being healthy and enjoying carbs

A Healthy Diet

Healthy eating should be delicious, varied, and seasonal! Nutrition in Chatham NJ and Pompton Lakes NJ is important because it can impact almost every area of your health. Your ability to heal, inflammation, chronic pain, body fat, and even your mood can all be controlled or influenced directly through your nutrition. Targeted dietary recommendations along with conservative supplementation of vitamins and minerals can help patients return to health as quickly as possible or maximize their performance and quality of life.

For some people, "diet" can be a dirty word because it can make them feel like they have to be super strict or have limited choices. We believe it is best to learn how to eat in a healthy, intuitive way, while avoiding named diets, methods, or fads.

Healthy eating can and should be tasty and not make you feel like you're being deprived. Below we listed out some guidelines for what a healthy way of eating can look like while leaving room to adjust for your personal goals, needs, and tastes. *** Need hyperlink to source the recommendations ***

Note: All amounts are pre-cooked weight to make it easier for people to estimate their nutritional needs I.e. If you cook a steak, count the precooked weight, not the grams of protein in that steak.

To make things simple: If you look at your plate, it should be ¾ vegetables, ¼ protein. One of those vegetable servings should be starchy carbs like a potato or rice. Use acids like lemon juice and vinegar, herbs, spices and salt to taste. Include fermented items every day if possible.

We recommend:

  • About 3 pounds [1.4 kg] of plant foods per day, including:
    • About 1 pound [0.45 kg] of safe starches, such as white rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, casava, and taro;
    • About 1 pound [0.45 kg] of sweet root vegetables (such as beets or carrots), fruits, and berries;
    • Low-calorie vegetables to taste, including fermented vegetables like kimchi or sauerkraut and green leafy vegetables.
  • One-half to one pound [0.25 to 0.5 kg] per day of meat, fish, and eggs which should include organ meats, and should be drawn primarily from:
    • Ruminants (beef, lamb, goat);
    • Birds (especially duck and wild or naturally raised birds);
    • Shellfish and freshwater and marine fish.
    • Pastured pork (eating a natural diet, not just corn feed)
  • Healthy oils and fats for cooking and seasoning include low omega-6 fats and oils from animal or tropical plant sources:
    • butter, sour cream, beef tallow, duck fat;
    • coconut milk or oil
    • palm oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut butter, almond butter, cashew butter
  • Acids used for seasoning, especially citric acid (lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice), lactic acid from fermented or pickled vegetables, vinegars, tannic acids from wine, and tomatoes.
  • Broths or stocks made from animal bones and joints and vegetables. Aim for 3 soup bowls per week. A healthy source of collagen for joint, hair, nail and skin health as well as a source of micronutrients like minerals.
  • Snacks or desserts from our pleasure foods: fruits and berries, nuts, alcohol, chocolate, cream, and fructose-free sweeteners like dextrose or rice syrup.

By calories, it works out to about 600 carb calories, primarily from starches; around 300 protein calories; and fats supply a majority (50-60%) of daily calories.

Foods to eat sparingly or to avoid depending on your goals and needs:

  • Do not eat cereal grains - wheat, barley, oats, corn - or foods made from them - bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, oatmeal. Yes, these even includes the "whole grain" or sprouted varieties. The exception is white rice, which we consider a "safe starch." Rice noodles, rice crackers, and similar products are fine, as are gluten-free foods made from a mix of rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch. Avoid getting the majority of your carbs from gluten-free bread and pasta substitutes, especially those with added emulsifiers like carrageenan, etc.
  • Do not eat calorie-rich legumes. Peas and green beans are fine. Soy and peanuts should be avoided for most people. Beans might be acceptable with suitable preparation (soaking, sprouting, cooking for prolonged periods), but we recommend avoiding them unless you enjoy cooking.
  • Do not eat foods with added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Do not drink anything that contains sugar: healthy drinks are water, tea, and coffee, mineral water, sparkling water and herbal teas.
  • Polyunsaturated fats should make up on a small portion of the diet (~4% of total calories). To achieve this, do not eat seed oils such as soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, or the like.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and preservatives whenever possible.

Although they are not nearly as popular as during your grandma's time, we highly recommend certain foods for their micronutrients. These include chicken and calves' liver, egg yolks (2-3/day for an adult), bone marrow (great on toast), seaweeds, shellfish, fermented vegetables, and bone broths.

Healthy eating can certainly be intimidating for many people but with the right guidelines it is simple to start improving your health with nutrition. While it can be confusing to navigate the complex relationship between nutrition and health, the team at Active Care in Chatham and Pompton Lakes are always here to help you reach your goals.