'Why I Quit The Paleo Diet And Started Eating Like This Instead'
6 months ago, 1 Jan 19:30
I was a paleo person once upon a time. And it had its benefits, mostly in retraining my palate to appreciate healthier foods (I no longer crave sugary cereals). But ultimately, I chafed against the arbitrary-seeming rules, especially since I don't have any food intolerances. Like most people, I want to eat healthfully without thinking about it all the dang time. Turns out, there's a plan for that. And I don't mean "clean eating." That's a trendy but nebulous term, says nutritionist Keri Glassman, R.D. "For some people it might mean, 'I'm not eating fast food, or fried food.' Or, 'I'm eating only raw, vegan food prepared at home.'" Clean eating has also been defined as restricting certain kinds of fats, or nixing meats—all those capital-R rules I had sworn off after paleo. Some critics have accused clean eating of judginess (with its implication that other choices are "dirty"), and others worry that the rigidness can lead to disordered eating. Instead, what I decided to try was a similar but more concrete way of eating called "real food," which focuses on whole, minimally processed ingredients but doesn't outlaw entire food groups. Think of it as the varied omnivorous diet we used to consume before the food industry started transforming potatoes into chips and meats into cold cuts. Or as Michael Pollan puts it in his seminal book In Defense of Food, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." The real food movement has been building for several years, gathering followers (#RealFood has 4 million Insta posts) and blogs, like 100 Days of Real Food (1.6 million likes on Facebook). By late 2016, "real food" surpassed "clean eating" as a search term. And more important, it has solid science behind it. When nutrition expert David Katz, M.D., director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, compared a slew of diets, he pulled out the best elements of all of them—minimal intake of highly processed foods and added sugars, and a focus on whole plant foods while allowing quality animal products—and proclaimed those "the best" for health. In other words, he says, "real food." Eating this way most of the time can lead to weight loss, better ability to handle stress, and clearer skin, according to Katz and many other nutrition experts. That's because you'll slash your intake of some of the biggest health-and weight-sabotaging culprits—refined carbs, sugars, and trans fats—that drive hormonal imbalances, spike blood sugar, and increase inflammation, says nutritionist Ali Miller, R.D., author of Naturally Nourished. You're also upping your intake of blood sugar-balancing fiber, energizing B vitamins, mood-stabilizing minerals like magnesium, and anti-inflammatory antioxidants—nutrients often stripped away in processing and refining. And results may come quickly: A recent study found that nine days on a meal plan low in fructose (the sugar in soda, juices, and many processed foods) cut levels of liver fat by 20 percent. That's all great news—if you don't mind cooking frequently and, an even bigger if, you can stick with it, often tricky ...
Category: magazine women