This isn't for your grandma. It's for you. Today's tip to 2011 is about an essential part of the human diet, but one that is in short supply in the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)
Are you a S.A.D. person?
Here's how you know:
- you shop at a typical "supermarket" and your cart is filled with anything and/or everything canned, frozen or boxed from the center aisles
- you rarely shop the perimeter of the store, and whole fruits and veggies don't make their way into your cart in large amounts
- your plate is regularly filled with animal meat/fat
- you eat alot of highly processed carbs (bagels, pasta, cereal, bread, pizza)
- your food contains alot of unhealthy fats (saturated, hydrogenated)
Is this you? Don't know? Take 5 minutes away from this post, open your cabinets and do a quick nutritional info check of 5+ things on the shelves. Scan the ingredients list found under the Nutritional Information box on the panel of the boxes, jars, cans, etc in your cabinets. Go ahead. I'll wait.
Basically, if it's in a box, in a can or a jar--it's processed. If it doesn't die, wilt or rot in a few days, it's not a whole food. This is ok in moderation. But what percentage of your daily, weekly, monthly and YEARLY diet is like this?
read FOOD RULES by Michael Pollan to learn more...
The Standard American diet is linked to the staggering rates of high cholesterol, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and any other number of health-related issues. Think you're just unlucky enough to be sick all the time? Have an aunt or uncle, or spouse who just can't catch a break and is in and out of doctors' offices all the time? What is their diet telling you?
I'm focusing on fiber today because it is one of the biggest black holes in the average American's diet. People snicker and laugh at Metamucil commercials, but those old folks know their shit. Literally.
They know how important it is to have a bowel movement each day, and how crappy you feel (I'm pulling out every poop pun possible) if it doesn't happen. Have you ever stopped to notice yourself? You should be eliminating every day. If you're not, you are not eating enough fiber.
There are two kinds of fiber that you want to know more about. Quite simply, from the Mayo clinic staff:
Fiber is commonly classified into two categories: those that don't dissolve in water (insoluble fiber) and those that do (soluble fiber).
- Insoluble fiber. This type of fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts and many vegetables are good sources of insoluble fiber.
- Soluble fiber. This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.
Continue reading more about the benefits of fiber from that article by clicking here.
Read up on fiber, do an inventory of your shelves and cabinets, and rethink the choices you're making regarding the nutritional content and delivery of food into and through your system. Are you spending your money on whole foods with plenty of fiber or processed versions of less nutritional products?
Make a few changes and take notes about how your digestion, elimination and moods change in the next two weeks.
Your colon will thank me.