There is not a one size fits all diet for everyone because we all have different bodies in different states of metabolic health, different age groups have different needs, different genetics, different cultural backgrounds and different goals. However, the unifying thread across all groups is Real Food.
The Real Food approach includes:
- Cutting out or significantly cutting down on sugar (even the so-called “natural sugars” such as honey or agave syrup). Denormalise sugar in your life.
- Cutting out artificial sweeteners.
- Cutting out or reducing consumption of beige carbohydrates (this includes pasta, rice, bread, biscuits, crackers, crisp breads, cereals).
- Eating plenty of vegetables – eat the rainbow – different coloured vegetables have different phytonutrients and antioxidants.
- Enjoying healthy fats in moderation – oily fish, avocado, olive oil, full fat dairy (if tolerated).
- Enjoying fermented foods to optimise gut health.
- Avoiding any processed food with more than five ingredients.
The Real Food Traffic Light System is merely a generic guide and will be especially helpful for our Metabolic Syndrome patients (Fatty liver, Diabetics and Prediabetics).
How low do you go?
There is no one answer to this question as it depends on a number of things – principally:
- How insulin resistant you are – the more insulin resistant you are, the lower in carbs you generally have to go,
- Depending what your personal goals are – if you want to come off certain medication and put your disease into remission and especially if you have been insulin resistant for a long time, you may well need to be stricter with your carb intake.
Please consider watching the video on Degrees of Carb Restriction.
Eat The Rainbow
Enjoy a beautiful array of vegetables (and some fruit) in your diet and forget the 5 a day – because actually, we probably should be eating more than 5 a day – why not 9 or 12 a day? The beautiful colours in vegetables and fruit mean they contain phytonutrients and antioxidants which actually do great things in the body. Vegetables and fruit are a great source of soluble and fermentable fibre which feeds your microbiota (your gut bacteria). Diversity is nature’s theme – diversity of the plant foods in our diet and diversity of our microbiota.
Eating too much sugar at breakfast
Breakfast is probably one of the most difficult meals in the day because culturally we are used to eating refined processed carbohydrates and lots of processed breakfast foods are laden with sugar. Feeding ourselves and our children with typical breakfasts like cereal or toast ensures we are riding the sugar rollercoaster all day long. Our blood sugar levels soar than 2-3 hours later, our blood sugar plummets making us hungry and needing to eat more. Contrast this with a nutrient dense breakfast like eggs and avocado with fat and protein that keep our blood sugars stable and keep us full.