I am extremely passionate about nutrition and I take my work very seriously. Nutrition is extremely individual based. What’s good for one may not necessarily be good for another. However, we can take some small steps to ensure that, while our optimal diet may not have discovered, we can still be in great health. Here are my 6 tips to good health:
1. Eat a large quantity of quality vegetables. This includes a balance of raw and cooked (preferably seasonal, local and organic) vegetables, as well as some fermented veggies thrown in (e.g. sauerkraut, kimchi). This will help achieve your daily intake of vitamins, minerals, fibre and plant chemicals that promote health.
2. Know your fats. The right type of natural fats are extremely beneficial to the body. Some of these include nuts, seeds, avocado, quality fatty fish (e.g. salmon and small amounts of oils such as olive and coconut. Poor forms of fat include deep fried foods, poor quality and processed meats, hydrogenated margarines and heavily processed oils (e.g. vegetable, peanut, cotton seed). These can promote inflammation in the body which can lead to a variety of illnesses.
3. Quality sources of carbohydrates. There is a great deal of conjecture regarding carbohydrates, whether they should be restricted, timed, eaten throughout the day etc. I believe it depends on the individual. However, the type of carbohydrates you consume should be of good quality. Good sources, such as sweet potato, oats, fruit, black beans and wholegrain rice, are accompanied with fibre to help minimise a blood sugar spike and prevent crashing due to low blood sugar. Fibre also helps limit the secretion of insulin which helps prevent type 2 diabetes.
4. Monitor your intake of gluten. Research from Dr. Alessio Fasano indicates that gluten can affect everyone, but again, it is on an individual basis. If you feel bloated or experience any gastrointestinal discomfort after consuming gluten products, consider avoiding them for a few weeks and see how you feel. Even if you are tolerant to gluten products, such as bread and pasta, you should try to avoid consuming them in excess.
5. Only consume high quality animal products. This means grass fed and free range beef, free range poultry and wild caught fish, preferably all organic. Research has shown that these more quality animal products have a better nutrient profile, meaning that the type of fats present are healthier and they contain higher amounts of vitamins and minerals. Therefore, over time, consuming quality animal products will help maintain good health.
6. Eat real food. Real food is grown, prepared and cared for properly, not processed in large factories that involve using chemicals to extract their products. As a good rule of thumb 50% of diet should come from an equal combination of raw and minimally cooked vegetables.
I hope this helps :)
Tim is a Professional Basketballer for the Illawarra Hawks in the National Basketball League. Off the court he is a Certified Nutritional Therapist & Sports and Exercise Nutritional Advisor.