Eating Real Foods

Eating Real Foods

Healthy food background, salmon fish, spinach, quinoa, apple, blueberry, asparagus, turmeric, red currant, broccoli, mung bean, walnuts, grapefruit, ginger, avocado, almond, and green peas, top view

By: Nely Ward

Most of you following this blog are interested in running, racing, endurance sports and/ or living happier and healthier life. Nutrition is a huge component of all of these, and with so much information out there with regards to nutrition and health, we want to use this “Eating Real” section of the newsletter to help provide real information that you can use right away.

I believe that there is no ideal diet or agenda that will work for everyone, but do believe that choosing the healthiest and best options out there. Topics will vary in subject each month from eating seasonally, how to choose best meats, what it means to be organic, and effects of alcohol on your healthy lifestyle. Each week will be different and if the topic does not apply to you at this point in time, this will be a source of information that you can come back to on a later date.

To kick this off we are going to start with common misconceptions about food that are misleading. Knowing these few items are myths will help you make better decision in the grocery store:

  1. The Fewer Carbs, the Healthier You Are or Carbohydrates Make You Fat
    1. Choosing the healthiest carbohydrates, especially grains, helps maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eating Whole Grains are part of a healthy diet that decrease the risk of chronic disease. Be sure to be choosing Whole Grains over Multigrain. The Multigrain include more processed flours to avoid for an overall healthier diet.
  2. It is “natural” so it must be healthy
    1. A product that is natural means that is wasn’t made with artificial ingredients (definitely a plus) but don’t forget that sugar, white flour, and high fructose corn syrup are all “natural” ingredients but also highly refined.
  3. Avoid eggs because of their Cholesterol Content
    1. Over the past decade eggs have gotten a bad rap, when really eggs are an inexpensive source of many nutrients. These nutrients vitamin D, zinc & iron, antioxidants, and brain boosting chemical choline. While you should not overdo it on eggs, 1 whole egg or 2 eggs whites a day is part of a healthy diet. To keep cholesterol in check you need to monitor your intake of Saturated Fats.
  4. Margarine is better than Butter
    1. In the wise words of Michael Pollan (Author of Food Rules) “Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not”
  5. Packaging of food that claim to “Lower My Cholesterol” is the best choice
    1. Don’t believe the misleading claims on the front of packaging. Trust ingredients!
  6. It is a good Idea to Follow the Food Trends
    1. Let’s stick to eating real foods that have been working for centuries. If your grandparents did not recognize it as food, you probably should not eat it.
  7. Nuts are Bad
    1. Nuts are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients, just keep the portion size small.
  8. You will Sleep Better After and Evening Cocktail
    1. Many people choose alcohol for alleged sleep benefits. However, drinking before bed can increase your wakefulness and disrupt sleep.