What are healthy foods? There is a lot of confusion about which foods are healthy or not. When I do my initial consultation with clients I ask them what they eat and quite often people will tell me that they eat ‘healthy.’ When I dig a little deeper for specifics about what they think is healthy I find that what they are actually eating is not all that healthy after all.
It definitely is a bit of a tricky question because every BODY is different and it depends on a myriad of issues such as what ailment, dis-ease, health issue, stress, sleep deprivation, exercise induced muscle soreness, hormonal health, or food allergy a person may suffer. In addition, we as a society are only at the beginning of learning how to heal various ailments and diseases with healthy foods so there is a lot of confusion out there. Some of that confusion comes from the marketing and advertising companies hired to sell various products to the masses to turn a profit. Caring about ‘health’ is not of concern for them, money is. More confusion comes from the Pharmaceutical companies who would prefer to keep most people sick to make a financial gain so, they pour money into research for new drugs but not of prevention from foods. They sell you more pills and supplements to put into your cabinets that end up causing a slew of health issues and other ailments or side effects which you will need even more pills for – an endless cycle of pill popping. Preventative medicine comes in the form of lifestyle changes not in pill popping thus, those that do have a passion to study nutrition to heal are few and far between with limited funds to do so and false messages to contend with from the mass media.
So, what to do? First, it is important to know your body so you will know what it needs to thrive. Connect to your body and if you feel like sleeping after you eat something then don’t eat it anymore, it’s probably not very good for you and just because your friend can eat it with no issues doesn’t mean that you can. Second, keep in mind that what we know today may not be true tomorrow, new research comes out everyday as we evolve and learn more. By keeping an open mind to unconventional methods of healing with whole foods and hearing theories that run counter to mainstream is important to learn from too. Questioning things, taking bits of truth from all and not getting stuck with tunnel vision are equally important. These are things that I remind myself to do as well as I have been known to be black and white about certain things myself.
With the above key points in mind below is a list that is a good barometer of what are healthy foods that are an important component of healthy living and weight loss. If you eat real foods which are those that do not have an ingredient list that you can’t understand and that are not packaged, that you can buy from a local farmer you are on your way to being healthier. Also helping local farmers will create a rippling effect by keeping the bigger food companies from destroying our health with their genetically modified foods and poor animal treatment. So the next time you are in a grocery store keep the following list in mind to purchase of healthy foods to live a healthier more mindful life.
Proteins (grass or pasture fed): Beef, bison, lamb – pastured Liver – fresh/clean source Chicken, turkey – insect fed Pork – pastured only Venison Eggs – pastured chickens Milk – raw, local or rBGH free Cheese – no additives Cottage cheese – no additives Ricotta Cheese – no additives Yogurt – no additives Fish – cod, sole, etc. Gelatin Broth – homemade Shellfish
Fruits (organic): Apples (ripe or cooked) Apricots, Cherries, Grapefruit, Nectarines, Oranges, Papaya, Peaches, Pears (ripe or cooked), Pineapple, Plums, Watermelon Whole fruit juices, Tropical Fruits Vegetables: Cucumbers, Peppers, Avocado, Summer squash/Zucchini, Tomatoes
Vegetables (organic): Bamboo shoots, Beets, Carrots, Jicama, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Sweet potatoes/Yams, Winter squash, Asparagus, mixed greens, kale, celery
Fats (organic): Coconut oil (refined if you don’t like the taste of coconut in all your foods), Butter – organic cream, salt, Olive oil – extra virgin Cream – organic cream
Avoid these Foods as much as possible: Vegetable Oils -Canola, Corn, Cottonseed, Grape seed, Safflower, Soy, Sunflower, Trans Fats- Margarine, Crisco, Fats in processed food, Soy Products – Tofu, Soy milk, Soy protein powder, Soy sauce, Fried Foods, Avoid foods not fried in butter, coconut oil, Artificial Ingredients, Avoid foods with long lists of ingredients that you do not understand, Food Additives, Aspartame, BHA and BHT, Carrrageenan, Food colorings and dyes, Gums (guar, locus bean, etc.), High fructose corn syrup, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), Nitrates, rBGH (growth hormone in dairy), Sodium benzoate, Sucrolose, Soy lecithin, Sulfur dioxide, Synthetic vitamins