Focus on Food Quality

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If you’ve read anything about diets and nutrition, you’re well aware of the fact that there are literally hundreds of different diets and nutrition programs.

It’s no wonder people are more confused now than ever when it comes to adopting a “healthy diet” that will allow them to lose body fat, gain muscle, and improve their overall health. Note: just because a certain diet allows you to lose body fat does not mean it is also a diet that simultaneously improves your overall health. Please keep that important fact in mind.

Amongst all the confusion about the proper way to eat for fat loss and improved health, I have come to the conclusion that food quality is the most important factor.

I don’t care if you are Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, low carb dieter, low fat dieter, high protein dieter, nutrient timer, intermittent faster, all out carnivore, any of the dozens of other diet options, or if you currently don’t follow any diet or nutrition guidelines at all.

If people focused on food quality, then I’m willing to bet that people would lose body fat, have more energy, build muscle, and improve their overall body composition and health.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that a fast food cheeseburger with french fries and a large coke is very poor food quality. On the other hand, local or organic grass fed beef (that doesn’t come from a factory farm) on a sprouted grain roll has a higher food quality.

Another example: a vegetarian eats mostly white bread, crackers, chips, and other highly processed foods is consuming low quality food. The vegetarian who eats lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes, and whole grains is consuming high quality food. Food quality does have an effect on health and body composition.

Items at the grocery store that have to be made (think snack cakes, 100 calorie backs, chips, white bread, etc) instead of killed or pulled from the earth are not high quality foods. Now there are some exceptions to this rule, but for the most part people need to eat the vast majority of their food from natural sources – plants and animals (if you so choose to eat meat).

If an item you purchase at the store cannot be found in nature, then it’s probably not a high quality food. Whole, natural, unprocessed or minimally processed foods will provide you with the highest nutritional value and can help improve your overall health.

Note: like I said above, there are exceptions to that rule. For instance, there are some sprouted grain breads that have been made that you wouldn’t just find out in nature all on their own. However, sprouted grain breads are, in my opinion, a high quality food. There are other examples as well, but hopefully you get the point.

So what is the point of this post? What message am I trying to get across? Simple: I don’t really care what diet or nutritional guidelines you follow (within reason) as long as you focus on food quality. Eat whole, natural foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, whole grains, and high quality meats (not from factory farms) if you so choose.

You may also like this article => Simple Nutrition for Weight Loss and Health.

What diet or nutrition method do you follow and why? Tell me below.

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  • http://Website(optional) Jennifer

    Have you watched the documentary Food Inc? I watched it last weekend and it dovetails beautifully with this blog. My husband watched it also and finally understood why I am always nagging him to buy organic vegetables & dairy, free-range, and grain/grass-fed meat. Not all chicken is alike, not all tomatoes are alike, etc – the nutrient value differs hugely on the scale from evolutionarily natural to artifically engineered. And that's just unprocessed food!

  • http://www.fatlossdetour.com Nia Shanks

    Jennifer-

    Yes, I saw Food Inc a while ago. Definitely eye opening. That documentary shows the horrible reality of animals in factory farms, and that's why I so strongly suggest people buy meat from local or organic dealers. Those conditions are ridiculous, and it's why I never buy meat from factory farms.

    Everyone should watch Food Inc.

    Thanks again!

  • http://www.nastasifitness.com nick nastasi

    So true! Many people are searching for the “perfect” diet to lose weight. All should take your advice and get the crap out of their diet first. When that they've done that and are still having trouble losing weight, then look at quantity. Also watch the wine / alcohol. Many of my clients eat very well but drink too much!

  • http://www.fatlossdetour.com Nia Shanks

    Nick-

    I agree. Too many people want “advanced techniques” and what not for losing fat, but what they don't realize is that they would get better and faster results if they mastered the BASICS.

    Yep, alcohol plays a huge role as well. Thanks!

  • http://monavie-emv.net/ Carol

    I agree. This is why I try to eat unprocessed food – process includes freezing. As much as possible, I'd like them fresh except for meat of course. Fresh makes food even more nutritious.