Nowadays, so many foods have been dismissed and put on the hypothetical ‘Do Not Eat List’ list—Almost to the point that many people feel as though there’s nothing left to eat. And, I’m not talking about the laundry list of stereotypically unhealthy foods (white flour, rice and breads, candies, pastries, desserts, sugary cereals, processed meats, junk foods, and soft drinks) either.
No, not at all!
I’m referring to the all out shaming of virtually any food that contains saturated fat, cholesterol, gluten or other nutritional ‘boogeymen’, whether meats or seafood, dairy foods or breads.
Sure, certain overly processed and refined products are best left out of the diet, or at least consumed minimally. But, you’ll rarely, if ever, find me dismissing any foods that generally support good health. This includes red meat, eggs with yolks, and even wheat bread.
Even if you choose to abstain from eating such foods, it doesn’t take away from the fact that many offer exceptional nutritional value.
Egg yolks for instance are often shunned for their relatively high levels of cholesterol.
Aside from the fact that dietary cholesterol does not contribute to the development of high-cholesterol and related health problems, unbeknownst to many, nearly all the nutrients housed in eggs are concentrated in the yolks. Such nutrients include protein, B-vitamins, vitamin D, and antioxidants like vitamins A and E, lutein, zeaxanthin and selenium, which collectively support the maintenance of strong bones, teeth and muscles, healthy eyes, hair and skin.
That’s a whole lot of nutritional bang for your buck!
Similarly, due to high levels of saturated fat, red meat has been deemed the culprit in just about every life-threatening condition from heart disease to cancer. Yet it’s extremely rich in health-promoting nutrients like protein, vitamin B12, selenium, iron, and zinc.
And, of course, there’s the gluten-free craze that’s solely based on a diet designed for less than 5-10 of the population.
No matter what you’ve heard, gluten-related issues are often a result of general overindulgence in those whole grain foods that contain gluten. Many of these foods are rich in disease-fighting fiber, B-vitamins, and iron. But, you only need 3-5 servings a day for health benefits and if you’re not familiar with proper serving sizes you can easily eat too much.
When it comes to eating commonly shamed foods, moderation is really the key. You don’t have to eat egg yolks and red meat every day to reap their full nutritional benefits. When it comes to eggs, simply limit your consumption of yolks to 3-4 per week. The same holds true for red meat, which is best when limited to 12-14 ounces per week.
Truth is, day-to-day consumption of foods comprised of added sugars and artificial fats is much more of a contributor to poor health and disease than consuming cholesterol, saturated fat and gluten-rich foods could ever be.
Still, we blame them for all the health problems we’ve brought upon ourselves from eating in excess.
After decades of practical and professional experience, observation and discovery, trial and error, I’ve found that most dietary scare tactics and mainstream dieting plans that profit from them are generally based on dated or flawed science and hearsay; focused on quick fixes; and short-lasting since promoting the elimination of any food often leads to an inherent desire to have more of it.
Lifestyle changes are ongoing, meaning, there’s no definite start or end.
You’re in this thing forever.
I find it interesting how so many folks seem to have all the discipline in the world when it comes to adhering to a subpar dieting plan for weight loss, but can’t seem to stick with a consistent exercise routine. Physical activity and exercise are just as critical, if not more, to a healthy lifestyle as diet.
I’ll emphasize again, lifestyle changes are forever without a definite end.
Think about this the next time you tell yourself you’ll NEVER eat another carb.
If you truly have a desire to include commonly shunned foods in your diet you can. Moderation is key when it comes to a permanent lifestyle change.
I’ve observed so many chronic dieters and ‘clean’ eaters fluctuate in body weight and mood only to never truly find satisfaction within themselves, whether physically or emotionally. Likewise, ‘low carb’ dieters can be some of the most unpleasant people to be around mainly because they’re taking away their brains’ number one fuel source.
Wouldn’t you be irritated too?
Now, I didn’t write this article to convert you to my way of thinking or eating.
My value proposition to you is this: I will never tell you to eliminate any high-quality foods from your diet.
It’s all about moderation.
I will, however, tell you to make an all out effort to eat sensibly, be physically active, and exercise often. That’s what I’m here to do. I can also promise you this: Every piece of information I share with you is based on years of professional experience and sound science.
So, I encourage you to eat (and enjoy) a well-balanced diet rich in all the macronutrients you choose to eat, even if the mainstream says you should do otherwise.