The next few blogs will focus around food, shopping, recipes, and dining. First we begin with talking about how to eliminate Standard American Diet Foods1, other wise know as the SAD diet. What does the SAD diet consist of: high intake of grains (normally sited somewhere around 6-12 servings), inclusion of improperly prepared dairy, ie: pasteurized milk, having the option of fruits instead of vegetables (they are not equal), sometime including soy products as an option to meats, downplaying the essential need for healthy fats and recommending copious amounts of water2.
Let’s begin with grains. Grains are touted as being essential to the diet for their fibre properties and nutrients. Fibre in little to zero amounts, is acceptable in the human diet3. Although soluble fibre can feed gut bacteria4, it is not essential to do so. Ingesting probiotics could be a more beneficial way to ingest bacteria5. Fibre creates a sensation of fullness6. That sensation not only stimulates bowel movements, but also provides the psychological sense that you have eaten. Removing fibre may cause temporary constipation but that is easily solved but proper ingestion of fats that increase the energy content of the meal and thus speed up the expulsion of the feces7. In particular butter, olives, avocado. Again, fibre is not necessarily wrong to ingest (although it may be the wrong choice for some, ie: Chron’s disease8). But restricting fibre to small amounts is certainly beneficial on easing the work of your digestive system. However, there are many forms of constipation9. Removing the psychological sense of fullness as a completion to the meal will be beneficial in the long run, as consuming smaller meals is easier to digest, restricting caloric intake assists with weight maintenance, you feel less tired or drained after eating a lighter meal10 and it will help you to to develop intermittent fasting by being more comfortable in a body void of the sensation of food.
It is important to note the effect of carbohydrates on the body. The insulin required to maintain high doses of sugars in the blood stream can lead to weight gain and insulin resistance11. Removing or at least restricting carbs from the body can also help with appetite control and sets you up to be more readily available for ketosis.
Properly prepared dairy refers to milk that is unpasteurized12, artisanal style cheeses, properly prepared yogurt, kefir or other fermented style dairy, grass fed butter and ghee. Unpasteurized milk can be beneficial because it leaves the lactase enzymes intake so it will assist your body to digest it. Many folks these days are lactose intolerant, and that’s because their body’s cannot digest the lactose disaccharide. By artisanal style cheeses, I simply mean cheeses that are prepared properly. That means classic or neo-classic preparation which preserves the integrity and nutrient value of the cheeses. Some folks may have a difficulty with softer cheeses, so sticking to harder cheese, blue cheese (the bacteria is very beneficial), or lactose free cheese, would be best. Kefir is fermented dairy and takes a little sour like sour cream. It seems odd at first, but I found it to be easily digestible. The sourness of the fermentation comes from the bacteria that have processed the lactose, thereby providing you with a low amount of sugar in the kefir, along with their won beneficial bacteria. Properly prepared yogurt normally means doing it yourself at home. If you look at the labels of yogurt in the store, often times they have sugars, artificial flavours in them. Even choosing plain yogurt, it may contain carrageen which is a fibre. Gelatine in yogurt is okay. Grass fed butter is optimal, along with clarified butter- ghee- creates a wonderful flavour profile for your food, There are other types of dairy like sour cream and buttermilk, that I have not mentioned here.
Sugar causes insulin spikes and the resultant weight gain and resistance as mentioned, but too high of levels of caloric intake from fats13 and proteins14 can also have that effect. The key to allow the fat to have a satiating effect by stopping eating and letting the food start to digest is essential to curbing overeating.
Fruits are healthy, in moderation, in season, as berries, but not instead of vegetables. Fruits are normally much higher on the glycemic index15, and lowering your carb intake can have its benefits as mentioned above. So instead of treating fruits and vegetables as one group that you can interchange between, treat them at two separate groups. Not the question is do you consider them by their botanical composition or culinary. Culinary is fine, as most fruits that are low on the glycemic index are considered vegetables because of the fact they are not necessarily sweet. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and other root vegetables, such as turnips, can be an exception to the rule of them being low glycemic as they can be high in the carbohydrate count. Berries are another exception to note in that they are low on the glycemic index.
Meats should be grass fed, or properly fed chickens, open range, healthy conditions, and respected16. Animals that are respected create an ethical environment to raise them in. Soy takes up a lot of land to produce its crop, it was really only used as a nitrogen replacement crop, soy should be fermented before use, and there are concerns about the effects of it on the thyroid17. Seafood should not be farmed, unless there’s a total overhaul of how the farming is done18. There is evidence that shows that seafood farming causes disease of the farmed animals and the wild ones.
Fats are downplayed, and it is true that there are certain fats that you need to avoid, believing that all fats are bad can have dire effects on your health19. Healthy fats include: monounsaturated and saturated fats, omega 3s in balance with omega 6 and 9s. That means olives, fish, avocado, dairy, whole nuts and seeds. Avoid polyunsaturated fats like seed oils, canola oil, etc, and hydrolyzed plant proteins.