Taking the Edge Off Nutrition
By Leanne Ely, CNC
It seems that the geometric triangle we’ve all associated with food has smoothed itself out into a more organic shape. We no longer have a food pyramid, but a food plate. The USDA has revamped that intimidating pyramid into a plate, dividing said plate into: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.
The veggie part of this plate are a no brainer–we all know to eat as many as you can and honestly? We never really do. Salads on the side of the USDA’s plate might be a good idea, LOL!
Fruits and grains are the two areas that you want to make sure you limit to a certain degree–remember, these both metabolize as sugar (carbohydrate) in the end. Once the carbohydrates start stacking up, it’s hard to burn them for energy and your body will start to store them as fat. And as far as fruits go, I would recommend using them to satisfy your sweet tooth, or add a little tangy twist to a salad. Fruits have a lot of natural sugars in them; too much and those too will be stored as fat if you strap on the feedbag.
And last, but never least, protein. You need your protein to build muscle, bone and be able to use your brain. For optimal results, eat organic chicken, wild fish, and grassfed beef. Remember it’s protein that keeps your immune system functioning properly, maintains healthy skin/hair/nails, and helps produce enzymes. It’s a vital component on that plate and is the one thing that will help satiate you and keep hunger at bay. Make sure to always include it – fruits and veggies can only get you so far.
The one thing that the new food plate left out was fat. Generally that would be considered a good thing, but what a lot of people don’t understand is that fat isn’t entirely bad, in fact our body needs it. Include some olive oil on that salad, eat fatty fish like wild salmon and put some nuts on your veggies. Fat isn’t bad at all, but the wrong fat is just wrong.
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This is probably obvious to everyone else but….
As far as the fruits vs. veggies thing, do fruits we traditionally eat as vegetables count as veggies or fruits? Like peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc? This is truly a huge question for me. Also where do starchy veggies like peas and carrots fit in? I feel like I’ll never get the hang of this stuff. 🙁