Nutrition Basics Made Simple
Eat smaller amounts more often and spread them evenly across the day. (5-6 meals/day) This is like throwing wood on the fire, adding flames, keeping the metabolism running high.
Timing is everything. Eat a balanced meal/snack before your work-out/sport and follow up with a balanced meal.
All carbs are not created equally. Think of sustained energy as opposed to increasing your blood sugar and then crashing.
Know your proteins. Your protein source should be about the size of a deck of cards. To find out your protein requirements, multiply your body weight by .8 and this will equal your protein needs/day. Then divide this number by 5 or 6 (depending on the number of meals per day) to see how much protein per meal. The less legs, the better.
Fats are fabulous! Fats are critical for good health. Eat unsaturated fats, not saturated. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. Examples are: olive oil, flax oil, fish oils, coconut oil.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Break your fast every morning, even if it’s only a grab and go meal.
Build a meal intelligently. Have a combination of protein and carbs, preferably, with plenty of fiber. When you build your meal, you should have a protein source (deck of cards size), some brightly colored carbs that are rich in fiber (size of your fist), and you want to have some good fat, either from olive oil or fish.
Between meal snacks are a good thing. This keeps your metabolism running high and helps to control your appetite for when you do eat.
Make supplementation a daily routine. (multi-vitamin, antioxidant, probiotic, EFA-3)
Stay hydrated with water and/or herbal tea. Drink water to keep your appetite accurate. Water is necessary for the metabolic pathways to function correctly.
Go organic and local with your whole- food choices wherever possible; flash frozen is fine, too.
- Healthy fat: extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, grass-fed tallow and organic or pasture-fed butter, ghee, almond milk, avocados, coconuts, olives, nuts and nut butters, cheese (except for blue cheeses), and seeds (flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds).
- Protein: whole eggs; wild fish (salmon, black cod, mahi mahi, grouper, herring, trout, sardines); shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, clams, oysters); grass-fed meat, fowl, poultry, and pork (beef, lamb, liver, bison, chicken, turkey, duck, ostrich, veal); wild game.
- Vegetables: leafy greens and lettuces, collards, spinach, broccoli, kale, chard, cabbage, onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, artichoke, alfalfa sprouts, green beans, celery, bok choy, radishes, watercress, turnip, asparagus, garlic, leek, fennel, shallots, scallions, ginger, jicama, parsley, water chestnuts.
- Low-sugar Fruit: avocado, bell peppers, cucumber, tomato, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, eggplant, lemons, limes.
- Herbs, Seasonings, and Condiments: You can go wild here as long as you watch labels. Kiss ketchup and chutney goodbye but enjoy mustard, horseradish, tapenade, and salsa if they are free of gluten, wheat, soy, and sugar. There are virtually no restrictions on herbs and seasonings; be mindful of packaged products, however, that were made at plants that process wheat and soy
The following can be used in moderation (“moderation” means eating small amounts of these ingredients once a day or, ideally, just a couple times weekly):
- Non-gluten grains: amaranth, buckwheat, rice (brown, white, wild), millet, quinoa, sorghum, teff. (A note about oats: although oats do not naturally contain gluten, they are frequently contaminated with gluten because they are processed at mills that also handle wheat; avoid them unless they come with a guarantee that they are gluten-free.) When non-gluten grains are processed for human consumption (e.g., milling whole oats and preparing rice for packaging), their physical structure changes, and this increases the risk of an inflammatory reaction. For this reason, we limit these foods.
- Legumes (beans, lentils, peas). Exception: you can have hummus (made from chickpeas).
- Carrots and parsnips.
- Whole sweet fruit: berries are best; be extra cautious of sugary fruits such as apricots, mangos, melons, papaya, prunes, and pineapple.
- Cow’s milk and cream: use sparingly in recipes, coffee, and tea.
- Cottage cheese, yogurt, and kefir: use sparingly in recipes or as a topping.
- Sweeteners: natural stevia and chocolate (choose dark chocolate that’s at least 70 percent or more cocoa).
- Wine: one glass a day if you so choose, preferably red.
- Shredded Coconut
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Grass Fed Beef
- Free Range Eggs
- Wild Salmon
- Free Range Turkey
- Free Range Chicken
- Mixed Greens
- Berries (in moderation
- Bell Pepper
- Black Pepper
- Goat’s Cheese
- Ezekiel Bread
- Sweet Potatoes
If experiencing gluten intolerance symptoms, the products on this page should be avoided. Instead, concentrate on gluten free, brain healthy foods. This is sure to help maintain or improve brain health and function.
The following grains and starches contain gluten:
- Wheat germ
- Graham flour
- Kamut Matzo
The following foods often contain gluten:
- malt/malt flavoring
- commercial bullion and broths
- cold cuts
- French fries (often dusted with flour before freezing)
- processed cheese (e.g., Velveeta)
- malt vinegar
- soy sauce and teriyaki sauces
- salad dressings
- imitation crab meat, bacon, etc
- egg substitute
- non-dairy creamer
- fried vegetables/tempura
- canned baked beans
- commercially prepared chocolate milk
- breaded foods
- fruit fillings and puddings
- hot dogs
- ice cream
- root beer
- energy bars
- trail mix
- instant hot drinks
- flavored coffees and teas blue cheeses
- wine coolers
- meatballs, meatloaf communion wafers
- veggie burgers
- roasted nuts
- oats (unless certified GF)
- oat bran (unless certified GF)
The following are miscellaneous sources of gluten:
- lipsticks, lip balm
- non self-adhesive stamps and envelopes
- vitamins and supplements (check label)
The following ingredients are often code for gluten:
- Avena sativa Cyclodextrin
- Fermented grain extract
- Hordeum distichon
- Hordeum vulgare
- Hydrolyzed malt extract
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Phytosphingosine extract
- Samino peptide complex
- Secale cereale
- Triticum aestivum
- Triticum vulgare
- Tocopherol/vitamin E
- Yeast extract
- Natural flavoring
- Brown rice syrup
- Modified food starch
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
- Hydrolyzed soy protein
- Caramel color (frequently made from barley)
What is the Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index encompasses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid and persistent elevation in blood sugar. The reference point is pure glucose, which has a GI of 100. The greater the GI of a food, the higher the correlated insulin response.
What is Glycemic Load?
The Glycemic Load takes into account the quantity of carbohydrate being consumed and how this is reflected in the glycemic response. By definition, the glycemic index compares equal quantities of carbohydrate. In 1997 the concept of glycemic load was introduced by researchers at Harvard University to quantify the overall glycemic effect of a typical portion of a given food. Thus, the glycemic load of a food reflects the glycemic index, but is simply adjusted to reflect a typical portion of that particular item. The higher the GL, the greater the expected elevation in blood glucose and the insulin response that will follow.
Whether you are sick, well, overweight, metabolically compromised, experiencing brain issues, or just want to preserve your mental wellbeing, understanding that the Glycemic Index plays a pivotal role. Choose foods with a lower GI while making sure they are gluten-free. This will maintain healthy levels of blood sugar and insulin. These are the keys to enhancing general health as well as brain health and function.
Gluten Associated Cross Reactive Foods
Make sure to make note of the gluten free recipes you like and foods that you think might be still giving you trouble (e.g., you experience similar gluten intolerance symptoms such as an upset stomach, headaches, or brain fog every time you eat a certain food). Some people are sensitive to foods that are included in this diet. For example, about 50 percent of those who are gluten-intolerant are also sensitive to dairy. Surprisingly, researchers are also finding that coffee tends to cross-react with gluten and can mimic symptoms of gluten intolerance. The same can be said about all of the foods listed below. If, after embarking on this diet you still sense a glitch somewhere, you may want to have an additional Cyrex lab test done called the Array #4, which can help pinpoint those foods that, for you, cross-react with gluten. It identifies reactions to the following:
Foods to Avoid!
- Do not eat cereal grains — wheat, barley, oats, corn — or foods made from them — bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, oatmeal. The exception is white rice, which we count among our “safe starches.” Rice noodles, rice crackers, and the like are fine, as are gluten-free foods made from a mix of rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch.
- Do not eat calorie-rich legumes. Peas and green beans are fine. Soy and peanuts should be absolutely excluded. Beans might be acceptable with suitable preparation, but we recommend avoiding them.
- 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.
- Polyunsaturated fats should be a small fraction 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.
Grain Brain, Dr. David Perlmutter, www.drperlmutter.com
Your Personal Paleo Code, Chris Kresser
Wheat Belly, William Davis