A salad dressing alone can turn the healthiest salad into something just as bad as a Big Mac. As a matter of fact, McDonald’s Crispy Bacon Ranch Salad has more fat and calories and just as much cholesterol as a Big Mac. Moral of the story is, just because its salad doesn’t mean its healthy. The unhealthiest part of most salads in the high fat and high additive salad dressings.
One way to cut back on the additives and high calories is to substitute salsa as the dressing. I noticed a huge drop in my weight when I started adding my favorite salsa or home made pico de gallo to all of my salads. Then just add some avocado, white cheese, nuts, or a drizzle of olive oil to get your fat in for that meal. In my opinion, the salsa adds way more flavor to the salad and makes it guilt free. ENJOY!
When deciding what protein to eat, the easiest way is to count the number of legs (Thanks Jim for the fun fact). Fish is typically your best best bet for a lean source of protein as well as all of the added benefits fish has to offer.
Fish, especially fatty fish, is good for you. For most people, experts say, the benefits outweigh any drawbacks related to concerns about toxic matter in fish.
In the latest studies of fish-related health benefits, published Monday in the Archives of Ophthalmology, researchers found that eating fish rich in omega-3s reduced the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of age-related blindness. The research confirms similar earlier findings.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in the highest concentrations in oily fish such as salmon, trout and herring. The most documented benefit of omega-3s is to cardiovascular health.
Just why it happens is still being studied, but the American Heart Association says research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids contribute to a decreased risk of sudden death and arrhythmia; decreased thrombosis (blood clots); decreased triglyceride levels; decreased growth of atherosclerotic plaque; and lower blood pressure.
Omega-3s also show promise for reducing the risk of dementia, arthritis, asthma and kidney disease, the heart association reports.
Moral of the story is EAT FISH.
When eating healthy the most important thing to remember is that FATS ARE GOOD as long as you are eating good fats. The fact is: we all need fats.
Every time you eat a snack or meal, make sure that you have a good protein, carb, and fat. This will help balance your insulin levels and get rid of your highs and lows throughout the day. Nuts are a quick and easy way to get your daily fats in. I’ve noticed that when I eat a meal and I am still hungry, I grab a handful of nuts. Instantly I am satisfied. People do not realize that eating fats is a huge part of losing fat.
- Oil (Canola, Olive, Peanut, Sesame)
- Peanut Butter (Natural Peanut Butter-Old Fashioned…usually the peanut butter with the oil separated on top)
The CrossFit dietary prescription is as follows:
Protein should be lean and varied and account for about 30% of your total caloric load.
Carbohydrates should be predominantly low-glycemic and account for about 40% of your total caloric load.
Fat should be predominantly monounsaturated and account for about 30% of your total caloric load.
Calories should be set at between .7 and 1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass depending on your activity level. The .7 figure is for moderate daily workout loads and the 1.0 figure is for the hardcore athlete.
What Should I Eat?
In plain language, base your diet on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar. That’s about as simple as we can get. Many have observed that keeping your grocery cart to the perimeter of the grocery store while avoiding the aisles is a great way to protect your health. Food is perishable. The stuff with long shelf life is all suspect. If you follow these simple guidelines you will benefit from nearly all that can be achieved through nutrition.
The Caveman or Paleolithic Model for Nutrition
Modern diets are ill suited for our genetic composition. Evolution has not kept pace with advances in agriculture and food processing resulting in a plague of health problems for modern man. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and psychological dysfunction have all been scientifically linked to a diet too high in refined or processed carbohydrate. Search “Google” for Paleolithic nutrition, or diet. The return is extensive, compelling, and fascinating. The Caveman model is perfectly consistent with the CrossFit prescription.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Excessive consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates is the primary culprit in nutritionally caused health problems. High glycemic carbohydrates are those that raise blood sugar too rapidly. They include rice, bread, candy, potato, sweets, sodas, and most processed carbohydrates. Processing can include bleaching, baking, grinding, and refining. Processing of carbohydrates greatly increases their glycemic index, a measure of their propensity to elevate blood sugar.
What is the Problem with High-Glycemic Carbohydrates?
The problem with high-glycemic carbohydrates is that they give an inordinate insulin response. Insulin is an essential hormone for life, yet acute, chronic elevation of insulin leads to hyperinsulinism, which has been positively linked to obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood dysfunction and a Pandora’s box of disease and disability. Research “hyperinsulinism” on the Internet. There’s a gold mine of information pertinent to your health available there. The CrossFit prescription is a low-glycemic diet and consequently severely blunts the insulin response.
Caloric Restriction and Longevity
Current research strongly supports the link between caloric restriction and an increased life expectancy. The incidence of cancers and heart disease sharply decline with a diet that is carefully limited in controlling caloric intake. “Caloric Restriction” is another fruitful area for Internet search. The CrossFit prescription is consistent with this research.
The CrossFit prescription allows a reduced caloric intake and yet still provides ample nutrition for rigorous activity.