How does one decide which approach to healthy nutrition they should adopt?
Some swear by a vegan or vegetarian approach to promote overall health.
Others are convinced that a carnivore approach is necessary to preserve and grow muscle.
Intermittent fasting is another approach while others eat every 3-4 hours throughout the entire day.
How about low fat, high fat, low carb, high carb or high protein?
Some promote eating food as soon as you wake up, while others are convinced you should skip the first meal of the day.
Unfortunately, scientific studies provide no conclusive evidence to suggest one specific approach is the best for everyone.
Nutrition confusion is a reality for most Americans!
One way to approach nutrition is to consider the similarities between all the nutrition approaches and focus your energy on the 95% of what we can all agree on.
Focus on these back-to-basics foundational nutrition principles and the other details will not be as critical to your overall health:
No one can argue the benefits of increasing your vegetable intake. You’ll increase your intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber while consuming satiating, low-calorie foods that are nutrient dense. Try to eat vegetables at every meal.
Increase water intake
The average American would benefit tremendously by increasing water intake to provide proper hydrations for all cells, tissues, and organs to assure optimal functioning. Focus on drinking half your ideal body weight in ounces of water per day.
Reduce processed foods
No nutritional approach suggests that processed foods are healthier than clean eating. If there is a lengthy list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce that should be a red flag.
Practice portion control
Our supersize society is causing major havoc on our health. Learning what actual suggested portion sizes are can be very helpful. Eating slower and stopping before we get really full could help slow down our obesity epidemic. Sometimes you don’t need to change what you’re eating as much as how much you are eating.
Eat local and organic
Everyone can agree that the quality of food is greater if you eat food that is grown right here in our area versus being shipped across continents over weeks and months in unpredictable conditions. Likewise, food that is as pure as possible is healthier than food exposed to chemicals, anti-bodies, and hormones. If you choose to eat animal products, it’s better to eat meat/dairy from animals that have been fed naturally and allowed to roam vs being caged in inhumane conditions.
Plan and prep
When you are not prepared and go for extended periods of time without eating nutrition foods, you will make poor choices. So, a healthy nutrition plan will involve an organized approach to assure you create a lifestyle that promotes success. This will include intentional grocery shopping and meal prepping so you have healthy options always easily accessible.
Our bodies are all different so there is not one nutrition plan that will work for every person. When it comes to meat, dairy, starchy carbs and meal timing, opinions differ. So, how do we proceed? We must focus on the 95% of what we agree on and make personal choices about the other items.
Whichever approach you choose, my hopes are that it brings you optimal health, increased energy, strength, and vitality!
Yours in health & fitness,