with ‘leaky gut’ or irritable bowel?

PROTEIN

There are many sources: meat, poultry, fish are the most traditional but can be harsh on the GI tract or you may choose to avoid certain proteins for religious or personal preference reasons. However, protein comes in many ways; beans, peas, many nuts (which also contain oils) and even avocado and quinoa which is 4% protein, and 2% fat once cooked.

CARBOHYDRATES

This is the most confusing, where do you start? First know the difference between man-made and natural carbohydates.

Natural Carbs: They grow from the ground or from a tree; typically fruits and vegetables. But even

Natural carbs can have a lot of fructose (sugar) or be densely packed such as banana or

Potatoes.

Man-Made Carbs: They are processed carbohydrates; typically breads and pastas. These foods do not

Grow from the ground or from a tree (when did you last see a bread tree?). The grain

Used to make them came from the ground but then MAN MADE them into bread and

Pasta, adding gluten and sometimes even fermentation, using those sugars to make

Alcohol. These foods are the furthest from being natural and furthest from integrating

Into our biological system called our body; so we try to cut these down as much as

Possible.

SUGAR IS THE ENEMY; THE OTHER ‘WHITE POWDER’

Sugar is addictive! The more you eat, the more you want to eat. And if you try to walk away from it, you will go through a type of withdrawal that is real, YOU CRAVE IT. Realize it is mostly calories that YOU DON’T NEED.

But isn’t this energy? It’s the wrong kind of energy for your body; your body can use natural carbohydrate energy better than it will use man-made processed carbohydrate. Once you walk away from it for 3-4days, your cravings will stop and you can now walk away…YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

TURN THE FOOD PYRAMID UPSIDE DOWN

The food pyramid shows lowest amount of lipids and highest amount of carbohydrates; THIS IS ALL WRONG for today’s patient. Instead, turn the pyramid upside down: most patient do best with higher good lipids, moderate protein and lowest amount as carbohydrates. Sounds like the modified Ketogenic dietary approach, doesn’t it?

There are many variations that also fit variations of the above mix:

Whole 30

Zone

South Beach

Then of course, we need to add in the balance of the exercise that our body needs in order to burn off any extra calories that we consume in our day.

Visit choosemyplate.gov, the guidelines for 2015-2020 are listed as are the listing of foods that fit each food group.

What if I have health concerns; diabetes or atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) or high blood pressure?

Check with your doctor or health care provider before starting any dietary approach. However, you are won’t be making a bad choice if you choose BALANCE in your diet.

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