I behold the secret.

secret to changing your eating habitsIt’s worth billions of dollars, yet I am giving you the secret to changing your eating habits because it’s just that important and everyone needs to know. There are millions of people working to change their eating habits for many different reasons-because you want to feel better, for disease prevention, weight loss, managing a disease process, or reversing a symptom…the mystery has been solved.

The secret to changing your eating habits is to change your paradigm.

So what does this mean? It means that if you truly want to change your eating habits, you have to change your mindset about food. Most importantly, consider the nutrient density of the foods you eat. Nutrient density is defined as the amount and variety of nutrients in a food compared to the energy (calories) it contains. Additionally, be mindful of other additives in foods that make them less healthy, such as artificial colorings, flavor enhancers, and emulsifiers. Furthermore, when whole foods are altered to reduce fat or sugar content, additional ingredients are often added, further diminishing their nutrient value.

When you start prioritizing nutrient density, you’ll quickly realize that much of the available “food” lacks nutritional value. Even so-called “healthy” alternatives may not offer much nutrition.

  • Homemade broth surpasses various water flavorings in nutrient content.
  • Flaxseed often turns granola bars into glorified candy bars.
  • Gluten-free cookies and crackers don’t inherently become healthy.
  • Both white and wheat bread lack significant nutrition.
  • All forms of pasta undergo extensive processing.
  • Turkey bacon isn’t necessarily a healthier option than pork bacon.
  • Cereals, even high-fiber ones, may not provide much usable nutrition.
  • Added sugar in yogurt to enhance taste can negate the benefits of probiotics.

 

Here are a 7 ways that you can start to shift the way you think about foods to truly become a healthier you:

  1. Only a small percentage of the 40,000 food items the average supermarket carries offer real nutrition. Many others are hardly worth the paper they are wrapped in, nutritionally speaking.
  2. The food industry goes to great lengths to make you think a food item is healthy. They advertise nutrient claims like “supports immunity,” “heart healthy,” and “good for digestion,” while minimizing serving sizes for an appealing label. Often, a single ingredient is highlighted, but if they try too hard, they’re likely hiding something. Reading the ingredient list reveals the truth.
  3. For healthy foods, you must commit to preparing meals for yourself. Convenience foods are stripped of most nutrients.
  4. Eat large enough meals so you don’t have to rely on snacking between meals. The concept of consuming 3 meals and 3 snacks daily has proven insufficient for several reasons. Eating every 2 hours keeps insulin levels elevated, prevents the digestive system from resting and replenishing enzymes, and most snacks lack nutrients.
  5. Good ol’ water is the best thing you can drink to hydrate yourself. Sweetened beverages, whether they are artificially sweetened or sugar sweet, do not provide you any benefit. The continued taste of sweetness tricks your brain to want more of something sweet.
  6. Veggies deserve all of the glory they receive. They offer a multitude of vitamins and minerals with little energy intake. There has never been a diet that restricts eating vegetables. Once you begin to increase the amount of veggies you eat you will be well on your way to making your diet more nutrient dense.
  7. Fat is naturally found in foods for a reason. The healthy fats (avocado, olives and their oil, coconuts and their oil, high quality butter, lard, and animal fats) offer unique nutrients that the body can utilize for numerous reasons.
This change in paradigm poses a difficult transition. Making adjustments often requires time, and no one expects you to maintain a perfect diet all the time. It differs from what you’ve heard in the past, but, as Mr. Einstein said, it’s insane to think you can keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

Continue reading The Secret- Part 2: Nutrient Dense Foods