Food pyramidWhat should I be eating?” I’m sure this is a question that you have thought about many times. And you have probably also thought that in modern times dietary information is prolific but confusing.

I believe that you can eat a healthy diet no matter what dietary style you choose – vegan, vegetarian, meat-eater, paleolithic, etc. An essential healthy diet for humans is comprised of carbohydrates which should predominantly come from lots of vegetables & fruit; protein from animal, fish, nuts, seeds, beans or legumes; fats from fruit (olive, avocado, sesame) or fish. These 3 nutrients are the basic nutritional building blocks of every diet.

Looking at Dr. Lori’s Food Pyramid

  • Vegetables & fruits – Veggies & fruit are on the top of my Food Pyramid as these ‘nature’ foods are where you get the bulk of your phytonutrients, fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates which are fuel for our cells. Whatever your dietary style, your diet should be rich in vegetables & fruit. “Eat the Rainbow” & “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away”!
  • Protein – When it comes to protein, this is where dietary preference varies dramatically from person to person. And that is ok, as-long-as you are healthy. If you do not eat meat or fish, it is important to eat plant sources of protein which are found in nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and grains.
  • Beans & legumes – If you eat beans & legumes – it is important to soak them for 12 hours, thoroughly cook them until tender (preferably in a pressure cooker), chew them well and ensure that you have adequate digestive enzyme levels for digesting them.
  • Grains – Grains are a significant part of the diet for many people; predominantly wheat in Western cultures, rice in Asian cultures and corn in Hispanic cultures. In my personal and clinical experience, grains should be consumed in small amounts or not at all. Grains are the basis for most processed foods, snack foods & fast foods. Grains are not necessary for a healthy diet. Eating a small amount of non-processed whole grains can be apart of a healthy diet for healthy individuals.
  • Dairy – I think most people agree that dairy products are usually pretty yummy. However, yummy doesn’t equal healthy. In my clinical experience using food sensitivity testing and anecdotal reports from patients – dairy is the #1 food sensitivity causing a variety of health issues and symptoms. Dairy should be consumed in small amount in healthy individuals.
  • Sugar – Although delicious and pervasive in Western diets, refined sugar is not healthy for anyone. It is not a necessary part of a healthy diet and is associated with many common health problems. Healthier alternatives to sugar – maple syrup, honey, dates & coconut sugar should be used in moderation. Stevia is a good alternative if wanting to use a sweetener that does not cause an insulin spike and other negative effects.

So, in answer to the question – “What should I be eating?” – We should be eating a diet that is primarily made up of whole foods – vegetables, sprouts, herbs, spices, fruit, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, beans & legumes. Grains, dairy and sugar should be the smallest part of a healthy diet, as these are the foods that contribute most to ill health and disease states. I like to say – eat by the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time, consume home cooked whole foods, and 20% of the time, consume things that are still healthy but a little more indulgent. Enjoy eating for good health!