There are tons of “diets” out there promoting health. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was developed as a nutritional plan to improve blood pressure. The Traditional Mediterranean Diet (TMD) has tons of data validating its health benefits.
Then there are keto diets, Paleo, South Beach, and the list goes on and on. There are benefits to each of these nutritional approaches.
So what should you do?
There are 2 components to nutrition: the intake of good nutrients and the elimination of toxic (or relatively toxic) substances that may be causing problems.
A comprehensive nutritional approach will address BOTH of these issues.
I generally recommend whole food sources for things like Omega-3s, potassium, magnesium, etc. However, it is very unlikely that you’ll be able to get all you need through your food alone. Therefore, use supplements to fill the gaps.
1) Eliminate refined carbohydrates – less than 50 grams per day
2) Fruits & Veggies: At least 10-12 servings daily of high quality fruits and vegetables in a ratio of 2 fruits to 3 veggies
3) Omega-3s – Take enough of a high-quality Omega-3 fish oil to get your Omega-3 Index greater than 8%. We measure this on our labs.
4) Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA) – Use a high-quality Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) abundantly for cooking & seasoning dishes. Be sure to get at least 2-4 tablespoons per day (40 grams per day) or olive leaf extract 500mg twice daily. Be sure to get your olive oil from a GOOD source. I recommend (& use) We Olive but most of the southern California varieties will be good.
5) Eliminate ALL trans fats!
6) Eliminate High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
7) Saturated Fats – there is no good data to recommend eliminating saturated fats.
8) Sodium – less than 2 grams per day. To give you an idea, 1 teaspoon = 4000mg.
9) Potassium – 5-10 grams of potassium per day
10) Magnesium – at least 1000mg of magnesium chelate (magnesium glycineate, magnesium taurate, or magnesium malate)
11) Protein – 1.5 grams/kg of body weight daily
12) Mixed fiber – 50 grams daily
13) Pomegranate seeds – 1/4 cup 1-2 times daily. Northwest Wild Foods is a great source for these year round.
- Use olive oil abundantly for cooking & seasoning dishes
- Eat 2 or more servings per day of veggies with at least 1 served fresh in a salad
- Eat at least 2-3 servings per day of fresh fruit (including natural juices)
- Eat at least 3 servings per week of legumes
- Eat at least 3 servings per week of fish or seafood including at least 1 serving of a fatty fish
- Eat at least 1 serving per week of nuts or seeds
- Eat white meat (chicken, rabbit) instead of red meat, burgers, sausage, or processed meat
- Cook at least twice weekly with a sauce of tomato, onion, and garlic which should be made by simmering these ingredients in olive oil. Use this as dressing for vegetables, past, rice, and other dishes
- Eat 2 main meals of the day seated at the table; each should last at least 20 minutes
- Use wine as the main alcohol, drink 1-3 glasses per day
- Consume the following foods as desired: nuts, eggs, fish, seafood, low-fat cheeses, dark chocolate, and whole-grain cereals.
- Cream, butter, margarine
- Cold meats, pate, duck
- Carbonated or sweet beverages
- Pastries, cakes, donuts, cookies, puddings, custards, especially if industrially produced
- Fries and potato chips
- Aim for less than 1 serving per week of cured ham, red meat, and fatty cheeses