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Ranking The Healthiest Food Groups

When looking at the top sources of calories consumed by the average American, we get: #1 Desserts. #2 Breads. #3 Chicken. #4 Soda. and #5 Pizza [1]. Ladies and gentlemen, the Standard American Diet. After seeing this list, it made me wonder, what are the healthiest foods? If we were to gauge the healthiness of foods based on their protective effects against chronic disease, their nutrition label, and their complete nutrient profile, what foods groups would rise to the top? And what food groups should be our top sources of calories? Well, let’s get into it! First, I wanted to look at the associations between food groups and the risk of diet-related chronic disease (DRCD). And for this, I found a fascinating study, of studies, of studies. That’s a mouthful. So, a meta-analysis or systematic review is a study of many studies. It’s an effective… Read More

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Is It Worth Buying Organic Food?

Organic food costs about 10% more than conventional food [1]. On top of this, the European Union Council Regulation doesn’t include any mention of organic foods having a higher nutritional quality or healthiness compared to conventional food. And despite this, many consumers still perceive organic food to be healthier than conventional food and are willing pay a premium. Now there is some evidence of decreased pesticide residues on organic food but even the significance of these differences is questionable because actual levels of contamination in organic and conventional foods are well below acceptable limits [2]. So, does eating organic have any benefits? Is its nutritional quality the same as conventional foods? Do the miniscule amounts of pesticides not matter at all? And are there even potential downsides of eating organic that you want… Read More

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Optimal Time Restricted Eating Window

Remember when I detailed one of the simplest, cheapest, easiest to implement strategies for body composition improvement and longevity? Over a year and a half ago I asked you, Are You Restricting Your Eating Window? Since then, lots of new studies have come out that I’m excited to share. Not only about fat loss, metabolic health, and inflammation but also regarding the optimal protocol that should be used. How long or short should your fasting window be? And does it matter what part of the day your fasting vs feeding window is in? What about the caloric distribution within that range? What is the optimal guideline and how has my meal timing changed over the past year and a half? Well, let’s get into it! Your eating window can be calculated by the determining the hours between your first caloric intake of the day and your last caloric intake of the… Read More

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The Perfect Dinner

Around 9 months ago, I detailed The Perfect Breakfast which consisted of a Blueberry, Steel-cut Oatmeal accompanied by a Dark Cherry, Banana smoothie. I still eat that same oatmeal every day with a smoothie that I mix up depending on what fruits are in season and I love it. I followed that post up with The Perfect Lunch a few months after that where I outlined the wombo combo of a salad, soup, and side of fruit. Specifically, I detailed recipes for a Mango Greens Salad, Mushroom Leek Soup, and an apple for a terrific mid-day meal. While I vary my salads, soups, and fruits every month or so, I still find myself returning to those same recipes. And today, I’m going to detail the final meal of the day dinner. Since we’ve eaten so many healthy foods at breakfast and lunch already, this is going to provide us with a ton of flexibility and options for… Read More

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Optimal Protein Intake for Health and Performance

Talkin’ bouttttt… protein. Protein! So, back in the 1980’s the government and processed food industry vilified fat intake in the standard American diet. Fat consumption should be drastically reduced to improve our overall health they said. And, so we responded by eating more carbohydrates and added sugar becoming fatter, unhealthier, and mode addicted than we were before. Since then, in the early 2000’s, the government and processed food industry has responded by vilifying carbohydrates and sugar intake in the standard American diet. Carbs and sugar consumption should be drastically reduced to improve our overall health they said. And, so we responded by focusing on protein and thus becoming fatter, unhealthier, and more addicted than we were ever before. But the vilification of protein hasn’t happened as profoundly yet… Read More

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Should You Be Gluten-Free?

It turns out that 10-20% of the U.S. population is now sensitive to gluten. This is causing a rapid rise in people going gluten-free and feeling better as a result. But gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. And it’s also found in any products containing wheat, barely, and rye like bread, crackers, cookies, muffins, pancakes, and beer. And most people aren’t consuming raw wheat, barley, and rye in their whole grain form. They’re consuming these highly processed gluten-containing foods which we know without a doubt, are extremely unhealthy. So, by going gluten-free you’re likely reducing your intake of processed foods which can obviously make you feel better and healthier. But the more time you spend gluten-free, the more you learn that there are gluten-free cookies, gluten-free pancakes, and gluten-free beer. And as you… Read More

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Read a Nutrition Label Like a Dietician

What I’m about to say may seem hard to believe but it’s true. A study was recently published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior where they quizzed participants on the meaning of the food labels “BEST If Used By” and “USE By.” Despite the participants feeling confident that they understand the food label meanings, only 46% of participants knew the correct meaning of “BEST If Used By” and just 24% knew the correct meaning of “USE By.” And if that wasn’t enough, the study then educated the participants on the food label meaning and quizzed them again… Only to find that nearly half of participants still didn’t understand the correct meanings. And this got me thinking, if those two labels can be so easily misunderstood then understanding a full nutrition label must seem like rocket science. I mean let’s look at these two food … Read More

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30 Years Without Alcohol… Why?

Hello friends. I’m 29½ years old and I’ve never consumed alcohol. I’m assuming my mom didn’t consume alcohol either while I was in the womb for 9 months putting me over 30 years without alcohol. At least I think my mom didn’t drink while she was pregnant with me. Mom? You didn’t drink while you were pregnant with me, right? Mom?! No, I trust her. She wouldn’t do that with her favorite child. Maybe with my sisters but not me. Anyways, I thought it’d be useful to detail why I’ve never consumed alcohol, what is moderate alcohol consumption, how does it affect not only our health but our happiness, and what it’s like living alcohol-free in a world that can revolve around drinking. We have a lot to cover. Let’s get into it! I was raised in an alcohol-free house. I’ve never seen my dad consume alcohol and I’ve only seen my mom consume it about five times… Read More

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The Perfect Lunch

A few months ago, I outlined The Perfect Breakfast which is a fantastic way to start your day with whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices. And not only was the blueberry oatmeal dish I outlined delicious, but in case you didn’t enjoy it, I also put out a recent post on how you can start enjoying these healthy whole foods too. So, this week I’m covering the next meal of the day. Lunch. And there’s a lot I’m going to cover in this post as lunch is a terrific opportunity to load up on veggies, beans, and other food groups to ensure we meet the optimal micro and macro nutrients for the day. And I have some unique tips you won’t want to miss. So, let’s get into it! The main dish at lunch that I recommend is a salad. It’s our best opportunity to load up on raw cruciferous vegetables, greens, alliums, seeds, and sea vegetables. We should think of… Read More

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How to Like Healthy Food… Even Vegetables

If I asked the average person to try my daily oatmeal bowl, salad dish, cup of soup or even my black bean brownie, most of them wouldn’t immediately fall in love with it. They’d much rather stick to their processed cereals, oil dressed salads, heavily salted soups and sugar laced brownies. And when I say, “much rather,” I mean they’d cling to their current favorite foods as if their life would be over without them. Honestly, it’s a little disturbing once you understand the science behind it. But for those who’ve adopted a whole foods plant-based diet, these same healthy meals that processed food lovers dislike, are thoroughly enjoyable. So, why is it that healthy people enjoy healthy foods more than the average American? Why is it that so many people seem to be nearly addicted to these highly processed foods? And how can you not only like healthy… Read More

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