New Year's health goals often revolve around extreme weight loss, detoxes, juice cleanses, restrictive diets, and the latest influencer’s recommendations, all of which is at best unsustainable and expensive and at worse downright harmful! Rather than going to those extremes, here are some science-based (!) diet tips for 2021:
1️⃣ Eat more plants: plants provide fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals, and should make up the majority of your diet (regardless of if you eat animal products or not). The greater the variety of plants you include in your diet, the better (your gut microbes LOVE plant diversity)!
2️⃣ Reduce processed foods: these foods are made in a lab, and typically have many unhealthy additives, added sugars, and added inflammatory fats. Aim for whole-foods, shop around the perimeter of the grocery store, and cook at home!
3️⃣ Avoid inflammatory oils: these oils cause an inflammatory cascade in the body, and they’re EVERYWHERE because they’re cheap and neutral-tasting. Avoid canola oil, soy oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and vegetable oil, and focus on healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil (in moderation), and grass-fed butter and ghee.
4️⃣ Decrease sugar intake: this is a big one! Most people eat way more sugar than they realize because processed foods add them in without us knowing (there’s over 60 different names for sugar!). Decreasing processed foods will automatically make it easier for you to eat less sugar, so again cook at home and when you do want something sweeter try using fruit, maple syrup, or raw honey.
5️⃣ Drink more water: most people are chronically dehydrated and have no idea. Aim to drink a minimum 1/2 your body weight in fluid ounces every day.
6️⃣ Eat more mindfully: we need to activate our parasympathetic (rest & digest) nervous system to fully digest and absorb our nutrients from food. This means we need to eat in a calm, relaxed, and undistracted state, chew thoroughly and eat slowly. This is important for everyone, but especially if you’re dealing with GI issues!
Which of these are you going to try to incorporate in 2021? I would love to hear in the comments below!