Never in the history of time have people been more confused about nutrition and food.
At least that’s what a recent article in the NY Times suggests.
In “Is Sushi 'Healthy'? What about Granola? Where Americans and Nutritionists Disagree” we are shown just how wide the gap is between what current health experts consider healthy vs. what the general American public considers a healthy choice.
Among the greatest disparity were foods like granola, orange juice, and frozen yogurt, all questionable by nutritionists, but considered all good foods by the public.
On the other end of the spectrum were foods that got a big thumbs up by nutritionists, but not so much by Americans.
Foods like quinoa, tofu, sushi and hummus all got a good score by the health professionals where the general public was unsure.
The article goes on to explain the reasons behind the difference in opinion.
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Then there are those foods that experts and the public have mixed feelings about (as if nutrition wasn’t already confusing). Foods like popcorn, whole milk and steak were all “on the fence”. Should they be considered unhealthy because of their fat content or healthy because of their protein content? Again, lots of different opinions here.
Two lists of foods that were a lot more straight forward (and I’m sure you’ll agree with) were the groups of foods that both experts and the public considered healthy and unhealthy.
Apples, oranges, oatmeal, and chicken all got the “healthy” seal of approval by everyone while hamburgers, diet soda, white bread and chocolate chip cookies all got the unhealthy stamp.
With all of this seemingly confusing data, what food should you be eating?
And what “rules” should you be following when choosing your daily eating plan?
This may come as a surprise, but “common sense rules” is really your best approach.
Without giving you any firm rules to follow, instead use the 5 guidelines below as just that…a guide to a healthier approach to your eating and food choices
1. Ditch the process: Focus the majority of your foods from unprocessed sources. Yup, you guessed it, lots of fruits and veggies, naturally raised meats and poultry, whole eggs, and unprocessed grains. Focus on the foods that have not been altered in any way. Keep processed foods to a minimum (kind of makes sense). Foods like bread, chips, cereals, crackers, and cookies should be kept to the very occasional meal.
2. Fall in love with cooking: No, you don’t need to transform yourself into a gourmet chef, but cooking most of your own meals will help you to easily avoid many of the processed ingredients in already prepared and packaged foods. Need a little help in the kitchen? Check out our Beyond Diet cooking class series.
3. Season your life with salt: Use salt to taste, but never the processed, refined white kind you find in most salt shakers. As a general rule I tell people to make sure the salt they buy has a “color” preferably pink or gray which usually means it has not gone through much processing at all.
4. Make water your number one beverage: If you’re drinking more sodas in a day than you’re drinking glasses of water, that will be detrimental to your health quickly. If you’re consuming more cups of coffee than water, you will find yourself quickly dehydrated and jittery. If you’re drinking more alcoholic beverages in one day than water, well, that will leave you with a long list of problems…longer than this one article can cover.
5. Lead to health: Do not consider food “good” or “bad” but instead think of it on a spectrum from “leading to health” or “leading away from health.” This means you can even indulge in those foods that are leading away from health every once in a while, as long as the ones leading you to health greatly outweigh those occasional seemingly bad choices.
»Watch my most popular Food Review on Snack Bars and Granola to know if you're eating the right foods that lead TO your health instead of AWAY from your health:
Over the years I have seen more than 800,000 people transform their life with the Beyond Diet lifestyle. They're not confined to one type of food or sent to the gym 5 times a week. They're given guidelines, meal plans, shopping lists, and all the information they need to know in order to make the right, healthy decisions themselves. Use the guidelines above to ensure YOU make the best decisions for your health and weight loss goals.
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