Today lets talks about another Guru "helpful" tip...
"Only eat food that has a few ingredients..."
Along the same lines of "eat real food" and "if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it" and really, just as silly.
What are we counting as ingredients? What about when we looked at broccoli? That certainly had many "ingredients" is broccoli not allowed?
What about a chopped salad with grilled chicken and a homemade dressing? That probably has 15-20 ingredients, is that now a "bad" food?
Where do we draw the line?
Unfortunately these kind of guru statements that seem so simple, really aren't.
We want your life and your fitness goals to be as simple as possible. We don't want you to get lost in the nutritional dogma that gets shared around, around...
We want to give you real, useable information to make 2015 your year to start making progress.
We hope you have a safe happy celebration!
Let's look at another common "helpful" suggestion... "Don't eat it if you cannot pronounce it..."
Alright, this seems harmless right? Surely its good advice, right? Let's look at something Jade Teta from Metabolic Effect pointed out in a recent blog post...Here's an example on how this can be not so helpful...
Protein, Monosaccharides, disaccharides, sugar alcohols, natural flavors, vitamin C, dietary fiber, diindolylmethane, selenium, vitamin C 3'-Diindolylmethane, glucoraphanin, indole-3-carbinol, carotenoids, lutein, beta-carotene
Natural protein, monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharides, isomaltooligosaccharides, medium chain triglycerides, cellulase, lipase, protease, pyridoxine, pantothenate, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin and minerals, natural flavors, lactobacillus acidophilus, cinnamon and other natural herbs, sweet leaf.
Can you tell which of these foods comes from a package?
Food One is Broccoli, and Food Two is Protein Powder.
Starches and sugar= monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharide (these are just different names for naturally occurring starch)
Fibers= helical amylose, cellulose, amylopectin
Phytonutrients= glucosinolates, glucoraphanin
Protein= naturally occurring protein is present in broccoli.
Sugar alcohols= yes brocooli has trace amounts of things like xylitol and sorbitol in it
Natural flavors and salt= broccoli contains naturally occurring flavors that give it its distinct bitter flavor.
The Protein Powder:
Natural enzymes= lipase, cellulose, protease (these are enzymes that help you digest the protein in the product. When you eat broccoli you release many of these from your own pancreas)
Starches and sugar= monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharide, isomaltooligosaccharides, maltodextrin (these are just different names for starch. They are not manmade chemicals that will kill you)
Vitamins= pyridoxine is vitamin B6, Pantothenate is B5, thiamine is B1, riboflavin B2,
Natural protein= whey protein from milk.
Probiotic= lactobacillus acidophilus (a natural probiotic found in yogurt)
Sweet leaf= stevia (a natural sweetener from the leaf of a plant called Stevia rebaudiana)"
Ok so......broccoli is off the table because I cannot pronounce it's ingredients? That seems silly right?
I'm not trying to be difficult but do you see how making blanket statements about nutrition can be unhelpful and downright confusing?
I know what you're thinking "no, not me! I'm way too smart to follow dogmatic guru advice!"
Well...perhaps that's true....but maybe not? How often have you fallen in line with and even suggested to a friend, the following "simple" advise... "Only eat real food".
Really? huh.....If I'd only known all this time....of course "REAL" food problem solved right? It might be not that easy.
Has a person giving you this advice ever defined "real food"? It depends on who you're talking to doesn't? Won't the Paleo crowd have a far different answer for you than the Atkins crowd? The first maybe suggesting farm-raised organic meat and nuts, the second suggesting maybe a Double Cheese burger with no bun.
What about a vegetarian or a vegan? Real food might be a nice tofu satay.
What about some who has no nutritional background whatsoever? Real food might be anything they can actually consume.
Then of course there's the argument, "well, real food is food that has not been processed". Ok, hmm, what about say frozen and chopped culiflower? That has of course been "processed" is it worse for you than.... an apple?
So going back to "Eat Real Food"...is that really that helpful?
If I don't have time to make organic eggs, and farm raised bacon for breakfast, am I really so much worse off to have some greek yogurt and some nuts? Or a protein shake?
Coming into 2015 when everyone wants to know 'the BEST Diet" to lose weight to be more healthy...start noticing the kind of dogma that is passed around.
First remove the word diet from you vernacular. This is life, for better or worse your nutrition is life long. And the best thing for YOU isn't the best thing for someone else. After all, is it really good advise and good nutrition if you can't follow it?
At the end of the day, when you get home late, and everyone is hungry, the kids are dirty and so is the house, and there's only a few precious hours before you go to bed and start it all over...you are probably going to want a more convenient option right? Of the three: a nutrient enhanced protein bar, a bowl of that sugary cereal you gave in and bought the kids, or salmon and kale salad which would you be more likely to choose? Probably one of the first two right?
It's ok to say yes!
Having the "perfect" meal plan only works if you can follow it, and I'm sorry but life is complicated and you're not always going to be able to eat "real food" .
So....what nutritional choices are going to keep you in the generally right direction? That 's the goal. Because you are going to get off track, but that's ok, as long as you are going in the general direction, it's all going to be ok I promise.
Sheena Temple has been a certified personal trainer for over four years and is the owner of High Desert Fitness. It's her vision to provide a comfortable environment for clients to train and improve their overall health and wellness.