This is a recommendation that I give to everyone, no matter the current health status or their health goals. Everyone can benefit from adding nutritious whole foods to their diet and reducing processed food intake. Unfortunately, many people are now confused as to what real food is exactly.
“Real food” refers to minimally processed foods, meats, eggs, fruits, and vegetables, as close to the original state as possible. In addition, reducing poor quality fats and oils, artificial ingredients, and preservatives.
How can you accomplish this? Cook more meals at home, where you will have control over the ingredients. Focus on decreasing packaged foods with ingredients you cannot identify or pronounce.
Reducing the breads, pastas, cereals, and bulk snack (junk) foods. Avoiding industrially processed seed oils, such as corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil, and vegetable oil, and replacing it with high quality fats and oils. Try using butter, ghee, and other animal fats, coconut and olive oils instead. These are stable fats that can tolerate heat and won’t rapidly oxidize like the seed oils.
Making these kinds of dietary changes allows you to reduce one of biggest contributors to chronic disease. When you decrease pro-inflammatory ingredients you will find yourself sleeping better, with better mood, increased energy, and less aches and pains. You can expect improved mental clarity and productivity. Over time real home cooked meals will taste much better than restaurant foods with poor quality ingredients cooked in old rancid oils.
Give it a try. Start with 1 whole food meal per day, including meat, eggs, fruits, and/or veggies, for 2 weeks. Then try increasing it to 2 whole food meals per day. Food prepping 1-2 x week can help make these changes more manageable.
You’re probably thinking that you don’t want to give up all of your favorite foods, and you don’t have to. You can have brunch with your friends at your favorite restaurant or eat cake at a birthday party. Occasional indulgences won’t kill you. It is what you do a majority of the time that really matters. Aim for at least 80% whole foods diet and allow the other 20% for the treats that are really worth it.