My main nutrition message for the past 7+ years has always been “Eat Real Food.” Eat whole foods. Eat food as close to the source as possible. It’s the one thing I keep coming back to as I learn more and more about nutrition, and as I counsel patients and see real life diet results.
Headlines, studies, and advertising are confusing the heck out of people. Consequently, people say “screw it” and eat what they want, or they eat according to the research and not intuition. Consequently, we have a whole generation of people eating margarine, Egg Beaters, diet drinks, and other fake foods and doing their bodies a huge disservice. It’s mind-blowing to me when I see a patient who won’t eat steak because “red meat is unhealthy,” yet in their food log I see daily Fiber 1 chocolate chip candy bars….err, excuse me – “granola” bars. Because, you know, “fiber is healthy.”
This type of eating has got to stop! This focus on health claims and nutrients as ingredients is detrimental to health.
I try to teach people to ignore the headlines, ignore health claims, and just eat food. Fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, whole grains, legumes, and nuts are all food. Once you venture down the packaged food aisles, it gets trickier, but if you just take a quick peek at the ingredients list, it’s easy.
Come take a trip with me to the grocery store.
Edible bread-like substance
Edible cottage cheese-like substance
Edible yogurt-like substance
Edible butter-like substance
Edible peanut butter-like substance
Edible ice cream-like substance
Edible snack bar-like substance
Edible cracker-like substance
Edible oat-like substance
1. Eat more foods without ingredients lists!
2. When buying packaged food, read the ingredients list. If you see ingredients that you recognize, go for it. A long list of chemicals? Skip it.