Often when people embark on the journey towards keeping a healthier diet, they brace themselves for a life of sacrifice and deprivation, wistfully longing for the pumpkin spice lattes they'll have to forgo in favor of straight green tea! The path to eating more healthfully doesn't have to feel like it's an upward crawl toward Mount Everest...in fact, when we increase healthy, satiating foods, our nutritional life can become very simple. There is no longer a need to count calories or portion out certain percentages of our diet to carbs, proteins and fats. There's a certain simpleness and ease to those things that are best for us in life.
From years of experience as a wellness consultant for biohackers via the WellnessFX platform, I have been able to follow bio-marker trends with my clients as they make dietary and other lifestyle changes. The most substantial and beneficial nutritional benefits I have seen are when people follow a modified Paleo-type diet. Now, some think that Paleo (or the Atkins diet that came before it) means being given license to eat 25 slices of bacon EVERY day! C'mon people, you still need to use common sense! If we truly follow a diet that mimics how our ancestors ate, gorging on meat every once in a while would be an accurate portrayal. Thousands of years ago, when a clan was able to kill a large animal, everyone would be able to feast heartily on meat for several days. But then the diet would go back to roots and other vegetables, nuts, berries..and probably a number of grubs (you can choose whether you'd like to add a grub or two to your plate!) until the next kill.
Very simply, compose your diet mostly of various brightly-colored vegetables with plenty of lean, well-sourced proteins and healthy fats. Fruits are okay too, and they can be serve a yummy treat, but no more than 2 per day. Try to cut down on (or cut out completely) the starchy "white things" in your diet including anything made of flour (pasta, breads, pastries), cereal, rice (white or brown), potatoes, and of course sugar (which includes candy, soda, juices, and alcohol...and ice cream!). If you choose to keep these in your diet, my advice is to have no more than one serving of these carbohydrate-rich foods per meal...a portion of which is generally the size of your fist (i.e. 1/2-3/4 cup of cooked rice, for example). After you get used to what a serving size looks like, it is not at all necessary to measure it out.
Remember the saying "you are what THEY ate" in relation to choosing meats properly. By “well-sourced” I mean this…when possible, choose grass-fed beef (NOT fed "Vegetarian diet" which likely includes grains and corn, and likely GMO feed at that) and free range chicken. We inherit the metabolic legacy of the food we eat, so sourcing food well is supremely important! Also eating "wild" fish, instead of farmed fish, is advised.
If you don't eat meat, make sure you are adding plenty of nuts and seeds (hemp and chia too!), beans and lentils, pseudograins (quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, and wild rice) to your daily intake. Eggs and dairy products also pack a lot of muscle-building protein, so include these too if you're so inclined.
This diet has been found to be instrumental in maintaining healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Many people also note that they feel more energetic, loss their "brain fog", and feel lighter. Also, as this diet is an anti-inflammatory diet, the symptoms of inflammatory disorders including arthritis, autoimmune disorders, functional pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and allergies vastly decrease!
Eat at regular intervals, making sure that you eat a protein-rich breakfast within an hour of waking. If you eat eggs, don't forget the power-packed, high-nutritional value of the gorgeous yellow yolks! A nutritious breakfast is the best way to set your metabolic meter for the day!
Lastly, but very importantly, cut out ANYTHING in your diet that has High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). If you're eating a whole food diet, this is easy to do. Watch out, though, especially when you go out to eat. This chemical is in many processed foods (even ketchup, jams, and juices), so always take a glance at food labels before you choose them. HFCS is a metabolic disrupter which causes overeating and leads to insulin resistance!
There you have it, my quick and dirty on the best diet for just about everyone!