We get a lot of questions about nutrition and healthy eating, from clients, relatives and friends. Most people are overwhelmed by all the information available. One “expert” says to reduce sugar in your diet. Another one says to eat “super foods” (whatever those are). Still another says to eat little or no carbohydrates. Who do you believe?
Countless diet strategies have been proposed over the years. In fact, if you search the term “diet book” on Google, you get 1,630,000 results! There is the 8 Hour Diet, the Mayo Clinic diet, the Glycemic Index diet, the Volumetrics diet and the Low Carb diet – just to name a few! Which one is right for you and how do you know?
First, understand that fad diets will come and go. Remember that diet book authors are not required to have any formal training or certification. Literally anyone can write a book about anything. An author doesn’t even have to know what they’re talking about, as long as they can tell a good story, they can write a book!
Second, recognize that, if you’re like most people, you are unlikely to maintain a diet that requires you to significantly change your eating patterns. For example, most people that start a low carbohydrate diet give up and return to their old ways of eating within a few months (if not weeks). It’s just too hard to deny yourself entire categories of food. You’re also unlikely to maintain a diet that requires you to eat 6 or 7 meals each day if you work at a 9 to 5 job. It’s just too hard to find time for the “extra” meals.
Third, understand that healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated. We are learning more and more about health and nutrition each day, but that doesn’t mean the basics of good nutrition are changing that much. Don’t get me wrong, you should continually be learning, but focus on what’s really important.
We have found that managing the amount of fat in your diet is a great place to start. Experts say that a healthy diet should contain no more than 20 to 30 percent of total calories from fat. Unfortunately, most Americans get a much higher percentage of their calories from fat.
The reason that we emphasize the need to control your fat intake is because, when you do, most other nutrients take care of themselves. Think about it. In order to ensure that fat calories are no more than 30 percent of total calories, you really have to eat more fruits and vegetables (very low or zero fat), and you have to minimize the amount of processed foods too (usually higher in fat).
So, if you feel overwhelmed with conflicting nutrition and diet information, just focus on the amount of fat in your diet. Keep it simple.
Remember, healthy choices each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?
Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? Check out our FREE eBook at www.HealthyFamilyFuture.com. Many of the strategies in this book can be used by both children and adults.
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