Eat God's foods, not the addictive, food-like substances companies create. Processed food entices us through colorful bags and boxes that are convenient and easy to eat. However, the nutrients were stripped from the original food source to give the product an extended shelf life. That's great for the food manufacturer, but bad for the person who eats it, because it has no nutritional value.
We can't eat just one because addictive substances like sugar and salt are added to tantalize our taste buds. Instead of consuming God's nutrients, we consume loads of calories from refined foods that do not nourish us. We become malnourished but overweight. It takes a lot more processed food to fill up our stomach than it does raw vegetables that contain fiber. So every time you eat, evaluate the food. Ask, "Am I about to eat God's food that will nourish my body or a food-like substance that will not?"
The following low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic, anti-inflammatory eating guidelines are my secret to maintaining optimal weight and brain health. This type of eating plan is recommended for improving memory and cognition and preventing and reversing Type 2 diabetes.
Healthy Eating Guidelines
Low-carbohydrate, anti-inflammatory dietary guidelines include:
- About 50 percent of food items are fresh organic vegetables.
- Eat one fresh, raw serving of low-glycemic fruit per day. Low-glycemic fruits include green apples, berries, cherries, pears, plums and grapefruit.
- Do not always eat cooked foods. Eat a couple of servings of raw vegetables every day. Have a salad for lunch with either nuts or meat. When eating out, order a salad or coleslaw as sides, since both are raw.
- Another 25 percent of your daily food intake should come from an animal or vegetable protein such as beans, nuts and lean meats. Fish is exceptionally nutritious. Try to eat it once a week.
- A variety of different nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein, minerals and essential fatty acids.
- Avoid sugar, flour, rice, pasta and bread. Instead, eat more fruits, vegetables and low-glycemic grains such as quinoa and pearled barley.
- Do not eat sugary cereals. Instead, eat oatmeal, fruit or granola. Be careful, as the sugar content of granola may be high.
- Try not to eat anything containing more than 10 grams of sugar in one serving. You can find information regarding sugar substitutes here.
- Eat nontraditional grains such as quinoa, amaranth, pearled barley, wild rice and oats.
- Eat cultured foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut and cultured plain Greek yogurt since they contain natural probiotics. Add one to two tablespoons of these foods to a meal twice a week or eat the yogurt as a snack. I take a probiotic capsule every day.
- Replace undesirable ingredients with whole foods. A few replacement recommendations include:
- Replace sugary snacks with nuts, nut butter, dark chocolate and plain Greek yogurt with berries.
- Replace condiments and sauces containing MSG or high-fructose corn syrup with spices, vinegar and herbs.
- Replace table salt with kosher or sea salt.
- Replace fried foods with baked foods.
My additional healthy eating tips include:
- Make homemade granola from organic oats (recipe in appendix 4). For breakfast, I add fresh berries to a bowl of granola.
- Buy or whip up a flavorful dip like hummus or guacamole to eat with a platter of fresh vegetables (not chips or pita bread).
- Substitute beans for meat for some meals.
- Squeeze a slice of lemon and two drops of stevia into a glass of water. It is like drinking fresh lemonade.
- Boil eggs and keep them in the refrigerator for a snack.
- Chew your food thoroughly because this is where digestion begins.
You can obtain a printable copy of these guidelines here. While shopping at a grocery store, spend time along the edges of the store in the dairy, meat and produce sections. Stay away from the center of the store where processed foods experience an extended shelf life. Remember, a long shelf life means the nutritional value of the food has been removed. Otherwise, the food becomes rancid at some point. If a food spoils, it is beneficial, but if it does not spoil, it contains no nutrients.
So enjoy God's fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and meat. Genesis 1:29 tells us, "Then God said, 'See, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is on the face of all the earth and every tree which has fruit yielding seed. It shall be food for you." The incredible sensation of how God created our bodies to feel motivates me to continue to eat well every day. I am more productive when I eat God's healthy foods.
Susan Neal, RN, MBA, MHS is a certified health and wellness coach with the American Association of Christian Counselors. She has published six books, including the Selah Award winner, 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. Susan blogs and provides healthy menus, recipes and corresponding grocery lists at HealthyLivingSeriesBlog.com. You can find her books on Amazon or at her website, susanuneal.com.
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