I am often asked what is diet that will fuel optimal performance?
In more recent times, I have received lots of questions on the Paleo diet. It has included a questions around carbs, specifically whether the avoiding or limiting carbs is the right thing to do?
There are 8 core principles to a healthy eating plan:
- Balance. The body is a suite of systems seeking a balance of nutrients. Food is the ingredients used to run your systems so you can function. So at work you have sustainable energy, quality memory, good concentration and an even mood.
- Quality. Carbs is a broad word meaning different things to different people. I talk about quality carbs rich in fibre, that may contain some protein and which are dense in essential nutrients.
- Variety. You cannot get all you nutrients from one food group. We are meant to eat a range of foods from different foods groups to get a wide variety of nutrients.
- Moderation. Moderation is what many of us lose sight of. Just as not enough of a key nutrient is not great, too much of a key nutrient is also not good.
- Nutrient dense. If you want value for effort, choose food that not only looks, smells and tastes good, and satisfies you but which also nourishes you.
- Fresh. Fresh particularly that which is locally grown will give you the best chance of eating nutrient dense great tasting food.
- Occasional feasting. Aim to eat healthy most of the time, the occasional healthy feast will not spell doom for your wellbeing.
- Enjoyment. Eat food that engage your senses with colour, taste, texture and smell.
These are principles. We are all different, so we all have different needs.
If you would like to seek out a specific eating plan for a specific life stage or unique and specific health or wellbeing needs, email or call me to discuss.
Limit or avoid carbs?
Is it okay to avoid or limit carbs?
I work with a lot of clients who are struggling with fatigue. There are different causes of fatigue.
On the list of causes I see is restriction or limiting of carbs.
There is so much hype on paleo. Do not get me wrong, for some the paleo principles of eating may work. But just because it works for some does not mean it works for all.
- There is no one diet or eating plan that we should all follow.
- It is important not to demonise food groups.
- It can lead to removal of key nutrients from your diet.
Research published by the Charles Perkins Centre shed some new light on the conversations underway.
- They found “starchy carbohydrates were a major factor in the evolution of the human brain”.(1)
- That “the human brain uses up to 25% of the body’s energy budget and up to 60% of blood glucose”.(1)
It is important to know:
- Quality carbs, protein, healthy fats and water are all essential macronutrients.
- Being macronutrients, on a relative basis we need these nutrients in larger amounts.
- Yes protein is important, however not at the expense of quality carbs.
- Enjoy your food, nourish your body.
- Include some quality carbs (think sweet potato, turnips, beetroot, brown rice, legumes, whole grain pasta).
If you would to explore on how to create a sustainable healthy and enjoyable eating plan, call or email me.