Many people (like my former self) obsess about finding the perfect diet. The one that will leave them healthy, energised and happy. Unfortunately there is no one “perfect diet”. We are all unique, and have different nutritional needs. Your perfect diet can only be found by listening to your body and choosing foods that make you feel good in every season of life.
That being said, rather than obsessing over calories, carbs, or fat, it is much more effective to focus on food quality. No matter what food you eat, choose the highest quality version of that food available.
Some Swiss, organic, 85% dark chocolate is going to have a much different effect on your body than a cadbury, milk chocolate bar filled with biscuit and caramel. Similarly, organic, fresh baked sourdough bread will leave you feeling much better than a loaf of generic, sliced white bread that has 30 ingredients and has been sitting on a shelf for 10 days.
Here are 5 guidelines to follow when grocery shopping:
1. Minimally processed- Choose foods that are close to the way they naturally occur. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, meats, beans, nuts and seeds. These are easier to digest and tend to be free from fake ingredients.
2. Organic- Organic produce is not sprayed with any pesticides or chemicals. There are no artificial substances added, and nothing is genetically modified. Choose organic whenever possible.
3. Contains real ingredients- If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, or aren’t sure what it is, it’s probably not a real ingredient. A perfect example is “natural flavouring”. Sounds good, but do you actually know what it is? You may be surprised to know that these natural flavourings are usually artificial additives that are highly addictive and neurologically toxic.
4. Local- Local produce is always healthier than shipped produce. Many imported foods are picked before they are ripe and are delivered weeks after. The longer fruits and vegetables have been cut off from their life source, the less nutrients they contain.
5. Seasonal- Seasonal food is higher in nutrients than food that is artificially grown out of season. Buying seasonal foods usually means the taste will be much better and your fruits and vegetables will be less expensive.
Often when shopping, your food will not check every box and that is fine! Just use these characteristics as a guide and choose the highest quality possible. You will save yourself from ingesting toxins and fake ingredients, while maximising the pleasure you experience from eating.
For more info on nutrition or for “one on one” nutritional coaching email Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org
CFS Health – Heather Tupps