Eating Right: How to Get Started

Preface Notes:
Before we begin there are some things that need to be addressed about this article and the advice contained within.

Firstly, this article outlines a very simple, basic methodology that will allow you to take the first steps towards eating better for health. It is my opinion that this methodology is applicable for a vast majority of individuals. This article is not a list of healthy foods. Do note that there there is a sample menu listed below. This does not mean that this sample menu is anywhere near a comprehensive list of foods that are healthy.

This article will not address the dozens of ideologies and schemes that exist in mainstream dieting (high carb, low carb, etc.), nor will it address things like why breads/grains are poor dietary choices. Rather, it will address a structured, simple methodology to increase the “quality” of your food. This is what most credible nutritional sources will say is the first step to proper nutrition. If you need a simple rule of thumb and some interesting information on how to identify healthy foods then you should check out this article from the Life Spotlight.

Secondly, I want to point out that diet itself will not put on any muscle mass – for most people, anyway. While a small amount of weight loss is possible with purely dietary changes, proper diet must be coupled with an appropriate training regimen for your body composition goals in order to achieve optimal results. If weight loss is the goal then, oftentimes, there are significant lifestyle changes that come into play. I support changing diet first since it is easier for most people to change the way they eat than to add a new workout routine to a busy schedule. Once your weight levels off from dietary changes alone, then it is usually a good time to look into an appropriate exercise program. Ideally, however, diet and exercise should be part of one’s everyday lifestyle.

Finally, in the past I had some different foods listed as special food items. I have cut some items out of this list because I prefer that novices who are just starting out avoid high-carb meals. As a result quinoa has been removed from my list of “other good foods” and oatmeal has the caveat of eating one serving per day. These foods are very calorically dense and are not good choices when learning how to eat properly. These types of foods are great but their place is not in the program for someone just getting started, in my opinion. Do note that if you find that you operate better with more carbs then it is still easy to implement high-carb meals while adhering to the guidelines below.

I am attempting to keep this short so that most people will be able to fix their diet without going into too much detail.

I. High-Quality Food Categories

Without going into much detail we can boil high-quality nutrition down to 7 basic categories:
1) Vegetables – Source of carbohydrate.
2) Fruits – Source of carbohydrate.
3) Beans – Source of carbohydrate.
4) Meats – Source of protein.
5) Fish – Source of protein.
6) Nuts – Source of fat.
7) Seeds – Source of fat.
8) Oils – Source of fat. If trying to gain weight, pour it on everything including ice cream. Well…maybe not ice cream, but you get the point. If you need to gain weight, the fats listed on the table at the bottom of this site can be very useful. If you are trying to lose weight you should probably limit the amount of oil you consume due to the high caloric density

Additionally, there are some high-quality foods that are rather ambiguous and need to be addressed individually:
A) Olives – Source of fat.
B) Avocados – Source of fat.
C) Coconuts – Source of fat.
D) Eggs – Excellent source of protein. Interchangeable with meat sources. (1 whole egg = 1 oz. meat or 2 egg whites = 1 oz. meat)
E) Dairy

  • Milk – Whole milk is good if you are trying to gain weight. Skim milk is good if you are trying to lose.
  • Cheese – Only recommended to those who want to gain weight. Avoid if trying to lose.
  • Cottage Cheese – 3% milkfat is fine if trying to gain weight. Low-/nonfat if trying to lose. Low-calorie fruits spruce up flavor.

F) Oatmeal – Source of carbohydrate. Eat this at most once daily as part of a balanced meal – which means you need to include protein and fat.

II. Menu Creation

With these categories, you can make a comprehensive menu of foods. On your own, personal menu, you should list any and all foods in these categories that you enjoy. Additionally, list any foods that you can just tolerate. As you get used to eating better, the foods you can barely stand now will start to taste better, as well. Remember, it takes 21 days on any regimen, whether its exercise, diet, or even a new job, before the whole ordeal becomes routine in your brain. Keep this in mind as you transition into your new diet – you will need at least three weeks to acclimate psychologically and physiologically.

Menus can vary dramatically from person to person and still be very “healthy.” Your menu should be your own and based on your personal tastes and preferences.

For clarity, an example of a good starting menu is shown below:

When you make your own menu, I suggest that you carry it around with you everywhere you go. The goal is to constantly expand the menu as you learn new food items that you enjoy that fit into these categories.

III. Five Simple Rules

These categories come with a basic set of five simple rules for each meal:
1) Many Veggies – At least 2 cups (total) of veggies with every meal. These can be spruced up by cooking with onions, garlic, spices and oils.
2) Always Meat – At least 4-6 oz. of lean meat or fish. Roughly speaking, 4-6 oz. is a palm-sized portion or larger. Lean meat is poultry (chicken, turkey, hen), lean cuts of beef and pork tenderloin. Most other cuts of pork are not lean. Avoid beef altogether when you are first starting since it is hard to identify the lean cuts when you are new. Some people eat over a pound of meat/fish each sitting, depending on their goals. A minimum of 4-6 oz. is a good place to start.
3) Fruits Vary – Some fruits, like bananas, pears, peaches and apples, are loaded with sugars so you should limit the intake of such fruits to one per meal. Other fruits, like berries and melon, can be eaten with virtually no limit. Berries should be a staple in all diets due to their high concentration of antioxidants. More information on the amount of calories in these fruits can be found by searching www.nutritiondata.com.
4) Replacing Veggies – If you aren’t in the mood for veggies, you can replace 1 cup beans for every 2 cups veggies. You can also eat beans with your vegetables, if you like. Try not to put veggies off, but its okay to do so sometimes. Veggies can also be replaced by fruit. High quantities of the low-calorie fruits such as berries, melons, etc., can replace vegetables. Alternatively, low quantities (1-2 servings) of the high-calorie fruits, such as bananas, dates, peaches, pears, etc., can replace vegetables, as well.
5) Eat Fat – Eat nuts, seeds, olives, avocado, coconut or olive oil with every meal. For weight loss, a male would want around 6-10 nuts, half an ounce of seeds, 4-6 olives, 1/4 of an avocado, 25 g. coconut or 1 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Do keep in mind that, oftentimes, women may consume much smaller quantities – sometimes as little as 50% of what is listed above – depending on their goals. In general, for weight gain, eat significantly more than these quantities – you will know when you had enough if you are trying to gain. As you lose fat and your goals change, realize that the amount of fat that you need will change, as well!

IV. Snacking

Snacking is acceptable when you are just focusing on improving the quality of your food. Snacking is encouraged by some methodologies and discouraged by others. Both have good reasons for these recommendations, and it usually depends on the context and goals. For those just starting, however, make sure your snacks only come from foods on your menu. If possible, make snacks contain a source of fat, carb and protein so that they are “balanced.”

V. Supplementation

One final note is that supplementation is something that should be done only when one knows what they are doing. Most times, supplements will be a waste of your time and money. The best way to get everything you need is through whole foods. However, I suggest three supplements below that I believe everyone should make part of their daily routine. Supplementing as specified below is relatively inexpensive when compared to the benefits MOST HUMAN BEINGS experience from this supplementation.

A) Supplement with 3-5 g of DHA+EPA fish oil. Every day. At a bare minimum, take in 2 g. Note that when I say 2 g. I mean the combined value of EPA and DHA. If your pills have 280 mg. EPA and 120 g. DHA then the total EPA+DHA is 400 mg. You would need to consume at least 5 of these pills daily.
B) Drink green tea. Every day. If you are concerned about caffeine, brew one cup with a green tea bag, discard the water, then use the same tea bag with fresh, boiling water. This eliminates most of the caffeine while maintaining most of the antioxidants for which we are drinking the tea.
C) 2 multivitamin pills daily, with food. Every day. Centrum brand is cheap and should be just fine. One should consider upgrading to a multivitamin with no iron so that dosages can be increased dramatically without worrying about iron poisoning.

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29 Responses to “Eating Right: How to Get Started”

  1. Rafe Kelley November 22, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    Good article nice basics one thing. Only objection is the insistence on lean meats, the fat in meats is some of the most healthfull fats especially if they animal is raised correctly I don’t see any reason to avoid the best tasting meats just to replace the fats somewhere else in your diet. Fatty meat was the preferred resource of our hunter forager ancestors. Eating just chicken breasts and tuna is a crime. Eat the stuff that tastes good.

    • Chris Salvato November 22, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

      That’s a very good point, Rafe. At the time of this writing I was a little less learned on the fats in some meats – particularly the stark differences between the fatty acid profile in grassfed and grainfed meats.

      I am actually debating whether I should leave this article “as is” and write a more advanced article on the differences between the fatty acid profiles OR if I should just rewrite this one incorporating your very valid point. I’ll let you know shortly which I decide :P

  2. diana Mackin December 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    Definitely err on the side of good nutritional info — don’t perpetuate the misinfo that food fat makes people fat! Your site was recommended, but weight garbage and food fat absurdities will keep me from recommending further. OK, you do better than most (via quick perusal) on getting into the positives: exercise for health, move for the joy of it and away from the negatives (and their flawed semi-science), including low-fat propaganda and further spreading of fat phobia. Active health comes at a lot of different sizes, but turning it into a physique only promotes competition, not health. I suppose it depends on what you want, but I want health access for everyone, not more blaming and shaming of those who don’t fit the aesthetic and appearance obsession by those who do. Please!

    • Chris Salvato December 25, 2009 at 1:03 am #

      If that is the message that I am propagating, Diana, then I am doing something wrong.

      Definitely not discouraging fatty foods – but in the absolute beginner that is living off of fast foods and goldfish crackers, lean meats are a modest recommendation.

      It is extremely difficult to wrap up high quality nutrition into a 3 page document. This was written with the demographic above listed in mind. In my experience coaching people out of the psychology of eating fats, focusing on lean meats to start is always recommended.

      The problem here is that this article was meant to be the first article in a series of Eating Right articles – but time works against us sometime. In the future, more articles are going to explain the difference between good and bad fats on a practical level.

      We agree on everything, from what I can tell. The only thing we disagree on is what to tell the absolute beginner. In my experience coaching beginners from nothing-to-fit, I prefer to stray them from fatty meats and then reintroduce fatty meats back into the diet. This is because, in my experience, most people associate “fats” (like 80/20 ground beef) with “bad” foods (like highly processed pre-made hamburgers).

      To reiterate, the article was meant to be in a series – this was the first to get people started, then progression towards understanding fat’s place in the diet was going to be explored.

      I will be making that a bit higher priority given the comments here.

      • Chris Salvato December 26, 2009 at 12:11 am #

        btw, I have reviewed this article several times trying to identify where exactly I said fats are bad and I couldn’t find it.

        I am actually endorsing a pretty ample amount of fat in the diet – but make the assumption that the meat is going to be grain fed (mostly because its a “Getting Started” article). Grain fed fats in high quantities are not beneficial in the diet and should be avoided until you know how to compensate properly (that is, fish oils or eat more grass fed meat).

        I think you read this with a VERY biased eye. Please read again. One section has a whole bullet point that says flat out “Eat Fat”. One of the highly recommended supplements is an elevated dose of fish oil (pure fat).

        The only time I explicitly limit fat is with the prerequisite that the reader is trying to lose weight. In that case, limiting fat on a diet of whole foods will plunge you into a caloric deficit and cause weight loss to occur seamlessly.

        In terms of your implication that “weight loss” is the same as “aesthetics,” I politely disagree. Weight loss is a key goal in performance – especially if one is overweight. Trying to train parkour or sprinting with 30 pounds of extra fat on your body increases your risk for overuse injuries substantially.

        I stand by what I wrote.

  3. Jose Ceda March 10, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    Pretty admirable post. I stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say your information seems legit. Will keep reading. Thanks.

  4. Ryan Danks March 12, 2010 at 5:50 am #

    I like this as well. It jives with most of what I’ve heard over the years.

    That being said, my wife is filipino, and thus, is very difficult to get the idea across that rice is to be kept away from. I have been able to get her to switch to organic long grain brown rice, but she is unwilling to give it up completely due to cultural considerations/habits.

    Can you explain why such whole grains are bad? I would either like to have something to tell her, or come to some sort of compromise.

    Thanks.

    • Chris Salvato March 12, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

      Ryan,

      Those who promote strict paleo diets have a few reasons for avoiding grains. Sometimes they pull from the philosophy that Paleo Man could not get whole grains in mass quantities like we do now. Other times they pull from various compounds or nutrients that are found in grains that can cause complications due to common but undocumented food sensitivities (e.g. gluten sensitivities).

      Personally, I feel that grains are not as “evil” as Paleo makes them out – though I feel they are far from ideal in the everyday diet. Why? Because they are high in inflammatory carbohydrates and don’t provide much to buffer absorption.

      Now, your wife is filipino and, IIRC, there is some data that suggests that those from the far east have more of a resistance to diets higher in grains since it has been a staple in their cultures for much longer than that of Western civilizations. For example, a Chinese man may tolerate grains better than a Cherokee man. With that in mind, it is probably STILL better to limit some of the grains, though it may not be as important as we think.

      Lets recap those two points:
      1) There are many proposed dangers to grains but the most pronounced and agreed upon dangers are the highly inflammatory effects of such high carbs in a single sitting AND insulin resistivity problems.
      2) She may not be as susceptible to one or both of these problems due to her genetics.

      As a compromise, I would say that you should probably eat less grains than her, overall. This really shouldn’t be a problem. For the grainy meals, I would suggest having a heaping portion of vegetable matter, meat and fat available to buffer the absorption which will mitigate the problems laid out in point #1.

      Keep in mind, this is a bit more advanced than the scope of this article – but I hope that was helpful. Let me know what you think!

      Chris

      • Ryan Danks March 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

        Thanks Chris.

        I followed your advice, and we are eating less rice overall. Over the past days we have been eating oatmeal and soymilk in the morning followed with a single meal during the day with brown rice, generally as a post-workout meal. So far this seems to work, and it is only a single serving of grains each day.

        Now I only have to worry about the very rare noodle dish that sometimes makes its way into my kitchen. :) (those don’t come as often as I used to like anyway, so probably a nice treat for occasion)

        Thanks for the help,

        Ryan

  5. James March 31, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    Hey quick question, when you were talking about “gaining weight” in your article, were you talking about building muscle mass? I know you don’t just build muscle mass without working out. I’m just looking for a good diet that I can add to my workout program to help me lose fat and build muscle.

    • Chris Salvato April 1, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

      James,

      This isn’t really intended to be a diet – but a set of simple guidelines to help you avoid poor dietary choices while you learn more about diet.

      “Diets” tend not to work for a few very well known reasons – mostly psychological. However, you can gain mass by following these guidelines and just eating a ton according to these guidelines.

      Whole milk is also extremely effective in building mass so I would recommend you incorporate that in your diet for sure if your goal is mass gain.

      Cheers,

      Chris

      • James April 2, 2010 at 2:43 am #

        Ok, thanks. This will definitely help me out, because I’m use to eating fast food pretty much every day. I just had a meal following this, and I’m already enjoying it.

        Thanks again,

        James

  6. Roan May 22, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Excellent article! I do have a question, though – in terms of timing your meals is it better to eat three evenly spaced meals or graze all day? This is assuming a moderate amount of activity and at least one full workout during each day. Thanks!

    -RM

    • Chris Salvato May 22, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

      It really doesn’t matter, Roan. Whatever method you prefer is the best method. Personally, I prefer smaller, larger meals when I am losing weight and to graze regularly when I am maintaining/gaining. Its personal choice, though, really. Grazing tends to make one avoid a feeling of satiety whereas larger meals allow satiety to kick in at least a few times a day.

  7. Milan July 14, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    I was wondering if you could elaborate on your recommendation of supplementing with green tea and multivitamins. Were you saying that these supplements were optional additions to the diet plan outlined above or that they were important components of it? I only ask because I haven’t personally read any studies that argue multivitamin and antioxidant supplementation are necessary above and beyond a healthy diet.

    • Chris Salvato July 15, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

      They are recommended “supplementation” that certainly couldn’t hurt. It is extremely difficult to overdose on vitamins and taking a Multi-V (with a fat source for the fat soluble vitamins) is a great way to cover your bases just in case. Not necessary if your diet is good and balanced but they are cheap and there is no harm so I don’t see why one shouldn’t supplement a multi-v.

      Green Tea covers some bases on anti-oxidants. Really, its not all that necessary but I do see a benefit for most people to enjoy a mug of green tea every day if they can – but if they pass its not such a big deal if your diet is rich in whole foods – particularly berries and other anti-oxidant rich fruits/veg.

  8. Chris July 21, 2010 at 2:43 am #

    Everytime I try to go more paleoish, I get visual migraine headaches. Any rule of thumb to avoid this?

    • Ani October 22, 2010 at 10:23 am #

      I believe that going to any extreme is not recommended. I am from India and we have a food culture that is thousands of years old and we believe that food is medicine. We never think of a food item in isolation. How food is prepared, how old is it, how it has been processed and with what other food items it is taken with and at what time it is eaten – all makes difference. Not too mention region. We also divide people in to 3 types for whom different types of food are recommended.

      Old uncooked rice is more beneficial. Rice eaten at night time will produce gas and will be problematic for people with arthritis etc. Rice processed in some other form will probably be more beneficial. Similarly any food cooked with spices alters its properties.
      Western world are guilty of seeing food items in isolation and do not understand the balance between various food items. Every decade a new food fad is in vogue whereas in Old cultures, they have a food culture which has remained largely same over thousands of years though we assimilate other food items introduced to us.

      Who knows what earliest of human beings ate and how well they survived or how strong were they. But we know that what people in India eat and what activities they indulge in. There are communities in India which consume milk and milk products and grains/vegetable and they are as strong as ox. Other communities eat rice or ragi and they too are extremely healthy. The key is how you prepare, how much you consume and how much you move around!

      • Chris Salvato October 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

        Well put, interesting perspective.

        @Chris: I would remove items from your diet 1 by 1 to see what triggers the effect to see if you can isolate it down, if its important to you…

  9. Sandy October 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    Chris,

    Good job at writing an article that addresses one of the main problems we have today…improper eating. You did a valuable service to those beginning their journey to better health. I think many a person can gain insight from the information contained in this article.

    You made a statement “They are recommended “supplementation” that certainly couldn’t hurt. It is extremely difficult to overdose on vitamins and taking a Multi-V (with a fat source for the fat soluble vitamins) is a great way to cover your bases just in case. Not necessary if your diet is good and balanced but they are cheap and there is no harm so I don’t see why one shouldn’t supplement a multi-v.”

    I would have to agree that supplementation is a habit all should add to their diet (in proper doses…you can overdo) because we certainly don’t get the adequate amount of nutrients in our diet…even a good one. Where I would have to disagree is in your above statement. There is much research accumulated on proper supplementation and it’s benefits to leading a healthy lifestyle. And “proper” is key here. Just as we don’t want to put “cheap” food into our bodies…we also don’t want to settle for “cheap” supplementation, because in the long run it turns into expensive urine. So, hence cheap becomes expensive.

    Reputable supplementation (that backed by a team of doctors) is paramount to healthy living. Do you want to trust your health to the local CVS over the counter person who knows nothing about supplementation or to a highly reputable team of nutritionists, oncologists,exercise physiologists, and Harvard Hospital Pioneers (Dr.Stanley Dudrick…the very inventor of TPN Nutrition)?

    Best of health to you and your staff as you seek to educate the general public on proper nutrition.

    Sandy

  10. EJ March 7, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    I have depression and I crave breads. Do u have any suggestions to combat this issue?

    • KC Parsons March 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

      Depression, especially seasonal, can often be brought on by Vitamin D deficiency. If you aren’t supplementing 5000-10000 IUs, I’d suggest giving it a try.

      A big question here is how long have you cut out breads from your diet?
      Dieting in general (and especially low carb/high protein) can induce some depression in susceptible people. If you’re craving breads I’m under the assumption that you’re cutting out bread/grain (which holistically is a good thing). Chances are overall kcal (Calories) are lower, and this tends to lower serotonin.

      On a low carb/high protein approach, neurotransmitters tend to get even moreso affected. Certain proteins (more specifically certain amino acids) are precursors for certain neurotransmitters.

      Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin in the brain, and tyrosine is the precursor for dopamine. Different amino acids sometimes have to compete for transporters, though, and that’s where things get messy.

      The BCAAs,pPhenylalanine, tryptophan, and tyrosine all use what’s called the Large Neutral Amino Acid (LNAA) transporter. Because they’re competing for transport, levels of one can affect the availability of the others (if it can’t get transported properly, it can’t be available where it needs to be.

      If there’s a large amount of tryptophan compared to the others that use the same transporter, then there will be a larger amount of serotonin in the brain. Less tryptophan relatively, less serotonin.

      That’s why we have an issue that can pop up with a higher protein intake: most typical protein sources have a higher concentration of the others.

      The carbs actually have a huge role in this, though. The BCAAs are insulin sensitive, so when insulin is up (via more carb taken in), blood BCAA levels go down. If blood BCAA levels are down, they won’t be hogging the LNAA transporter, allowing more tryptophan to get to the brain and consequentially more serotonin produced.

      And so vice-versa (where you drop carb and increase high quality protein), you start to lower serotonin from both angles. You’ll have more BCAAs hogging the transporter and less tryptophan to begin with.

      And so all that is basically possibly why you crave bread. Kind of an automatic self-medication to try and improve serotonin levels.

      If Vitamin D doesn’t seem to help the problem, I’d suggest having one or two free meals throughout the week (once a week or once every 3 or 4 days). It’s not a time to cram in every possible grain and naughty food you can get your hands on, but simply eating a normal meal as you would if you didn’t care about health/fitness/etc (and specifically in your case, bread). This will help both psychology and physiologically.

      Source / Further Reading

    • Steven Low March 9, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

      Other things that may help are:

      1. Remove as much artificial light as possible, especially before bed time (computer, lights, etc)

      2. reset sleep cycle properly to go to bed at 9-10 pm

      3. eliminate other stressors

      4. Make sure you’re taking fish oil (sometimes that can help with depression as well).

      5. Eat more good fats, especially saturated

  11. Stan April 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Dude this is very informative. I actually understand you. In addition to the websites I follow about nutrition, yours is bookmarked now too.
    Weight loss is not rocket science. You can do it free and you can work out at home with a set of used dumbells and a pull up bar. A “bad” personality trait of mine is to get annoyed with people who are overweight or complain about not being able to lose weight. It’s not difficult considering your saving your life.

    So far I’ve lost 30lbs as of this writing and I did it all at no cost, a lot of cardio and weight training. I’m more fit, awake and full of energy. It feels awesome. I can’t understand why people don’t make this change. For me personally, (in MY experience), there is no small steps. My motivation and self discipline is fairly strong so in my mind it’s go all the way or don’t try it at all. Your life is the most important thing. If you want to live long and healthy you have to exercise, eat right and keep moving. I would say the only motivator out there is the scale and body fat calipers. I stuck with this coz I saw the numbers drop. That feeling is awesome and the next time you work harder to bring them down more. Now it’s routine and I love it. I’ll stop babbling.
    Thanks for your information. Sifting through the web your website really stands out.

    • Chris Salvato April 26, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

      Stan,

      Thanks for all of the compliments and congratulations on your gains (or, losses, as it were!).

      Just out of curiosity, was your 30 lb weight loss a result of the information you read on this site, and the knowledge you gained from our material? I am just curious.

      Thanks!

      Chris

  12. Chief June 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    I’ve started loving this site! It is very informative, legit, has friendly interactions and is alive!!
    As for the article it is very comprehensive and I’d definitely want to read more from you.

  13. Adalba Brun March 22, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Dear Chris,

    I have a swimming competition on April 21st, 2012. Swimming 800mts on open water at Miami, Fl. I have been practicing. I swim those 800mts in 30 mts but IN THE POOL. THis saturday March 24th I will go to the beach to see how well I perform. I was trying to get a better way to eat since I am overweight. I am 5’3″ 152 lbs. I ran into your article and I loved it. It is very down-to-earth. I am going to follow it as of saturday. I believe you mentioned that if your are lighter -weight terms- you work out better. That is my goal: lose weight to be a better swimmer. I will try your advices for 21 days. I will let you know how it goes. Thank you in advance. adalba

  14. Bob January 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    I think there are some insinuations made in this article that are not backed up by real, rigorous science such as grains being bad for you. This is simply not true and when you exit the trendy best selling pseudo-science books and review the literature you will learn that there is not a shred of evidence to back up the claims that grains are bad for you. There is archaeological evidence that suggest Europeans have been eating grain for 30,000 years. French and Italians are some of the healthiest national-cultural groups and they eat a ton of bread. Of course refined bread is bad for you, but so are fruit cups but you don’t hear anybody telling ou to stay away from whole fruits!

    • Chris Salvato January 24, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Bob,

      Thanks for the input, but I will have to respectfully disagree. In fact, I am not sure you read the article at all.

      I never said to avoid grains from an evolutionary standpoint in this article or in the comments. I said that grains are a poor dietary choice, and even state clearly that I will not explain why, right in the article:

      This article will not address the dozens of ideologies and schemes that exist in mainstream dieting (high carb, low carb, etc.), nor will it address things like why breads/grains are poor dietary choices

      I am sure that our species has been eating grains for quite a while, but thats not the point.

      This article is intended to get people started on the right path to questioning and testing their diet, without worrying too much about the details.

      Saying something like, “Well, refined grains are bad for you, but so is a fruit cup, but you can have hand milled grain or whole grains, so long as it doesn’t contain gluten, or you are not gluten insensitive,” isn’t exactly the simplified getting started message that this article’s audience needs :)

      Chris

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