But as good as the same diet with vegetables and fruits? No way. If I want to lose weight, should I eat less? And if I eat less, will my metabolism really slow down? And if you lose weight, yes, because a smaller body burns fewer calories than a larger one. The effects tend to be modest, however, unless the weight loss is extreme.
You can compensate with exercise, and building some muscle, both of which increase your metabolic rate. What kinds of foods do you think will help support weight loss? And, any food you eat while riding in the Tour de France. What should I care about on nutrition labels? Calories, fat grams, or sugar grams?
Okay, sure. But what about the ones with labels? If the ingredients are wholesome, the nutrient profile will be fine. If the ingredient list is dubious — chemicals, various kinds of added sugar, questionable oils, sodium, and so on — the nutrient profile will be, too. It is really the overall nutritional quality of the food, rather than any one nutrient, that matters.
For help getting it right, that even an 8-year-old can use, see here. What about intermittent fasting?
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Is that actually effective for better gut health and energy levels? Fasting is not more effective than limiting calorie intake every day. Fasting is a way to control average, daily food intake — but not the only way. Can I just eat the same thing every day?
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Variety over time is important to the quality of a diet, but that can be concentrated at dinner if you prefer. So, for instance, how about whole grains hot or cold , mixed fruits, and nuts for breakfast — every day? Then, how about a salad, soup, or stew of mixed vegetables and beans or lentils for lunch? And then for dinner, a wholesome variety of choices.
Is there really such a thing as a superfood? Yeah, except for quinoa, right? Which is magical or something. If your diet is excellent, no single food will be responsible for the benefits. If your diet is terrible, no single food will compensate.
This would apply to foods like spinach, broccoli, blueberries, chickpeas, pinto beans, lentils, kale, peaches, or walnuts. What about avocados? Are they bad for you or good for you? One a day is certainly fine. Which is good fat? And too much is bad. How do I get that fat balance? To avoid an excess, limit the intake of foods high in saturated fat. That includes most meats, and full-fat dairy.
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And all junk food is suspect for all sorts of reasons. What about animal fats like lard or tallow? Lard is almost 40 percent saturated fat; and tallow is more than 50 percent saturated. And there are other factors: Unlike oils that are predominantly unsaturated, such as olive oil, there is no evidence of a health benefit from lard or tallow. Olive oil.
Got it. That one I knew.
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What about coconut oil? But olive oil and cold-pressed canola oil are better choices. Organic, obviously. Even I know that organic is better. For many reasons, including that organic farming protects farmworkers from harmful pesticides.
There are also clear environmental and ethical benefits. But … is it healthier? Proving specific health benefits for organic food is nearly impossible: Imagine a randomized trial comparing only organic food to no organic food, but exactly matched in every other way. Should I take probiotics?
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Yes, okay, but — what is the microbiome? Whole foods, minimally processed, mostly plants, and plain water are good places to start. One of the current gimmicks — which helps to sell books — is the idea that you have to eat to feed your microbiome. They eat the foods to which they are adapted, and the bugs adapted to live inside them thrive as they do.
A balanced diet is a near-certain way. Okay — so what are probiotics again? Think of it like putting high-quality grass seed on a distressed lawn. What happens if I eat too much yogurt? Probably you get full. What about vegetables? Age is everything, and freezing retards aging. Does cooking food make it less healthy? Cabbage and other brassicas — including broccoli and most dark, leafy greens — are more readily digested with gentle cooking as well.
What about soy? Is soy good or bad for me?