I’d like to make healthier food choices. What should I keep in mind?
Eating clean gets your body on the right track and helps it to function most efficiently. Nourishing the body correctly will keep food-related diseases at bay and you can be the best version of yourself physically and emotionally.
First, eliminate foods that increase oxidative and inflammatory stress in the body such as gluten (wheat, rye, barley and its products), dairy products and sugar. These foods instigate the immune system and keep inflammation elevated. This is the origin of many diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, leaky gut, thyroid issues, PCOS and other hormonal problems.
Include clean carbohydrates like rice, sweet potatoes, potatoes, gluten-free muesli, organic fruits and vegetables in your diet. Have more of free-range eggs, grass-fed meat, lentils, fish and chicken as your protein sources. Use coconut oil, ghee or organic butter for cooking. Dress your salad with macadamia or olive oil. Snack on some nuts or an avocado to ensure good-quality fat intake.
Second, start your day with a source of fat. Having 5-15g of good-quality fat first thing in the morning helps stabilise your insulin levels. You will have better control over your appetite, sugar cravings reduce and it’s beneficial for gut health. Organic ghee, organic grass-fed butter, organic coconut oil, coconut chunks, avocado, a handful of mixed nuts or a handful of olives can be your fat-first options.
Third, get your proteins correct. Just cleaning up your diet and having 30 per cent of your calories from protein is good. If you understand your appetite well, you’ll know when to stop eating. You’ll notice how you feel like eating a lot more meat or lentils some days to feel satiated while on other days half the amount is more than enough.
With protein, go by your appetite. Processed proteins like sausages, salami, extruded soy products and cheese should be avoided. Protein sources mentioned before should be consumed. Start making connections with what you eat and how you feel so you know what works best for you.
Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.