Parties, barbecues, vacations, potluck suppers, picnics, theme parks, the beach, dinner parties – summer Parties, barbecues, vacations, potluck suppers, picnics, theme parks, the beach, dinner parties – summer is filled with endless excuses for eating sugary, salty, processed, fried and all other kinds of unhealthy foods. But here’s a not-so-secret fact: your body doesn’t get a vacation from the effects of the Standard American diet (SAD). To keep it running at peak condition, you need to fuel it with nutrient-dense, plant-based foods.
You need to follow a Nutritarian diet.
A diet made up primarily of vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts and seeds is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. Don’t talk yourself out of being healthy and fit. It is just as easy to fuel your body with phytochemicals from plantsas it is to eat the wrong foods. It’s just a matter of changing your mindset. Eat plant foods, emphasizing anti-cancer superfoods like cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, and berries to have a healthier diet.
It’s not hard to change your way of eating. What’s hard is dealing with the diseases that are caused by or exacerbated by a diet of toxic junk and convenience foods: heart disease, diabetes, cancer.
To be in excellent health, your diet must be rich in plants and micronutrients—the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals that are abundant in vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts and seeds. Use my 5 easy tips to make changing your diet from SAD (the standard American diet of processed flour, salt, sugar, and harmful fats) to a good-for-you Nutritarian Diet stress-free:
- MAKE SALAD THE MAIN DISH
Load up your salad with shredded cabbage, tomatoes, sliced red onion, and a creamy dressing made with nuts and seeds.
- MAKE SOUPS, STEWS AND CHILIS
Make a large pot of a vegetable bean soup, stew, or chili over the weekend, then reheat a portion for lunch each day at work.
- ENJOY THE NATURAL SWEETNESS OF FRUIT
Exchange sugary desserts for fresh fruit or frozen fruit sorbets and “nice creams.”
- LIMIT ANIMAL PRODUCTS
Start using animal products in smaller quantities, as a condiment or flavoring agent, not as the main focus of the meal.
- ONLY EAT WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY
Remember that eating more high-nutrient foods blunts the desire for low-nutrient foods. Before you know it, you’ll lose interest in the low-nutrient foods that you initially thought you couldn’t live without, and you’ll be less hungry too.
To help you get started on the road to creating incredibly delicious main-dish salads, download my free infographic The Perfect Salad. It is your guide to making salad quickly and easily, plus it gives you incredibly flavorful recipes for nut- and seed-based dressings. Nuts and seeds may be high in fat, but they are extremely healthful foods linked to a favorable weight and enhanced longevity.
Blending nuts and seeds to make a salad dressing boosts a salad’s nutritional value. The problem with oil-based dressings is that oils are a high-calorie, very low-nutrient food that is rapidly absorbed by the body and quickly converted into body fat. The benefit of a nut- or seed-based dressing is that it contains fibers, sterols and stanols that bind some of the fat in the digestive tract, limiting the amount of fat absorbed by the body. (Fat from nuts and seeds is mostly burned for energy, rather than stored as fat.) Because of this unique trait, adding nuts and seeds to your diet, even though they are relatively high in calories, promotes weight loss.
Some people ask me why I don’t recommend that they use a fat-free commercial salad dressing. The fact is, fat helps your body absorb beneficial fat-soluble phytochemicals, like carotenoids – so using a fat-free salad dressing severely limits the health benefits you could obtain by eating salad. But it is important that the fat in your dressing comes from healthful nuts and seeds because they have proven lifespan-enhancing benefits that oil does not have.
Use my tips and infographic to help you begin a diet that focuses on plant foods and emphasizes anti-cancer superfoods like cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms and berries. For maximizing your healthy lifespan, log onto DrFuhrman.com to learn more about the many benefits of nutrient-dense eating. If you aren’t currently eating this way, you need to be. Studies have shown that those who include more vegetables and fruits in their diet are slimmer, healthier and live longer.