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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How Aging Reduces Your Calorie Burn Rate – and How Being Active Reverses The Decline

If you’re a 40+ guy paying at least casual attention to nutrition science, you know this: as we get older, our bodies naturally burn fewer calories.

Given this reality about “base metabolic rate” (BMR), our choices are: (1) Slowly gain weight; (2) Get more active, to counter-balance the BMR decline; or (3) Reduce calories consumed.

I flirted with the first path in my 30’s but ultimately chose to reject Outcome #1, do everything I can toward Outcome #2, and also accept that a bit of Outcome #3 will be needed over time.

Whatever choice you make (and you are making a choice, man), I want it to be an informed one. So please invest a few minutes to learn about your current calorie burn rate, how it’s changing, and how your activity level affects that trajectory. Preview: getting more active can more than offset BMR decline, for many years!

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Weekly Web Picks 2/10/17: Pull-ups, Supplements & Meditation

OF COURSE, there’s a world of useful stuff beyond OlderBeast. Too much for you to find, prioritize and incorporate, really. Thus these “weekly web picks”…a hand-selected trio of super-helpful things spanning fitness, nutrition and the mind-and-spirit aspects of wellness.

This week: getting started with pull-ups…knowing the “upper limit” for vitamins & minerals…and exploring meditation.

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How a “Man Salad” You Actually Like Will Make You Leaner & Healthier For Decades

For many guys, “salad” would be a four-letter word if it didn’t have five letters. Salad gets an unfair rap, though. This article’s mission: challenge you to rethink your relationship with salad…a better, more satisfying kind of salad than you typically see.

Why does salad need a reputation overhaul?

First – and no offense meant to women (from whom men can learn a lot about health) – we’re conditioned to think of it as un-manly. Sometimes restaurant servers just assume salad was ordered by a female at the table. Salad’s derided as “rabbit food” (and no rabbit, not even Bugs or Ricochet Rabbit, seems manly enough).

More substantively, most salads actually kind of suck. Even at expensive restaurants, they’re usually a pile of greens with a few small things thrown on there. And the “side salad” with an entrée is typically pitiful. Order it at risk of feeling bitter regret for passing up the trusty spuds that were the other option. “Salad” begins to feel like “sacrifice.”

And salad seems like a lot of work. Washing, peeling, etc.

But salad done right – with a variety of good vegetables, a solid serving of protein, healthy fats like avocado, and a nice dressing – is one of the best things you can eat for lunch or dinner. And it’s easy to make nowadays.

Even just two of these per week will have substantial nutrition and weight management benefits. And you’ll like it, man. Guaranteed, or I’ll give you double your salad back.

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OlderBeast Weekly Web Picks: January 23, 2017

With all the great fitness, nutrition and wellness stuff out there on the Internet…there’s often too much to make sense of. Without an integrating philosophy and approach, it’s hard to interpret, prioritize and orchestrate everything into your own game plan. And your own plan is what you need, to sustain and thrive on for decades.

Helping you be your own Architect is OlderBeast’s core mission. Now, with OlderBeast philosophy as a foundation, we’re starting a weekly “best of the web” post at OlderBeast.com. For fitness, nutrition and Wellness categories, it features a single, useful pointer to highly-relevant and useful stuff.

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