Being in the nutrition profession, I hear this over and over again: vegan, primal, gluten free — there are so many competing theories on nutrition, it’s confusing! What should I eat?
My answer is that food is a highly personal choice. It's cultural, emotional, social, political and health related. In weighing all of these factors, you make the best possible decision for your body and your life.
That said, having studied the various dietary theories and in working with clients, there are three simple principles that are surprisingly consistent.
1. Eat mostly whole foods, focusing on vegetables with some lean proteins and whole grains.
Go for foods that look close to their original form. Eating a mix of these foods, each in moderation, is the key. For example, eating too much kale can reduce the body's ability to absorb calcium. Eating too much meat or poultry, which are both high in omega-6 fatty acids, can cause inflammation. A well-balanced mix can provide a full range of vitamins and minerals while being deliciously satisfying. Most importantly, make it fun. Experiment and discover what you like.
Here are a few "rules within the rule" that can help you stick to a whole-food diet: