With all the different types of modern diets that have developed recently the question begs as to which one is the best for our health?
Although the diet I recommend closely resembles the Paleo/Keto Diet it is more accurately described as The Awareness Diet.
The Awareness Diet avoids gluten, dairy, salt, sugar and high carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. It typically includes lean meat, fish, low carbohydrate vegetables, nuts and seeds.
The most important aspect of this diet is to listen to how your body responds to the food you eat which is the Awareness part of the equation. If you feel stimulated or racy, dull, heavy or tired, headaches, stomach symptoms such as flatulence, bloating, cramps, etc all indicate your body is not tollerating the food your eating and it should be avoided. Learn to listen to your body for it clearly tells you what it wants to eat and what to avoid if you care to listen.
In time as you adjust to this diet I also recommend experimenting with intermittent fasting. This is where only one to two meals are taken each day with an 18hr fast between meals. eg only eat lunch and dinner within 6hrs of each other. Research now shows this slows the aging process and reduces the incidence of many chronic illnesses not to mention you feel the benefits of feeling lighter and not weighed down by food.
As a practitioner I see many patients with chronic illnesses with food being a contributing factor to their ill health. Dairy, gluten, yeast are the main culprits which should be avoided as we are not genetically designed to ingest them.
Carbohydrates, including sugars, are responsible for the release of insulin from your pancreas which then aids their transport into muscle and fat cells to be burnt off for energy production. As your cells become resistant to insulin your body reacts by producing more and more of it in order to maintain your blood sugar levels. This is known as insulin resistance which is the stage that precedes diabetes. Insulin resistance is harmful to your body as the spikes and crashes of blood glucose levels disrupt sex hormones, increases adrenal cortisol stress response, cause the over production of inflammatory hormones known as ecosonoids which increase inflammation in the body which is the precursor to cardiovascular disease, not to mention weight gain, increased blood pressure, etc, etc. It is therefore vital to maintain low insulin levels and thus why a diet relatively low in sugar and carbohydrates is recommended.
As a general recommendation we recommend the following diet:
Foods Containing Protein
Animal foods are rich in protein include: turkey, fish and sea food, eggs, lamb and beef (eat sparingly). Other acceptable protein sources are beans, tofu, and low-fat meat substitutes. Only eat grass fed red meats as grain fed meats may be contaminated with fungi and their mycotoxins from the grains they are fed. We recommend one palm sized portion of lean protein with each meal.
One can include a large quantity of vegetables in your diet, such as asparagus, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, cabbage, onions, celery, pumpkin, brocholli, green-leaf vegetables, legumes such as beans and lentils. Ideally, vegetables should form the largest food group in your diet; they should cover at least half of the plate. A good example is a large salad with protein meal and dressing. Vegetables to be avoided are the starchy ones, such as potatoes and rice, while corn, carrots, and peas may be eaten sparingly. We recommend 3 handful of vegetables with each meal.
Consumed only in limited amounts as they contain a lot of sugar. One can eat fruits that are low to medium in sugar such as green apples, berries, cherries, strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, grapefruit, lemons and fresh lemon juice, limes and coconut. The fruits which contain the highest quantity of sugar should be avoided and include all dried fruit (for instance, raisins and figs, among others) and tropical fruits, such as bananas, oranges, mangoes and pineapples. We recommend one to two handfuls of fruit a day.
Nuts and Seeds
One can eat raw nuts such as walnuts, cashews, almonds, and pistachios. These provide valuable healthy fats, fibre, magnesium and potassium. Roasted nuts may be baked with hydrogenated oils which are bad trans fats so should be avoided. Avoid peanuts as they can contain large amounts of fungi/moulds and their mycotoxins. A three finger portion of nuts per day is recommended.
Moderate amounts of healthy fats is beneficial. It is also important to satisfy your needs for essential fats like Omega-3 fats by eating fish – salmon and mackerel – and by using flax seed oil. Foods with a high amount of monounsaturated fat, such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts, have indisputable health benefits.
Drink 6 to 8 cups of water each day. Avoid alcohol and coffee.