The following healthy eating guidelines are my secret to maintaining optimal weight and brain health. This is a low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic, anti-inflammatory eating plan, which is the type of diet recommended for improving memory and cognition and preventing and reversing type 2 diabetes.
A low-glycemic diet does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels. Foods high in carbohydrates cause a release of glucose into the bloodstream and a corresponding rise in insulin. Avoid the following high-carbohydrate foods: cakes, crackers, sugary cereals and drinks, flours, bread products, jellies/jams, and refined potato products. These types of foods are addictive.
Healthy Eating Guidelines
Low-carbohydrate, anti-inflammatory dietary guidelines include:
- About 50 percent of food items are fresh organic vegetables.
- Eat one fresh, raw serving of low-glycemic fruit per day. Low-glycemic fruits include green apples, berries, cherries, pears, plums, and grapefruit.
- Do not always eat cooked foods. Eat a couple of servings of raw vegetables every day. Have a salad for lunch with either nuts or meat. When eating out, order a salad or coleslaw as sides, since both are raw.
- Another 25 percent of your daily food intake should come from an animal or vegetable protein such as beans, nuts, and lean meats. Fish is exceptionally nutritious. Try to eat it once a week.
- A variety of different nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
- Avoid sugar, flour, rice, pasta, and bread. Instead, eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-glycemic grains such as quinoa and pearled barley.
- Do not eat sugary cereals. Instead, eat oatmeal, fruit, or granola. Be careful, as the sugar content of granola may be high.
- Try not to eat anything containing more than 10 grams of sugar in one serving. You can find information regarding sugar substitutes here.
- Eat nontraditional grains such as quinoa, amaranth, pearled barley, wild rice, and oats.
- Eat cultured foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and cultured plain Greek yogurt since they contain natural probiotics. Add one to two tablespoons of these foods to a meal twice a week or eat the yogurt as a snack. Personally, I take a probiotic capsule every day.
Replace undesirable ingredients with whole foods. A few replacement recommendations include:
- Replace sugary snacks with nuts, nut butter, dark chocolate, and plain Greek yogurt with berries.
- Replace condiments and sauces containing MSG or high-fructose corn syrup with spices, vinegar, and herbs.
- Replace table salt with kosher or sea salt.
- Replace fried foods with baked foods.
My additional healthy eating tips include:
- Make homemade granola from organic oats (recipe in appendix 4). For breakfast, I add fresh berries to a bowl of granola.
- Buy or whip up a flavorful dip like hummus or guacamole to eat with a platter of fresh vegetables (not chips or pita bread).
- Substitute beans for meat for some meals.
- Squeeze a slice of lemon and two drops of stevia into a glass of water. It is like drinking fresh lemonade.
- Boil eggs and keep them in the refrigerator for a snack.
- Chew your food thoroughly because this is where digestion begins.
- While shopping at a grocery store, shop along the edges of the store in the dairy, meat, and produce sections. Stay away from the center of the store where processed foods experience an extended shelf life. Remember, a long shelf life means the nutritional value of the food has been removed. Otherwise, the food becomes rancid at some point. If a food spoils, it is beneficial, but if it does not spoil, it contains no nutrients.
80 Percent/20 Percent Rule
Please try not to be overwhelmed by all of this information. Guide your eating with the 80/20 percent rule. If you eat healthy 80 percent of the time and not so healthy 20 percent of the time, this will probably be an improvement.
If you eat healthy 80 percent of the time and not so healthy 20 percent of the time, this will probably be an improvement.
I don’t eat perfectly, but I try. With God’s help, I attempt not to eat more than 10 grams of sugar at one sitting. If I mess up, the next day I get to start new, as indicated in Lamentations 3:22–23, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (NIV).
Each morning as I wake up, my body tells me how well I ate the