Never in the history of mankind has there been a group of five words that has such a tremendously vast variety of meanings as…
“I have a healthy diet.”
I’ve been in the health and nutrition field for 34 years and I’ve seen it ALL when it comes to what people think is a healthy diet!
Here are several traps to watch out for:
A _______ -free diet
Sometimes eliminating a food from your diet is necessary (such as if you’re gluten sensitive and on a gluten-free diet).
But there are two concerns when it comes to most other “ _______ -free” diets:
- What you may be missing by not eating the food and
- What you are eating in its place instead
In the first case, if you omit a food from your diet, you are also omitting the unique nutrients found in that food…and that can have serious health consequences. When you’re lacking in ANY nutrient, your body will suffer.
As far as what you are eating instead: If you’re on a fat-free diet, for example, you are taking in boatloads of sugar because food companies replace the missing fat in fat-free foods with sugar—otherwise you’d probably spit it out.
In addition to weight gain, sugar creates inflammation, feeds cancer, disrupts your gut flora balance, and increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Sugar-free is no better. Sugar-free products contain artificial sweeteners…which can be as harmful to your health as the sugar!
A high- ________ diet
This is when you have a high concentration of a certain food in your diet, such as high-protein or high-carb.
The dangers here are:
- What aren’t you getting in your diet because you’re eating so much of XYZ food and
- Eating too much of a food can be harmful
For example, some very high-protein diets restrict carbohydrate intake SO much that they can cause nutritional deficiencies or insufficient fiber intake—which can lead to chronic constipation and diverticulitis.
On the flip side, a high-carb diet can turn you into a pasta/bread/rice-eating machine, which all turn to sugar upon digestion.
What the TV says is healthy
Food companies have huge advertising budgets to create commercials that convince you that their products are good for you. This is especially true when it comes to foods like yogurt, breakfast cereals, and margarine.
Words like “all natural,” “trans-fat-free,” and “high fiber” are used to conjure up healthy images in your mind, but don’t be fooled.
Yogurt may be all natural, but when it’s laced with sugars and sweetened fruits, it’s basically a dessert.
Margarine may be trans-fat-free, but they are made with heated polyunsaturated oils, which form compounds that are just as harmful as trans-fats.
And although breakfast cereals may contain (small) amounts of fiber, they’re also loaded with sugar and are anything but healthy.
REAL healthy foods need no advertising. That’s why you’ll never see a commercial for romaine lettuce, organic chicken, extra virgin olive oil, roasted beets or fresh strawberries.
When you want to know what is healthy, don’t listen to the TV—listen to experts like me.
So many people are constantly “doing the math” to see if they’ve stayed within their calorie limits today.
But all calories are not created equal! What matters FAR more is the nutrition value of what you’re eating.
For example, you can eat 300 calories of chocolate or 300 calories of chicken. The chicken will nourish you and help you stay full.
The chocolate? It will add to your blubber pile, and since it does not nourish you, you will be hungry again in a little while and looking for something else to eat.
You can count calories until the cows come home, but if you’re not getting nourished, it’s just a useless number—and you’re likely walking around hungry 24/7.
It’s healthy if it will help me lose weight
It depends on what you’re talking about.
If you’re referring to real foods like meats, vegetables, fresh fruits and healthy fats, then you’re correct. Eating real foods means you inherently take in fewer calories and are better nourished, and that usually means weight loss.
But if you’re attempting to call weight loss crap like SlimFast or Weight Watcher’s Dark Chocolate Red Velvet Bites healthy, don’t even go there with me.
So what IS a healthy diet?
Simply put, at least 80 percent of what you eat should be real foods.
Real foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and poultry (preferably organic), fish (wild-caught), whole grains, dairy, eggs and good fats (like olive oil and real butter).
When you eat real foods, your body gets better nourished, and when you’re properly nourished, these things can be your reality:
- You’ll naturally get full faster, eat less overall, and stay full longer (which can make weight problems a thing of the past).
- You’ll have more consistent energy throughout the day and won’t be tempted to indulge in unhealthy pick-me-ups like soda, chips or candy.
- All of your body’s systems will be able to work the way they’re supposed to, which makes you a much less likely home for a disease to flourish.
Now that’s what I call healthy.
Recover from unhealthy diet abuse!
If you’ve fallen for any of the diet traps I mentioned above, it’s also essential to help your body recover from “unhealthy diet abuse”—especially in the area of your gut flora!
Sugars, preservatives, and artificial ingredients all take a toll on your microbiome, and without a strong population of these good guys, you are lacking in immune protection (and also likely loaded with gas, bloating and constipation).
But a top-shelf multi-strain probiotic supplement like Super Shield can help turn that around for you and restore a healthier flora balance.
Start reaping the health benefits of a truly healthy diet (and gut) today.