Carbohydrates are bad, Fats are bad, too much protein is bad, meat is bad, plants are bad, vegetables are bad, fruit is bad, processed food is bad, non organic food is bad,seed oils are bad! My head is spinning with all of this being pushed through social media, the news and everywhere I look! If I was uninformed I would have no idea what to eat!
Don’t think of certain foods as good or bad, think of food as simply energy in the body and has a role in you reaching your goals on and off the course! When looking at food you need to be informed in order to determine what is best for your body! Let’s start with the Macronutrients. Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats are the 3 macronutrients and all have an important role in the body. Every food you put into your body is composed of 1 or multiple macronutrients. Protein aids in muscle repair, recovery, growth and strength. Carbohydrates are used as energy and Fats are our secondary energy when carbs are used up as well as brain and hormone health. The amount of each of these will be determined by whatever your goals are. For example, I personally have a goal to get stronger this offseason. My plan is to eat more carbohydrates and protein than usual. I also need to be in a caloric surplus, basically eating more than my body needs to maintain weight, in order to see strength gains in the gym. But if my goal was to have better energy throughout my day, I would eat according to how active I was. The more activity I have in the day, the more carbohydrates and protein I need to support my energy levels throughout my day. Fats should stay consistent no matter what your goals are, due to the benefits of the right fats (saturated and monounsaturated) found in meats, nuts, avocados etc.
Now let’s get to the question of are any foods bad for you?
The simple answer is yes but it is yes due to its ingredients. If you stick to a whole food diet, eating meats, vegetables, fruits, or anything that has one ingredient you will be perfectly fine and will only have to alter how much of each you are eating. But if you are eating things in boxes, processed foods, things with multiple ingredients you have to always look at the food labels and stay away from some ingredients.
Seed oils are a big one that you want to avoid all together! These are oils such as canola, safflower, palm, grapeseed, sunflower, corn and soybean. Next time you are at the grocery store look at any chip or snack in a bag and you will find at least one of these oils! The problem with these oils is that they are made at such a high heat, basically the finished product is poison to the body. Alternatives that you should use are coconut oil, Olive oil(if good sourced), butter(if your body can handle dairy), ghee, avocado oil. So if you are going to eat processed snack foods or sauces make sure they have one of the alternatives in it!
So what should I do?
To sum it all up, start to pay attention to what types of foods you are putting into your body and ask if this is going to help me towards my goal or not. Start to tune into how much of each macronutrient (carbs, fats and proteins) you are putting into your body and matching it with your energy output as well as your goals. And lastly pay attention to the ingredients of the foods you are eating and don’t just eat it because it tastes good, ask yourself is this the right food with the right ingredients in it to support my goals and have my body feeling the best it can?
My next article I will follow up with easy ways to know how to portion each of your meals for different goals, but until then, try these out! As always if you have any questions Myself, Ali or Roland are always around in the gym to help out!