Guest blog article written by Deanna Moncrief, Nutritionist, Founder & CEO of Benchmark Wellness
I will share the top 3 nutrition decisions you can make to feel better, age slower, and, well, that’s it. Is there anything more important? Here we go:
1. Avoid Red #40. And Blue #1. And Yellow #5. There is much debate on whether these artificial colors commonly added to foods should be banned from the FDA’s Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list, but my reasoning is much simpler. Besides the arguments for and against any cancer-causing or attention-deficiency effects in humans, foods to which artificial colors are added are typically lower in nutrition quality and high in sugar (although perfect for office pranks). A notable exception is fresh oranges, which are commonly sprayed with a chemical called Citrus Red #2. This colorant is known to cause cancer, but luckily it doesn’t penetrate orange peels into the pulp. Lucky us (sarcasm added).
2. Eat no trans fats. Trans… transportation? No, for you organic chemistry geeks like me, trans fat is the common name for the trans – as opposed to cis – isomer of unsaturated fat (think Crisco). This particular type of fat is known to increase “bad” cholesterol while lowering “good” cholesterol. This combination of cholesterol changes leads to clogged arteries which lead to heart disease and stroke. Two things surely to hamper your ability to live well and look great.
3. Eat 9-11 servings of vegetables and fruits daily. Wow! Nine to eleven? Don’t hyperventilate; you might be surprised to learn how small a serving is (the fact that a majority of American adults are overweight is a testament to how few of us know what constitutes a serving size). Close your fist. Look at it. Now imagine a nice bowl of cherries the size of your fist. Or a crown of broccoli. Or a big, juicy slice of watermelon. A Frisbee-sized plate filled with lettuce, sliced beets, carrots, yellow bell peppers and tomatoes would contain 5-7 servings by itself, so eat a salad for lunch and you still have time to meet your quota by dinner time.
Feeling and looking great depends largely on what we eat, and eating well doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing, just deliberate.