Confused about all the conflicting health advice out there?
Sometimes it’s all to hard. Do this, don’t do that. The label on this packet state’s it is healthy, but is it? Supplements, protein shakes, super-foods, Help!
The basics of good health are simple. If you can follow the basics for 80 percent of the time, the odd meal out or indulgent treat is not going to make as much difference. These are the top 5 things to focus on to improve your health that you can start doing right now.
1. Cook at home more often
If you cook at home you know what you are eating. In a cafe or restaurant the chef cooks for taste, not health and will often add more seasonings and fats for flavor. If you cook at home you are in control, so you won’t have excessive amounts of oils, sugar or salt added. You will also save money and gain useful skills in the kitchen. Cooking together with family or friends is also a lot of fun.
2. Eat whole foods as close to their original state as possible
Buy produce, grains and meat in their original state. Eat food your great grandma would recognize. Avoid packaged foods where possible. If you do pick up a packet, look at the ingredients label. Look for labels with 5 ingredients or less and don’t eat it if you can’t pronounce it.
3. Eat grass fed and finished meat
Grass fed pastured beef has as much omega 3 as a lot of fish, compared to beef that has been fed grain. When a cow is fed grain for some or all of its life it has a higher ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3. Grass fed cows have a higher amount of omega 3 than omega 6. A higher ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 has been found to have multiple heath benefits including improved joint, bone and mental health.
The same goes for chicken, eat pastured chicken and eggs if you can find it. It’s a bit of a step up from free range, as the rules for free-range have become quite lax. Preference for organic if you can afford it, which has no antibiotics.
4. Reduce sugar intake
Train your taste buds to get used to less sugar. The fructose in refined sugar has been shown to cause inflammation in the body and turn quickly into fat. This relates a bit to the 2 points above if you are not having canned soda, baked beans, packaged biscuits, cereals etc you will probably have reduced your sugar intake significantly. Gradual reduction of sugar in coffee and tea also helps.
5. Embrace good fats
Eat butter, coconut oil, ghee and animal fats. Avoid hydrogenated seed oils. This might sound like the exact opposite of what we have been told to do for years. Man made processed margarine and seed oils are not as good for us as less processed fats. They contain high amounts of omega 6 when compared to grass fed butter and animal fats which are higher in omega 3. Vegetable and seed oils also go rancid when heated to high temperatures. Olive oil is good when raw, but has a very low smoke point where it turns rancid.