In a brilliant, concise, and thoughtful blog he explains exactly why eating a mostly whole foods works wonders to help us effectively metabolize energy, minimize risk of out-sized hunger and food cravings, as well as help our body feel it’s best.
Whole foods take longer to digest, helping our body stabilize our blood sugar in gentle surges instead of feeling like we are riding a roller coaster of sugar highs and lows. Too often doctors recommend reducing sugars and refined starches, leaving most people vulnerable to whatever happens after their willpower evaporates.
Eating better is the answer. Better quality food and better balance.
Start with a solid source of protein. It helps to register satiety, even from the very first bite. Diabetic patients who eat protein at a meal before the carbohydrates experience a more modest rise in the blood sugar and insulin response. They feel more satisfied from the meal and enjoy fewer cravings later in the day.
Next fill in with adequate amount of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans and/or legumes. Our bodies need some carbohydrate to truly feel grounded, although the amount needed varies widely from person to person. Some people are satisfied with the carbohydrates they consume from vegetables alone. Others judiciously include a modest serving of fruit, beans or even a bit of dairy to feel satisfied.
People who burn carbohydrates more effectively may be able to enjoy starches in moderation. Very few of us handle the mounds of bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes that we are used to being served. Most of us suffer if we consume ever source of starch and sugar possible at a typical meal. It’s kind of crazy to think we should be able to handle a huge stack of pancakes or all the bread in the basket, the flatbread appetizer, the potatoes on the plate, the gooey dessert, and sweetened beverages all in one meal without creating a metabolic mess.
ALLOW ADEQUATE FAT
Be sure to allow adequate fat in the meal because fat tastes delicious, helps us feel satisfied over a longer period of time, and has very little impact on the biological pathways that lead to poor metabolic health. Choose from nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives. Cook with olive, peanut, sesame, and coconut oil.
And don’t forget to include healthful animal fats, too. Animal fats work well when the animals are fed their natural diet. Grass fed dairy cows produce wonderful milk, yogurt and cheese rich in omega 3 fatty acids and with a much better ratio of omega three to omega 6 fatty acids than conventional dairy products. Meat from grass fed cows, bison, and lamb offer the same benefits. Pastured chicken, turkey, and eggs also provide us with healthier fats.
Choose fish carefully, ideally wild caught and from reputable sources and countries that take care of the environment. Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch is an excellent resource with recommendations for every region in the world.
LEARN HOW TO ENJOY SWEETS AND TREATS
Finally all of us deserve to learn how to enjoy sweets and treats. Especially after the indulgence of the holidays, reining in a sweet tooth that has run amok can feel like battle. Some will choose to eliminate the offenders cold turkey. About three days gets most people over the worst of it.
Others may need to wean themselves more gradually. No matter what approach works for you, be sure to reward yourself with delicious and tasty meals when you are hungry. It is easier to tame the beast when you aren’t starving and when you feel truly nurtured and nourished because you are eating better.