As Americans, we don't have the best reputation for health and diet. We have all the options in the world, literally, but still revert to high fat and sugar choices. But, the thing is, many other countries eat fats and sugars too, but in different forms. I'm talking about healthy fats, and unprocessed sugars.
Healthy fats and sugars?
Yes, in today's post I want to talk about better alternatives to fats and sugars to better optimize the energy in your body.
The three missing ingredients to the American diet are:
- Healthy oils
- Natural sugars
- Whole grains
Dieting is not about cutting fat, sugars, or carbohydrates, but knowing which ones to eat, and how much.
When we eat the right fats, we stay full longer and crave less snacks. Some healthy fats you can add to your diet are olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed, almonds, walnuts, salmon, avocado and other seeds and nuts. Eat in small amounts and not only feel full longer, but improve your brain health, and skin health. These fats are essential and I believe their benefits go beyond the studies that can be proven today. Try these Coconut Flax Pancakes.
Sugar. . . how it finds its way into everything. The truth is we need carbohydrates for our brain to function optimally. We cannot avoid sugar, but choose the form we take. In many countries brown and raw sugars are the norm and contain more beneficial properties than it's processed, white counterpart. The unrefined, brown sugars take a little longer for our body to process so may provide more benefits in stabilizing our blood sugar.
But, if we have a sweet tooth, the best option is to eat small amounts of fruit so we gain the benefit of fiber. For instance, if we eat a slice of orange, the body will process the sugar with fiber, and this "bulk" will slow down blood sugar spikes. Eating a whole orange is far better than drinking orange juice, which is basically sugar water. Our body was designed to eat the whole fruit, not just the sugar from the fruit. Try this Poached Pear Recipe for dessert.
Who really wants to give up carbohydrates? We don't have to. We just need to choose more wisely. Whole grains are packed with beneficial vitamins and nutrients including B Vitamins, fiber, and minerals. To give grains up would not be beneficial in the long run because they do provide a powerhouse of energy and nutrients for us. Choose barley, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, pop corn, and farro to get whole grain benefits. Add them to soup or salads. Follow this recipe for Farro Spring Salad.
This nutrition and health advice is not to be substituted for medical advice from a medical doctor.