Protein digests slowly, sustains your energy, keeps you from crashing out, and keeps the sugar cravings at bay! Go protein. If you are a vegetarian, eggs and nuts are great sources, and if you are pro-dairy, cottage cheese works wonders. Protein takes about 3 hours to digest; that's why you feel less hungry if you start the day with protein. Add veggies when you eat protein.
Slowly digesting carbohydrates such as non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, lettuce, and celery, as well as delicious berries and oranges, are a great addition to meals or as desserts ... the fruit that is! The more the merrier, try for at least 3 cups per day of vegetables, with a goal of 5 cups, and eat fruit to tolerance, which is about 1 or 2 per day if you are not diabetic. Remember, listen to your body.
Use the least processed grain as possible as it digests slowly, helps reduce cholesterol, colon cancer, and promotes great digestion and satiety. Who doesn't' want to feel full! Here are some examples: farro, sprouted grain bread, bulgur, basmati brown rice, khorasan wheat (lots of fiber less starch very filling). If you are grain sensitive, eat more veggies, nuts, seeds, and forget the grain, but don't skip produce!
Good fats have been shown to help cell membranes, cell to cell communication, absorption of fat soluble vitamins, your skin, heart health, and that stuff that covers your nerves called a myelin sheath. Loma Linda University has done several studies demonstrating the benefits of walnuts. About 10 to 25 is a serving, which is about 2 ounces. Unsalted preferred, and soaking them 2 days can help with their digestion. If you can't have nuts, include some healthy oils from avocados, organic grape seed oil, flax oil, or extra virgin olive oil.
Make those less than or equal to 25% of your plate, and avoid processed boxed products. Imported pasta, or 3 or 4 ingredient crackers (WASA), pasta, rolls, etc. may be best so that you avoid the fillers, sugars, food coloring, and preservatives of junky starches. Healthier starches include yams, potatoes, beans (high fiber), lentils (high fiber), squashes, high fiber grains, some peas, careful with corn. Cereal can be trouble, so pay attention to the ingredients, and monitor your energy, weight, and tummy if you do eat it. If you feel tired, bloated or fatigued, reduce or eliminate that food. Remember, your body won't lie to you.
Try for 50% non-starchy vegetables, 25% lean protein, and 25% or less starchy or carbohydrate rich foods. Select a better starch such as farro, bulgur, or Basmati brown rice. These are available at U.S. markets, on-line, and health food stores.
Remember to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water.
A healthy microbiome , body + YOUR GUT health, flourishes with
fermented foods, and high fiber which work together for improved weight maintenance, immune function, and health.
See MICROBIOME page
Lectins in excess can cause inflammation, and digestive issues, as we are unable to break down this protein which binds to sugar. This irritates the lining of our intestines. Cooking high-Lectin foods well, fermenting, or sprouting them decreases the "anti-nutrient" reaction, and keeps the benefits available: immune function+cancer therapy (small doses).
Tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and lycopene, but they are HIGH IN LECTINS. Use Roma, or pressure-cook, peel + de-seed them if you have trouble with digestion, pain, or arthritis. You will know if you react.
Part of night shade vegetables, these are high in Lectins, and may increase pain in those with RA (Rheumatoid Arthrits), or digestive issues. Keep a journal of symptoms just in case. They have health benefits, but cook well, and mix with low-lectin foods: leafy greens, avocado, asparagus, broccoli.
If you eat these high B vitamin, iron and mineral containing foods, soak them 2 days, and cook them to a high boil to help break down the Lectin content. Some people may find it difficult to lose weight while eating beans. Keep a record of how you're doing.
Because they are hard to break down + high in Lectins, they may irritate the lining of the gut, but the benefits of fiber, & good oils are helpful for the heart and colon, so it is a good idea to choose the nuts lower in lectins: walnuts, macademia, pistachio, and reduce the high lectin ones: cashews. Almonds are in the middle. If you soak, or sprout them, and get rid of the outer skin like membrane, it will also help.
High in minerals & fiber, but are also high in lectin/gluten/gliadin; pay attention to how you feel. They may not be easy to break down, and may be part of some health issues: not everyone is that sensitive, but digestive issues, overall fatigue, and pain have been observed in some people. Alternating from your regular diet, to a lower lectin diet can be a "fun-way" to learn about your health.