You can out supplement a bad diet.
Vitamins, minerals, fish oil, goji berries, spirulina… It’s really easy to add a supplement or “superfood” to your daily routine, which is why those companies are so successful, right?
The thing to remember about supplements are that they are supposed to be SUPPLEMENTS, not the main way to get healthy.
Take some time to focus on the healthiest foods possible, eliminate, limit, or minimize the rest, then fill in the gaps with supplements. If you even need to by then.
Are there really bad foods?
Of course, there are healthy foods to focus on, but often (well, almost always, but I’m being nice), it’s better to stop eating foods that are effecting you negatively before you think about adding in another item to “fix” something.
A vitamin pill cannot counteract 150 calories of soda, for instance.
Sure, it’s not always that simple, but if it’s complicated, most people won’t do it.
Here are the Good Guys and Bad Guys…
There are foods that nature intended for us, foods that help us maintain optimal weight and health, and feel happy, productive and energized.
Make sure that at least 90% of your food comes from these sources.
- Butter or ghee
- Olive oil
- Nuts in shell
- Coconut oil and other coconut stuff
- Fish (bonus points for fatty fish, like salmon)
- Whole eggs
- Cottage cheese
- Vegetables and root vegetables
- Unprocessed grains (limit these because they are pretty empty of nutrition)
- Fermented vegetables (kim chee, sauerkraut)
- Fermented/cultured drinks
What about condiments?
Feel free to use sea salt, Himalayan salt, Morton’s salt, etc. Read all dressing and condiment labels carefully, as they often contain a lot of sugar and nasty oils. Moderation is key, so consider the amounts. A tablespoon or two of BBQ sauce every once is a while could totally be worth it.
You know that there are ingredients in our foods that prevent us from being at our optimal health, weight or performance levels.
You may see these as ingredients on boxes and labels, items on restaurant menus, or you may encounter them as single items at the grocery store, either way, stay away for the most part.
If you do have some, minimize the nasty things!
You want to completely avoid:
- Corn oil
- Soybean oil
- Vegetable oil
- Seed oils (sunflower, safflower, etc.) in large amounts
- Margarine (most are full of the above oils)
- Shortening (same as margarine)
- Hydrogenated fats and oils
- Trans fats
- Non dairy creamer (read the labels, as there are some modern ones that are… ok)
You want to minimize:
- Sugars (all colors and types) and sweets
- High fructose corn syrup
- Artificial sweeteners
- Soda and juice
- Fancy coffee drinks full of calories
- Heavily processed packaged foods
- Deep fried/breaded foods
- Most bottled salad dressings
- Processed grains
- High sodium foods
What do you think?
Did we leave anything off the list?