There are many great parts about eating a healthy and well-balanced diet. There are certain measures to take to get the right amount of calories (called calorie restriction), right kind of macros (carbohydrates, protein, and fat), and diets that call on the body to do something a little bit different (intermittent fasting, ketogenic diet, plant-based).
There are many people that believe they have found the “diet” that will work for a wide variety of people but asks them to do too much to change. The right kind of diet, even beyond all the labels of interesting names and possible negative or positive effects, has to do with hitting the right amount of calories and eating the right macros.
Consider the following scenario. A man eats a certain amount of calories per day. His weight is 258 pounds and he exercises intermittently throughout the week (maybe three times, walking). He’s eating cookies and cakes and some fruit and some rice, but mainly TV dinners that are processed and have little nutrients compared to whole foods.
He’s gaining weight steadily. His doctor is telling him to cut the processed food, eat whole foods, and is prescribing medication for his high cholesterol and high blood pressure. He looks to see what he can do to get in better shape. He’s tired of the way he looks and the general feelings he has in his body.
To get better, he does the following things. First, he finds out his basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories he needs to eat to sustain his weight. Then he knows the calories it will take to make him gain weight (500 calories over his basal metabolic rate) or the amount of calories it will take for him to lose weight (500 lower).
That’s 500 calories over to gain one pound per week and 500 calories under to lose one pound per week, and those numbers are daily. Then he looks to see what types of calories to eat to lose weight and decides on a good macro-nutrient balance, such as 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 20% fat.
He realizes that macro-nutrients are important for every day functioning. The carbohydrates keep his body energized, especially for his workouts, which he has started in earnest. The fats allow his body to absorb essential nutrients, while the protein allows his muscles to rebuild after workouts.
His workouts are crucial for him to regain his health. While they cannot outwork a bad diet, together with the diet the exercise helps him gain control of his blood sugar, by regulating the glucose. It helps him regular his blood pressure and lower his cholesterol. It helps his cardiovascular system, his heart and his lungs.
Then he comes across a little piece of information that changes the way he views meat in the supermarket. He finds a little article that explains the difference between “wild-caught food” and “farmed food.” Then he does a little bit of research and finds himself shocked by the differences between the food.
Farmed food is a type of food that is raised in factory farms. Farmed meat comes from chickens and cows and fish that have been raised in terrible conditions, raised on a corn based diet, not allowed to see the sunshine and more. Wild caught food is that which is found in nature.
There are some statistics surrounding farm raised food and wild caught food. They are, for beef:
- Beef from grass-fed cows has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and offers more vitamins A and E.
- Grass fed beef has up to seven times more beta carotene than grain fed.
- Grass fed beef accounts for possibly less than 3% of all beef sales in the U.S.
- Americans on average eat 66.5 pounds of beef every year.
Grass fed beef on average has more nutritional content than farm factory cows. They see the sunlight. This is called sustainable meat in some circles. This is because sustainable meat is taken from grass fed cows on sustainable farms. Sustainable meat comes from farms that employ ecological effects that are in tune with the environment.
Sustainable meat is more nutritious than meat that is not sustainable. This goes for types of salmon, grass fed steaks and free range chickens, and more.