If you’re feeling inundated, overwhelmed, and confused about the best dietary nutritional program that you should eat to reduce your risk factors for chronic health conditions – you’re not alone. There’s tons of information online and tens of thousands of scientific research articles to examine just this topic.
Fortunately, there are a few common trends that come up over and over again, and the medical scientific community (for the most part) are behind these recommendations because they consistently show that they’re successful in reducing risk factors for chronic health conditions and promote optimal health and wellness. For the sake of this post, we’ll call them the Five Commandments of Healthy Eating.
I’ve made some other posts about foods to avoid. And if you haven’t seen them, I encourage you to check them out. And again, the scientific community is, for the most part, agreed upon these, like avoiding or limiting trans fats, avoiding or eliminating fried foods and fast foods, avoiding or eliminating refined sugars, and avoiding any kind of food allergy or food sensitivity that you may have. Some research articles show that Americans may have as many as one to three food sensitivities or food allergies in as many as 25 to 33% of Americans.
The five commandments of healthy eating
1. Increase fruit and vegetable intakes
Research has shown that as few as 10 to 15% of Americans are consuming adequate recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. Fruits contain important macronutrients and micronutrients, complex carbohydrates, protein, essential fatty acids, and fiber.
Fiber is an important macronutrient that is severely under-consumed by Americans. It’s recommended that you take in roughly 40 to 50 grams of fiber a day. Fiber is only found in the vegetable/fruit kingdom where we get those insoluble fibers, which research consistently has shown may reduce risk factors for the development of certain kinds of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Plus fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, polyphenols, and proanthocyanidins, that are important for every cellular function in the body. It is recommended to have nine servings of five colors each and every day.
2. Get sufficient essential fatty acids
A report in 2010 showed that most Americans were not getting adequate amounts of essential fatty acids. The recommended intake is one gram per day (of both EPA and DHA), and even higher amounts if you have a pre-existing medical condition such as cardiovascular disease, or if you’re pregnant or lactating. Essential fatty acids can be found in seafood, nuts seeds, avocados, olives, and olive oil.
3. Plan meal schedules
“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”. Most individuals are backward to that. They have a scant breakfast or they skip breakfast altogether. They have a modest lunch, and they have a huge dinner. This can be detrimental for blood sugar control and cardiovascular disease. Make sure to get most of your calories in the morning, have a modest lunch, and fewer calories for dinner.
4. Include cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are high in indoles, sulforaphane, DIM, and kaempferol. Each of these components have been independently studied to reduce risk factors for the development of certain types of cancer. We also know that cruciferous vegetables are very helpful for both phase one and phase two detoxification pathways in the liver. We’re all carrying chemicals so we could do with a little help in detoxification. Include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and chard in your diet.
5. Eat organic
If possible, wherever possible, eat organic. They contain higher amounts of essential vitamins and minerals than non-organic produce. In addition, non-organic produce has been shown to contain a higher level of pesticide, herbicide, and fungicides. There are 12 foods that are particularly high in these chemicals: strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes. If eating organic is too expensive, try to just eat organic for these 12 foods at least so as to avoid the consumption of these chemicals. Plus, organic foods inherently contain higher amounts of essential probiotics, the healthy bacteria for our gut, for our brain, for our immune system.
So, there you have it – the five commandments to healthy eating! Let us know what rules you abide by for a healthier life and your experiences with these five commandments.
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I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!