The Real Food Guide

11:17 AM

Have you ever looked at the "Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating" before? It scares me. So if I eat a block of cheese, a box of Cheerios, a jar of peanut butter, and finish it off with some apple juice, I'm good? Every day?

I agree with getting variety and I think there are general categories for how to make sure you get the right nutrients every day but I see it slightly differently.

1. Colourful fruits and vegetables

Enjoy an unlimited amount of fresh produce. You can't go wrong with fruits and vegetables - they are the backbone of so many healthful foods like smoothies, soup and salad. Eat at least 1 fruit or vegetable from each section of the rainbow every day - reds/purple/blues: berries, pomegranate, apples, tomatoes; orange/yellows: bell pepper, squash, carrots; and green: kale, spinach, cucumber. When in doubt, add more vegetables. Lettuce and tomato never hurt a hamburger, steamed broccoli never hurt a macaroni and cheese, and I don't think it's complete until a taco has corn and tomato on it.

2. Omega fat-rich foods

Nuts and seeds (and their delicious byproducts nut/seed milks and nut/seed butters) should find their way into your diet with no regret. Also eat ample coconut (as milk, oil, toasted flesh), olives (perhaps the oil will be familiar to you) and avocado. If need-be add a fish oil or algae omega capsule to your routine. Nothing contributes to weight gain and poor health like a diet that doesn't have enough healthy fats.

3. Protein-rich foods

Often related to the aforementioned category, protein needs to be eaten daily too. Yes, think of eggs, natural meats and organic yogurt, but think also of beans, lentils and seafood. Many vegetables contain protein so don't limit yourself to the old thinking of "meats and alternatives" which basically branches as far as tofu (oh! ah!)

4. Fibre-rich foods

If you've already eaten some baked eggplant, a bowl of edamame and some stir-fried mushrooms you probably don't need a piece of bread. The "grains" group is out-dated - many people are healthy without grains.

5. Bone mineral-rich foods

Say goodbye to the old thought that you need dairy for bone health. You can find the popular calcium and its lesser loved sister magnesium in many foods. I'm not saying don't drink milk (I myself am a cheese lover) but just realize that you can find these uber-special dairy nutrients in many other foods. As long as you're eating some of them every day you're in the clear.

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