7 Food Swaps for Healthier Eating without Big Diet Changes.

Via Mark Hyman
on Jun 25, 2015
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Editor’s Note: This website is not designed to, and should not be construed to, provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion or treatment to you or any other individual, and is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional care and treatment. For serious.

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A Food Revolution Starts with these 7 Simple Swaps

To reverse our diabesity epidemic, we need nothing less than a food revolution. The most powerful thing we can do for our health is to take back our kitchens and cook real food.

Not everyone is ready for or wishes to undertake such a dramatic, sweeping change. That doesn’t mean we need to take an either-or approach and succumb to processed, sugary foods that contribute to inflammation, obesity and chronic disease.

If we’re reluctant to make a complete kitchen overhaul, we can take action and transform our diet with a few simple swaps. These seven replacements can create dramatic changes in our diet without feeling restrictive or as if we’re eating “diet food.”

  1. Replace breakfast with a protein smoothie. Most people start the day incorrectly, eating dessert for breakfast or skipping this most important meal altogether. A protein shake is a simple solution that stokes our metabolic fire and burns more calories during the day, accelerating weight loss. We can load a filling, satisfying, appetite-controlling shake with superfoods, proteins, healthy fats and phytonutrients that will keep steady blood sugar and energy throughout the day. Grab some of my favorite shake recipes here.
  2. Upgrade meat and eggs. Conventional meat and eggs often come loaded with hormones and antibiotics. Look for animal products that are pasture-raised, grass-fed and free of antibiotics, hormones and pesticides. Go on a low-mercury diet by sticking with small, wild or sustainably farmed fish. Please eat the whole egg—yolks contain important vitamins and fats needed for brain and mood function.
  3. Replace gluten starches with green vegetables. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and oats. While humans began cultivating grains 10,000 years ago, about 50 years ago the type of gluten changed as we created new strains of wheat (genetically altered dwarf strains I call Frankenwheat). This change created a veritable epidemic of problems, including a 400 percent increase in celiac disease and a dramatic rise in gluten sensitivity, affecting about eight percent of the population. An easy way to go gluten free is to simply substitute another leafy or cruciferous vegetable for what would normally constitute a starch on our plate. We can easily do this when dining out. If our entree includes risotto or couscous, we can ask our server to substitute sautéed spinach or half a sweet baked potato.
  4. Replace bad oils for good oils. Corn, soybean, canola and sunflower oils contain inflammatory omega-6 fats and currently make up 10 percent of our calories. Instead, we should stick to extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Extra virgin olive oil contains polyphenols, which are powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Coconut butter or oil is a powerful cellular fuel and also contains anti-inflammatory fats such as lauric acid, the same fat found in breast milk.
  5. Replace unhealthy fats for healthy fats. The standard American diet (SAD, indeed) contains a massive amount of pro-inflammatory fats that keep us sick, tired, fat and inflamed. Make the leap to anti-inflammatory healthy fats. Have one serving of a healthy fat at each meal. That might be ¼ avocado, wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef or nut or seed butter such as almond or cashew.
  6. Replace sugary snacks with nuts. Nuts can help reverse diabesity and provide numerous other health benefits. They provide a great source of protein, fiber, minerals and good fats. Buy raw or lightly toasted unsalted nuts. Avoid nuts that are fried or cooked in oils. The best are almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and pecans. Stick with one or two handfuls for a snack once or twice a day. Remember a serving is 10 to 12 nuts or a good handful.
  7. Replace coffee for green tea. Coffee can interfere with our liver’s detoxification mechanisms, makes us less insulin sensitive, and its caffeine content revs up our stress hormones. Make the switch to green tea and stick to one to three cups a day. The beneficial antioxidants will override green tea’s small amount of caffeine.

I’m sure you can think of plenty more simple healthy swaps to bring dramatic health change without much effort. Share your top one below or on my Facebook fan page.

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References 

Lovallo WR, et al. Caffeine stimulation of cortisol secretion across the waking hours in relation to caffeine intake levels. Psychosom Med. 2005 Sep-Oct;67(5):734-9.

Rubio-Tapia A, et al. Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):88-93. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.03.059. Epub 2009 Apr 10.

Tunnicliffe JM, Shearer J. Coffee, glucose homeostasis, and insulin resistance: physiological mechanisms and mediators. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008 Dec;33(6):1290-300. doi: 10.1139/H08-123.

Yang D, et al.  The antimicrobial activity of liposomal lauric acids against Propionibacterium acnes. Biomaterials. 2009 Oct;30(30):6035-40. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.07.033. Epub 2009 Aug 8.

http://www.med.umich.edu/umim/food-pyramid/eggs.html

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/12/78

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Author: Mark Hyman

Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: Google Images for Reuse

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About Mark Hyman

Mark Hyman, MD, believes that we all deserve a life of vitality—and that we have the potential to create it for ourselves. That’s why he is dedicated to tackling the root causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of Functional Medicine to transform healthcare. Dr. Hyman and his team work every day to empower people, organizations, and communities to heal their bodies and minds, and improve our social and economic resilience.
Dr. Hyman is a practicing family physician, a nine-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field. He is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. He is also the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a medical editor of The Huffington Post, and has been a regular medical contributor on many television shows including CBS This Morning, the Today Show, CNN, The View, the Katie Couric show and The Dr. Oz Show.
Dr. Hyman works with individuals and organizations, as well as policy makers and influencers. He has testified before both the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Senate Working Group on Health Care Reform on Functional Medicine. He has consulted with the Surgeon General on diabetes prevention, and participated in the 2009 White House Forum on Prevention and Wellness. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa nominated Dr. Hyman for the President’s Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. In addition, Dr. Hyman has worked with President Clinton, presenting at the Clinton Foundation’s Health MattersAchieving Wellness in Every Generation conference and the Clinton Global Initiative, as well as with the World Economic Forum on global health issues.
Dr. Hyman also works with fellow leaders in his field to help people and communities thrive—with Rick Warren, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Dr. Daniel Amen,he created The Daniel Plan, a faith-based initiative that helped The Saddleback Church congregation collectively lose 250,000 pounds.  He is an advisor and guest co-host on The Dr. Oz Show and is on the board of Dr. Oz’s HealthCorps, which tackles the obesity epidemic by educating American students about nutrition. With Drs. Dean Ornish and Michael Roizen, Dr. Hyman crafted and helped introduce the Take Back Your Health Act of 2009 to the United States Senate to provide for reimbursement of lifestyle treatment of chronic disease. Dr. Hyman plays a substantial role in a major documentary, produced by Laurie David and Katie Couric, called Fed Up (Atlas Films, September 2014)which addresses childhood obesity. Please join him in helping us all take back our health at his website, follow him on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.

Comments

2 Responses to “7 Food Swaps for Healthier Eating without Big Diet Changes.”

  1. Annette says:

    Had to laugh at the Betty Crocker Nacho Pot Pie ad at the end of this fantastic nutrition article.

  2. Mary says:

    Oats don’t contain gluten. The fact that they are grown in fields rotated with gluten grains means a little barley is often harvested with oats, as some comes up with the oats from previous plantings. Look for gluten free oats.

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