Achieving a healthy diet doesn’t have to be hard, time consumming or require significant nutritional knowledge!
By following these simple steps you can improve your diet quickly and easily in support of your better well being.
• 80/20 Rule – Ensure that 80% of the food on your plate is alkaline and 20% is acidic. For more information on the importance of alkaline verses acid for your health take a look at this blog post – The Power Of Alkaline
• Vegetables – Make vegetables the focus of your diet. Regulate fruit intake which can be acidic (See Some Foods To Include Or Avoid/Limit below).
• Raw Food – Try and ensure that ½ of the 80% alkaline food is raw, e.g. salad.
• Fried, Burnt or Browned Food – Restrict fried, burnt or browned food, hydrogenated fats and excess animal fat as much as possible. Frying or burning foods changes its molecular structure and raises acidity.
• Sugar, Refined Carbohydrate & Processed Food – Limit sugar, white refined or processed food. These generally have a higher level of chemical additives, empty calories and can be too acidic.
• Fermenting – Limit yeast, malted & fermented products as these encourage fungal overgrowth, e.g. Candida overgrowth.
• What You Drink – Limit tea, coffee and alcohol which raise acidity. Do not replace with excessive intake of fruit teas which are also acidic. If drinking tea, coffee or alcohol then ensure the best quality you can afford. Water or herb teas are best!
• Think Quality – Use the best quality of food you can afford. Try to focus on organic foods, locally sourced and produced foods, un or low processed foods and food that is fresh. The longer food is stored the more nutrients are lost and the greater the possibility of fungal growth.
• Cooking Times – Do not overcook food as this reduces the mineral and vitamin content.
• Wholegrain – Try to make as much of your 20% acidic food as wholegrain as possible depending on any individual sensitivities.
• Food Combing – Combine food types properly to limit the production of excess acidic from digestion. Key points include:
1. Eat proteins only with vegetables
2. Eat carbohydrates only with vegetables or slower fermenting fruits
3. Eat slower fermenting fruits (e.g. apples, bananas, coconuts) with either vegetables or carbohydrates
4. Eat fast fermenting fruits (e.g. berries, peaches, pears, melon, mangoes) alone
5. Don’t drink water with animal fat protein meals as this impedes digestion of the protein.
• Finally – everything in moderation. Think the 80/20 rule again – if you follow these guidelines for 80% of the time, slipping for 20% won’t harm!
Some Foods To Include Or Avoid/Limit
Best Vegetables: Tender stem Broccoli, Asparagus, Curly Kale, Spinach.
Other low acidic vegetables: Broccoli, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Greens (Lettuce, Watercress, Swiss Chard), Parsnips, Peas (Fresh), Swedes, Turnips
Higher Acidic Vegetables (eat in moderation by the 80/20 rule): Potatoes (Red are better), Winter Squash (has a high sugar content), Sweet Potatoes
Best Fruits: Lemon, Grapefruit, Limes
Other Lower Acidic Fruit: Watermelon, Red Currants, Cantaloupe Melon, Cherries, Bananas (unripe).
Most other fruits are acidic and fast fermenting – limit amount eaten and eat alone.
Grains (Limit to the 20% portion) – Spelt, Quinoa, Wheat & Rice (Note: Wheat and rice are mucus producing foods so restrict if suffering from poor digestion). Include Rye, Oatcakes, Tortillas and Porridge if tolerated. Try and ensure grains are fresh and not stored as storage increases the amount of mould present in the food.
Best Fats: Nuts & Seeds and cold pressed oils made from these. Again try and get these as fresh as possible, including the oils. If Candida overgrowth is a potential problem limit nuts which can contain high levels of mould.
Include: Dairy (if tolerated), Eggs, Meat & Fish (in 20% portion). Fish are particularly good – use Salmon (fresh not farmed), Trout, Swordfish and Tuna.
Avoid As Much As Possible: Yeast, Refined Carbohydrates, Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners, Caffeine, Malted & Fermented Products, Alcohol, Corn and Shellfish, Peanuts and Peanut Butter (Peanuts have a high level of mould).
There are many different approaches to healthy eating each focusing on a particular problem and many often contradicting each other! By following the above guidelines you will receive a balanced diet which reduces the possibility that what you are eating makes your condition worse. For further information about specific issues the following books may be of some use. My advice is to read them, take on board that which works for you and ignore the rest!
- The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health – Dr Robert Young & Shelley Redford Young (Good for further information about acid/alkaline levels of food.
- The Optimal Nutrition Bible – Patrick Holford (High focus on taking supplements but some good ideas for healthy eating too)
- Eat Right For Your Type – Dr Peter D’Adamo and Catherine Whitney (You need to know your blood type to get the most out of this book!)
- The Gut Makeover – Jeannette Hyde (A good approach to gut repair. Some focus on weight loss but the approach is useful for general improved diet)