Refined, “Empty Calorie” Foods: highly processed flour and grain products such as cookies, cakes, white bread, white pasta, and white rice are stripped of most of their nutrients, leaving you with nothing but a plate full of calories devoid of nutritional value. When fiber, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids are removed from foods, you are left feeling hungry, leading to the over-consumption of these products which often leads to fatigue, bloating, lethargy, and weight gain.
Refined carbohydrates (including sugar) also rob the body of important minerals and trace elements, weakening the structural matrix of our joints and the vertebrae of our spine. Consuming these products on a regular basis (even as an athlete) can lead to glucose intolerance where even a small quantity of carbs may cause inflammation, water retention, yeast overgrowth and immune system failure. The consumption of refined food increase the risk of infection, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, weakens our immune function and diminishes our reproductive capacity.
NOTE: Fiber is needed to clean out the gut and to remove carcinogens from our digestive tract (colorectal cancer is 90% preventable by a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated and trans-fats).
Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup: Eliminate refined sugar from your diet and limit your intake of natural sugars. Nearly all forms of sugar (including honey) are extremely high in calories and interfere with the body’s ability to combat viruses and destroy bacteria.
Processed foods: Processing removes and destroys nutrients. Food made with artificial flavours, colors, and preservatives are highly addictive and have no nutritional value.
Sodium and “Bad Fats”: Salt reverses our sodium potassium ratio. Kidney function and blood pressure are genetically programmed for the low sodium intake of our ancestors. Stop eating processed food including margarine and shortening and avoid oils, sauces, and dressings high in saturated and trans-fat. Avoid cheese or cream based sauces, fried food, deli meats, and canned soup, meat, and vegetables. These products displace essential fats, are toxic to the body, and often lead to dehydration and bloating.
Caffeine, Alcohol, and Carbonated Beverages: In high-doses, these substances are toxic to the body, leaving you acidic and dehydrated. They also irritate the stomach lining, contribute to stress, worsen inflammation, and affect the body’s ability to absorb micronutrients including iron.
Gluten: Even if you don’t suffer from celiac disease, having a diet high in gluten (barley, rye, and wheat) can negatively affect your health in a number of ways, simply because our bodies were not designed to ingest it. Gluten promotes wrongful messages to our DNA code, causing it to express wrong or faulty proteins. It can causes increased abdominal fat and allergic reactions ranging from symptoms ranging from headaches to bloating.
- Beyond Dieting by Dr. Joyce Tellier Johnson,
- Optimum Sports Nutrition by Michael Colgan