So if the government’s healthy eating guidelines don’t seem to be helping to keep people healthy, what guidelines do we follow?
I would argue that we follow what the best independent scientific research to date has to tell us.
The healthy eating guidelines that I will share here are backed by a significant body of research. Not only do we have large scale epidemiological studies but we also have an increasing amount of clinical research, as well as pioneering doctors such as Neal Barnard, John McDougall, Pam Popper, Dean Ornish and many others who are preventing and reversing or drastically improving most chronic diseases using these guidelines.
Which would you rather follow? Guidelines that create or contribute to disease – or – guidelines that support health and prevent/reverse disease?
Healthy Eating Guidelines You Can Feel Good About
1. The foundation of a healthy diet is whole, high nutrient, high calorie but low fat plant foods.
2. A large variety of non starchy vegetables need to make a prominent appearance in any healthy diet. While they do not add significant calories, they do add a tremendous amount of antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber.
3. Fresh fruit is an essential part of a healthy diet. Whole fruit provides vitamins, antioxidants and may phytonutrients as well as fiber. The natural sweetness of ripe fruit satisfies our sweet tooth very well. Fruit provides a great source of energy, digests easily and is loaded with water.
4. Nut and seeds, nut butters and fatty fruits like avocado and olives are an important source of fat in a whole food diet. The quantity of these foods should be kept low as they are high in calories and fat, and are very easy to overeat.
These 4 groups of foods form the foundation of a healthy diet, and make for very simple healthy eating guidelines. Aside from the nuts, seeds, avocado and olives, they can be eaten until you are full and satisfied. The fiber and nutritional content of these foods will trigger the feelings of satiety before you have eaten too much, and therefore the body will find it’s ideal weight.
The only way to get in trouble with these foods is by adding butter or oils to them. Fats and oils will add a tremendous amount of unnecessary calories. Oils are not whole foods and should be avoided.
Where Are Animal Foods and “Treats” Found In The Healthy Eating Guidelines?
So are we never to have treats according to these healthy eating guidelines? What about meat, eggs, dairy and CHOCOLATE?
When the diet has its basis in the above 4 groups of foods, everything else can be considered a condiment of sorts. The bulk of our calories should come from whole plant based foods, exluding extracted oils.
Animal foods such as meat and eggs can be eaten 2-3 times a week if you so desire and should be high quality such as wild fish, or free range or organic meat and eggs. (If you’re thinking “where will I get my protein?” check out this page)
Refined grains and refined sugars that make up typical candies, cakes and pastries should be thought of as occasional treats but not part of the daily diet. The bulk of the evidence points to the fact that dairy should be excluded from the diet entirely.
These healthy eating guidelines may not look like what you or your children where taught in school, or what the doctor or dietitian tells you. They are, however, proving to help people lose weight and keep it off without feeling deprived, and prevent and reverse serious chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and much more.