How do you make healthy food choices? There are more than enough resources available to further your knowledge on a “scientific level”, but that information might not give you any answers. My tips and strategies are based on years of reading, learning, doing and experimenting.
Stick to lean cuts of meat, cut all the fat off the meat, and remove the skin from poultry prior to cooking and double the amount of vegetables you eat. For starch, eat whole grain brown rice or other higher protein grains like quinoia and bulgar. Have lentils and beans like kidney, black turtle, chick peas and Romano. If you eat bread, limit your intake and choose whole grain and/or stone-cut whole grain dark breads. The German-style breads are an example of a healthier choice and more cities have local bakeries that produce whole grain, organic breads. The culprit, when it comes to breads, is over-processed white flour. White flour has had all of the healthy core removed, including all its nutrients and grain. The flour is also so finely processed that it digests in the gut and converts to sugar in the blood stream more quickly than sugar, resulting in an insulin spike and fat gain! (For more on why sugar is bad for you, see my previous article, “Top Nutrition Tip #1: Dump Soda Pop – The Hidden Sugar Menace“)
Throw away the butter and margarine. Use extra virgin olive oil for cooking.
If you need more background take a look at the recommended resources section at the end of this article for further reading. You may also wish to consult with a qualified nutritionist.
Choose lean, white meats like chicken breast, turkey breast, flank steak (or other lean cuts), pork tenderloin, tuna (canned in water), salmon (canned), fresh white fish, lean sandwich meat (minimally processed turkey or chicken).
Milk & Eggs
Choose free range or organic eggs, organic plain yogurt, 1-2% cottage cheese, 1-2% milk or skim milk, plain soy milk, plain rice milk.
Fruits, Berries & Melons
Apples, bananas, grapefruit, oranges, nectarines, blueberries, strawberries, mixed frozen berries, pears, melons. If it’s not named here, eat it!
Green onions, red peppers, sweet potatoes, potatoes, frozen vegetables, tomatoes, avocado, broccoli, spinach, carrots, bok choy, celery, romaine, mesculn mix, red leaf lettuce, zucchini, Brussels sprouts. This is by no means an exhaustive list. For even more variety check out you local farmer’s market.
Whole grain brown rice, whole grain breads (organic or German style), slow cook plain oatmeal, Red River Cereal.
Nuts & Seeds
All-natural organic peanut butter, almond butter, nuts, seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc.)
Protein & Meal Replacement Drinks
I recommend using USANA Health Sciences Macro-Optimizer Meal Replacement drinks and bars. These products contain low-glycemic carbohydrates, the good fats and healthy proteins. These products have been clinically and independently tested and are certified low-glycemic (this is especially important if you are diabetic. See the ‘Resources’ section at the end of this article on where to purchase the USANA products.
Extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, safflower, canola, flax oil, mixed flax oil blend.
Staples (to add flavour and zest to your meal)
Pesto, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, honey, fresh ginger, hot sauce, mustard, onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar, pickles, yogurt, fresh herbs & spices, lemons, limes, ajvar
Organic or Non-Organic?
This is a personal choice and may depend on the cost and availability of organic items. One of the greatest benefits of organic food is the reduced use or absence of chemicals used in the growing process. Organic meats are usually free of growth hormones and the taste is outstanding.
USANA Health Sciences Macro-Optimizer Meal Replacement drinks and bars (Please contact me directly on how to get a 25% discount, or mention my name/ID# 2089038 when ordering).
© 2012 Darren Stehle. All Rights Reserved.