How is a mom to know true healthy eating guidelines?
To know which foods are best to eat myself. Which foods are best to serve to my family. The number of experts out there who seem to offer THE "healthy eating guidelines," many of which conflict with each other, seem almost endless.
When I was growing up, we learned in school about the four basic food groups. Each meal was supposed to include at least one portion of a food from each group. Simple. Then somewhere along the line the government created the "nutrition pyramid." Not so simple. And maybe not so good, either. Now there are a number of types of nutrition pyramids. The main one was recently revised. Do I think the government and the corporations that influence it are a reliable source for healthy eating guidelines? I used to. But after following, or attempting to follow the pyramid, and doing a lot of research, I have to say, "no."
If you trust them, it would make sense to try to follow their advice, I guess. I did make an attempt to eat according to the original pyramid once, eating a high-carb diet. I worked out regularly, too. And what happened? I gained a lot of weight! Ugh. Thanks but no thanks, nutrition pyramid "experts!"
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Once I realized following the nutrition pyramid just wasn't going to work for me, I started looking for other ideas. There was no lack of them! I won't waste your time listing them all, but let's just say that a lot of diets that make a lot of sense on paper just didn't translate well into real life. And on the rare occasion I found an appealing plan that may have helped me lose weight, it often involved chemical, fake-food or fractionated ingredients with scary names that are almost impossible to pronounce. Sure, I might have risked my own health eating those fake foods, but I could never feel right about giving them to my children. And my children have always had a knack for wanting to eat whatever I eat.
Finally, I started to find healthy eating guidelines that seemed to make sense. Should we all go back to the four food groups? No. Some of the best nutritional research comes from studying tribal cultures, learning about the diets of our ancestors. Traditional foods. Not from a few decades ago, but further back. Dr. Weston Price traveled the world, studying the diets and health of tribal people all over the world, just before modern Western foods became available to them. His observations were fascinating, and very important.
I have good news for you--a lot of the "forbidden foods," according to the "experts" in the mainstream media really can be good for you, when grown and prepared in traditional ways! Foods like steak, butter, eggs…
Why is nutrition important? Good nutrition, or the lack of it, affects so many areas of our lives.
For moms, it can help us feel better, and function well. Good nutrition satisfies our stomachs, enhances a calm frame of mind, and helps us think clearly. It provides a steady source of strength, stamina, and energy.
During pregnancy, it helps with healthy development of our babies. When nursing, the right foods and herbs can increase the quality and quantity of your milk.
For children, good nutrition helps them grow at a healthy pace. It allows for good physical development. Healthy fats enhance superior brain development. Good nutrition helps to build, and even can help repair the immune system, with healing diets such as the GAPS Diet.
Good nutrition is very important. Following the right principles can be a powerful tool for you as a mom.
Eat Whole Foods, Avoid Processed Foods
Eat Foods as God made them. Avoid GMO products. I call them products, because I’m not sure GMOs can even rightly be called foods.
Avoid soy and foods with soy-based ingredients.
Learn if you have food allergies, or food sensitivities. Avoid the offending foods, while eating to heal your gut. With food sensitivities, if you go on a healing diet like the GAPS Diet, you may be able to heal to the point that you can add those foods back into your diet.
Make sure you feed your children generously from all three macronutrient groups: healthy proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Failure to do this may result in sub-normal height, weight, poor brain development, behavioral problems and eating disorders. Make sure you nourish your body well before and during pregnancy. And continue while nursing your babies.
Learn what healthy proteins are, and eat them.
Know Your Fats. Learn what healthy fats are. Add them to your diet. Avoid bad fats.
If you have digestive problems, consider a temporary, or permanent grain free diet.
If you tolerate grains, eat only whole grains.
Dr. Garrett Smith is now the most reliable and sensible source of nutritional information I have found. I will write more about him in the future.