Despite “Confusing” Science, THESE Nutrition “North Stars” Are Clear

The Atlantic Monthly recently published an article entitled “New Nutrition Study Changes Nothing (Why the science of healthy eating appears confusing—but isn’t).” The author makes the point that media businesses, in their quest for audience, have incentives to depict never-ending new revelations and controversies in nutrition.

Granted, there are some fundamental reasons why “definitive” nutrition science remains elusive. And there are legitimate different points of view on some nutrition questions. Like the prominence of carbs in your diet or whether certain fats are good or bad for you. So I don’t advocate ignoring the topic of nutrition entirely, man.

But at the same time, I want to do my part to reinforce this truth: There are a few clear Nutrition Do’s and Don’ts you should follow starting with your next meal, man. Don’t let uncertainties or controversies elsewhere in Nutrition Land interfere with that.

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The Atlantic Monthly recently published an article entitled “New Nutrition Study Changes Nothing (Why the science of healthy eating appears confusing—but isn’t).” The author makes the point that media businesses, in their quest for audience, have incentives to depict never-ending new revelations and controversies in nutrition.

Granted, there are some fundamental reasons why “definitive” nutrition science remains elusive. And there are legitimate different points of view on some nutrition questions. Like the prominence of carbs in your diet or whether certain fats are good or bad for you.

So I don’t advocate ignoring the topic of nutrition entirely, man. But at the same time, I want to do my part to reinforce this truth:

There are a few clear Nutrition Do’s and Don’ts you should follow starting with your next meal, man. Don’t let uncertainties or controversies elsewhere in Nutrition Land interfere with that.

NUTRITION “NORTH STARS” — VERY SIMPLE DO’S + DON’TS

Since the early 2000’s, I’ve had an increasing degree of personal focus on tracking nutrition science for weight management and athletic performance. Over that time, I must have read more than a thousand articles and a not-small number of books.

Putting aside a few wacky/gimmicky things (like the Hollywood Cookie Diet), no serious information I’ve seen in the last ten years advocates eating:

  • Processed white flour (there are varying degrees of religion in excluding this, but no one says it’s good for you)
  • Processed sugar, in its many forms (now being recognized as an addictive form of, almost literally, poison)
  • Packaged foods with preservatives
  • An extremely carb-intensive diet (no matter how high-quality the carbs may be, you want them in good proportion to protein and fats in your diet)

On the other side of the coin, there’s no real controversy at all that these things should be core to your diet:

  • Lean proteins (from animal or vegetable sources)
  • Healthy fats (from things like avocados and nuts & seeds)
  • Dietary fiber (from healthy grains – especially oats! – and fruits and vegetables)

Surprisingly, eating sufficient vegetables and fruits is not 100% controversy free because of the extreme-low-carb school of thought. Everyone needs to figure out what works for their own body. And how much they’re willing to be dependent on vitamin supplements for things they don’t get from a natural diet. My own belief is that for the vast majority of us, smart/moderate carb intake – from healthy gains as well as copious fruits and vegetables – is the way to go.

Here’s a deeper look at a simple, sustainable, non-“diet” nutrition plan.

CONCLUSIONS

So often with things related to fitness and nutrition, we know 90+% of what we need to do. But there’s a gap between knowing and doing, for various reasons.

In the case of nutrition, there’s a hazard in letting media coverage of “ever-changing” or “controversial” nutrition science subconsciously justify what our inner 8-year-old wants to keep eating.

But if you’re past 40 and doubling down on body-and-soul health, it’s time to look past these distractions. Adopt some core guiding Do’s and Don’ts. By all means, keep tinkering around the edges after that. Keep learning. But take a few big steps toward 90% of what you need for good nutrition now, brother.

As Omar Bradley, WWII hero and America’s first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said: “Set your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

 

“Once I rose above the noise and confusion. Just to get a glimpse beyond the illusion.” (Kansas, Carry on My Wayward Son – click to listen)

If you think this would be useful to others, please help spread the word about OlderBeast by sharing this post with the social media buttons below. THANKS, MAN.

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Supplements? Don’t Just Ensure “Enough”…Beware of “Too Much” (Here’s How)

Do you take vitamins/minerals or other supplements? If so, you’re probably much more familiar with “RDA” (recommended, or reference, daily allowance) than “UL.”

UL’s stands for Upper Limits. They’re defined by the National Institute of Health as “the highest level of nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects for almost all individuals in the general population.”

With many foods now being fortified, and OlderBeast readers likely taking a multi-vitamin/mineral…you’re probably getting your RDAs. (Though if you don’t use dairy products and don’t take supplements, be wary of a potential Vitamin D need you may not be meeting).

But what about TOO MUCH of a vitamin or mineral? While some smart people argue UL’s for some things are too conservative, to me, you should at least know if you’re near / above UL’s. You can then learn more and decide what to do about it.

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Three Squares? Why Higher Meal Frequency (5+) Is Better.

Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has reportedly lost 10+ pounds for the upcoming season — by eating NINE times a day.

News coverage also highlights a surprising daily calorie total (for anyone, let alone a guy losing weight): 4,800.

But Wilson is a young and large man (relative to non-NFL types) with a naturally-high metabolic rate. And, he’s extremely active with training camp starting in a few weeks.

So to me, the big story isn’t the calorie total. It’s the philosophy of eating more, smaller meals throughout the day. Nine is extreme, but eating 5-6 times a day isn’t so much. I recommend it for us 40+ guys trying to lose or manage weight, and fuel our bodies’ performance potential.

Here’s why.

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Low-Carb? Go “Smart Carb” Instead.

You’d think in the 21st Century what “healthy eating looks like” would be non-controversial. Not so.

One major example of this: there’s a lot of controversy and confusion around carbs. Some fitness gurus swear by a low-carb approach, while some nutritionists and doctors see major downsides from dramatic carb reduction.

I urge you to chart a smart middle course, brother. Don’t go dramatically low-carb, but do keep your carb intake moderate and high-quality.

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Make This: EASY, HEALTHY Meat Sauce, Pasta & Vegetables

We live in a golden age for healthy cooking. You’ll find endless recipes via great websites and apps, and supermarkets have an increasing array of what most any recipe calls for.

But sometimes typical recipes are “too much” to deal with in a day of work, commuting, family, exercise, and other things you need or want to do. The following “recipe” for meat sauce, pasta and vegetables (so simple I feel funny calling it that) is an antidote to the “too much” issue. Ingredients are already on-hand at home, or you can find with eyes closed at the store. Couldn’t be easier to cook. Clean-up is basic.

And it’s good for you, man.

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