Eat Less CRAP. Eat More FOOD
By: Dr. Peggy Malone
Eat less CRAP:
C – Carbonated Drinks
R – Refined Sugars
A – Artificial Sweeteners and Colours
P – Processed and Fast Foods
Eat more FOOD:
F – Fruits and Veggies
O – Organic Lean Protein
O – Omega 3 Fatty Acids
D – Drink More Water
Following these 2 simple rules will be a giant step in the right direction toward better health and wellness. This easy to remember acronym is a great tool for anyone looking to increase their awareness of what they are putting into their bodies and decrease the unhealthy processed crap in their diet.
Let’s take a look at each piece individually. We will start with the CRAP:
Carbonated Drinks: The average American drinks 56 gallons of soda per year! (That’s 212 litres for us Canadians… and we aren’t too far behind.) This fact is a big reason why so many of us in North America are sick and overweight!! Some people drink soda pop every single day and never drink water at all!! There are lots of more specific reasons why drinking this much soda is a bad thing which we will leave to another post… I think you get the point.
Refined Sugars: Our hunter gatherer ancestors didn’t come across sweet things very often and when then did… (Like finding berries or other sweetness in nature…) …They would eat as much as possible because it was so rare to find it.
And because our hunter gatherer ancestors bodies were designed to eat as much sweetness as possible… because it was so rare… we now can’t help ourselves. If I taste something sweet… my taste buds, my nervous system, my brain are all yelling YES YES YES… give me more.
Our bodies are just not designed to handle so much sugar. Sugar is the “Cocaine” of the food world… and most of us are highly addicted.
Artificial Sweeteners and Colours: When it comes to artificial sweeteners, I tell my patients and clients to opt out completely!! The research is mixed on whether these chemical compounds cause health problems including diabetes, cancer and even weight gain (ironically) but I choose to trust mother nature and the history of what our ancestors have eaten for thousands of years rather than something that was concocted in a lab a few short years ago.
Nutrition science is so young and when you start messing with mother nature and trying to fool her, you are bound to cause major problems with your health!! Stick with small amounts of natural sweeteners like raw honey and maple syrup!
The story is similar when it comes to artificial food colourings. Artificial food coloring is unnatural and has been linked to hyperactivity, allergic reactions, and tumor growth. There are natural colouring agents that have been used for generations that you could use instead of chemical dyes that are bad for your health.
Processed and Fast Foods: 80% of the ‘food’ in our modern day grocery stores didn’t exist at all 100 years ago.
Much of what the average North American is eating is not really food at all… it’s edible food-like products that have been invented by scientists.
Not all science and progress is a good thing. Just because we can do something with an assortment of chemicals and make something that tastes good and will keep for years doesn’t mean we should… and it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to eat that crafty science project on a regular basis. That would be messing Mother Nature right?
Well, guess what? This is exactly what most of us have been doing for most of our lives and it’s time for a change.
Ok let’s move on to something more positive and talk about FOOD:
Fruits and Vegetables: This would be better if it said Vegetables and Fruits but that wouldn’t work for the acronym! Eat lots and lots of veggies and some fruits to get the best that nature has to offer in terms of many of our nutritional needs!
Organic Lean Protein: If possible this should be from a sustainable, pastured animal source. Grass fed beef, organic pastured chickens and pigs or wild fish.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: We have been conditioned for the past 40 years or so to demonize fat and think that it’s bad for us. Well guess what? Not so much. In fact, fat is an important nutrient that keeps us healthy. By increasing your intake of Omega 3 fats you will decrease inflammation in your body and decrease your chance of chronic diseases like diabetes, allergies, and problems with mood and memory.
Drink More Water: Your body is made of 60-75% water so it makes sense that you should drink more water. The general rule that I pass on to my patients and clients is to take your weight in pounds and divide by 2. That number is the number of ounces of water you should aim to drink each day. (eg. If you weigh 160lbs, you should aim for 80 oz of water each day.)
So if you want to do 2 simple things to improve your health do these 2:
1) Eat less CRAP
2) Eat more FOOD