Weight Loss: Dietary Changes to Make First

evolution from ape to fat men   SAD standard american diet crap
caveman to fat

Where is the most important place to begin making upgrades to your diet and nutrition?

Well, when it comes to the Standard American Diet (SAD), of course there are countless changes, upgrades and improvements we could make on our journey to better health.

Let's by-pass focusing on being perfect, for the moment, and focus on making the changes that will make the greatest impact in our health instead. 

Fair enough?

The 6 most important nutritional choices that will have the greatest impact on your overall health are:

1) Upgrade your fats

Our brains and bodies need fat. We need real, naturally occurring sources of fat. Right off the bat, if you're attempting to eat a low-fat or fat-free diet, it's time to upgrade your information on the subject. Not getting enough fat is a contributing cause for a myriad of chronic health issues involving the brain, nervous system, hormonal communication, immune system and much more.

Eating fat does not make you fat. Consuming excessive toxic fats that our body cannot effectively assimilate can, indeed, contribute to fat gains. 

Ditch the fake fats, hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated fats and processed, synthetic fats for real, as-pure-as-possible sources of natural fats.

Bad fats result in a "bad brain".

This means switching fats like margarine and processed commercial vegetable oils (and foods fried in these) to fats and oils like, pure coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and grass-fed butter.

Upgrading your fats is a very simple "lateral" shift you can make. You're already purchasing and consuming some type of fats and oils, right? Now, just side step the bad and replace with the good.

In addition to cooking oils and fats, remember to include healthy fatty foods, like avocado and some raw nuts & seeds.

2) Upgrade your sources of animal protein

Here's another lateral shift that's very closely related to the first. If you're already purchasing and consuming foods or beverages that contain at least some degree of animal sources of protein or fats (meat/poultry, eggs, sea food, dairy products), then consider upgrading here as well.

When our sources of protein and fats most closely resemble their naturally occurring sources, we glean the most benefit. Also, the overwhelming array of chemicals used in our modern agri-business have a tendency to bio-accumulate in these types of foods more than they do in, say, vegetables and fruit.

Saturated fat is not inherently "bad". Fat from toxic animals (and plants, for that matter) that is highly processed is indeed toxic.

Some upgrades to make: 
  • Choose grass-fed meats and meat from animals raised without antibiotics, hormones, steroids or other toxic chemicals. 
  • Choose poultry and eggs that are free-range, and, again, come from drug-free feathered friends. 
  • Choose grass-fed butter. 
  • If you consume dairy in any form, choose whole fat, raw, unpasteurized dairy products from grass-fed livestock when you can. If you cannot find this quality in your stores, check local farms, co-ops, and farmers' markets. The next best choice is low-temperature pasteurization, but still grass-fed and whole fat. 
  • Choose wild fish from deep, cold waters vs. farmed fish. 

3) Reduce your sugar intake

This is a biggie. Most people have no idea how much sugar they're actually consuming. It pays to understand the effects sugar has on our bodies. It's far more significant than a body weight issue. Sugar consumption disrupts optimal cellular communication, and creates systemic inflammation and toxicity.

Sugar consumption is directly linked to suppression of the immune system, neurological dysfunction, and hormonal imbalance. In case you need further motivation, sugar consumption has been connected to cancer in a stunning number of research studies.

There are the obvious sources of sugar that we all realize we'd probably be better off without: sweets, baked goods, candy, junk food, desserts, and so on. But some of the other major contributing sources of sugar are often overlooked: things like flour and grain-based foods and ingredients, beverages, "add-ons" to our meals, like condiments, dips, sauces and spices, and alcoholic beverages.

The starchy carbohydrates and many grain-based foods can be some of the toughest to escape. We're an addicted society! Foods such as bread, pasta, crackers, pizza, bagels, muffins, wraps, snack foods, granola bars and "energy" or "protein" bars, corn derivatives, and so on, are all deeply embedded in our cultural diet. Many are even thought of as "health" foods. Anything that breaks down to sugar too quickly, or in excess, cannot be "health" food.

If your food or beverage in question comes with a label, look for sources of sugar including "natural" sources, as well as artificial sources. It has become insane, the sheer volume of foods you'll find sugar derivatives in. While sugar is "bad", artificial sweeteners are even worse. Don't even think about it!

If you consume grain-based foods, upgrade to choices like sprouted, fermented, gluten-free, or ancient grains. Consider that an ever-growing number of health researchers are finding that we don't genetically "need" grains at all. The same is true with dairy.

4) Eat more plants.

The evidence is clear: those who eat an abundance of "plants" experience less chronic illness than those who don't. I'm not saying that we need to become vegetarian in order to be truly healthy. Some will do well with that lifestyle; while others need more animal sources of protein and fats. (That's a topic for another conversation!)

Keeping it simple for the majority of us, we'd all benefit from more veggies. Be sure to include plenty of dark leafy greens, green vegetables and other veggies in general, cruciferous vegetables, as well as "greens" foods, like spirulina, wheat grass, barley grass, and chlorella. Add fresh herbs to your cooking and food preparation.

Take it easy on the fruit consumption. Even though fruit contains natural sugars, and they're dispersed with the proper ratio of enzymes and other nutrients for proper assimilation, we still need to keep our sugar consumption in check.

Buy (or grow) organic when you can. Not only does it taste better, but it's nice not to be poisoned as you're fueling up.

5) Consume less packaged, processed food. Eat more whole, fresh, real food.

Again, this is fairly self-explanatory.

If the majority of our meals and snacks consisted of a less-toxic source of protein and fats, along with some fresh fiber in the form of veggies or some fruit, we'd be leaps and bounds ahead of the curve.

The more processed our foods are, the longer their list of ingredients, and the greater their shelf-life, the more likely they are to be sources of toxicity and chronic inflammation.

6) Drink mostly water

Most of us need to drink more water. The simple act of staying hydrated with pure water can serve as a basic, ongoing form of detoxification.

Other health-enhancing beverages include: green tea, some herbal tea, fermented beverages (e.g. Kombucha, cultured whey water), and fresh vegetable juices.

If you're a coffee drinker, I definitely recommend upgrading to organic and low-acid.

Decrease or eliminate your consumption of conventional (toxic) pop, energy drinks, sports drinks, juice drinks. Limit alcohol and fruit juice.

Are these all the changes we need to make in our diets in order to experience optimal health? Probably not for most of us. We could also go "all organic", add more traditionally prepared foods and fermented foods, and cut out a much longer list of toxic offenders than the few I discussed here.

Then, there's much to be discussed about the timing of our meals, portion sizes, anti-inflammatory foods, food sensitivities, detoxifying foods, intermittent fasting, and on and on. Nutrition is an enormous topic!

My purpose here was to provide a relatively simple starting point. Start with these 6 basic dietary and nutritional changes. Stick with it for at least 3-4 weeks and see how you do.

Dr.Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat ("Dr Mom Online") is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. 

To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, visit http://www.DrMomOnline.com and be sure to request your free "Top Nutrition Tips" report while you're there, and check out her available books at


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