3 'Healthy' Foods you might be over-eating
Have you ever wondered if you can eat too much of something if it's a healthy food, a real, whole food, not made of a million ingredients, just something you could buy or even grow yourself! The short answer is yes.
Yes you can eat too much of a good thing. Anything in excess won't work well for you inside your body. Let me tell you about the top 3 foods that are most commonly overeaten and can sabotage your efforts to get healthy and lose weight.
#1: Fruit: dried fruit, frozen fruit, or whole fresh fruit.
Fruit is made of natural sugars, which are the only kind to eat, but they still have the effect of causing insulin levels to rise in your body when you consume them. There are certain fruits that contain more fructose than others as well, and while this fructose is not the same as man-made high fructose corn syrup, it still has an effect on your liver. Notice if you are eating fruit after every meal, is it because you are craving something sweet?
You might be dealing with a bit of sugar addiction if this is true for you. I would recommend keeping your fruit servings to two per day, and to not eat it with your meals, but separated from them, or in between them instead. You will be better off digestively doing this.
#2: Nuts: almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios....
Nuts are a fat, and that's a good thing, we NEED healthy fats in our body. However, check yourself on this. Are you eating loads of nuts in between meals because they are 'healthy snacks'? Portion size is key here. Check out the serving sizes below:
- Almonds: 20-25, 120-130 cal; 6 gm protein
- Cashews: 16-18, 160 cal; 5 gm protein
- Walnuts: 14 halves, 190 cal, 4 gm protein (but really good heart healthy fat)
- Peanuts: 28, 170 cal, 7 gm protein
- Pistachios: 40-45, 160 cal, 6 gm protein
Another important point to check with eating nuts is look at how they are prepared. Are they raw? (This is best) Or are they roasted in a peanut or canola oil? Avoid those. I recommend raw, unsalted nuts and then if you want to make them taste a little better, just heat up a skillet on your stove top at medium heat, add in your raw nuts and stir constantly until they are toasted. This releases their natural oils and they smell and taste amazing.
Think about using nuts to enhance the salad you make, or to mix into a quinoa and veggie dish rather than munching on mindlessly in between meals. One other note: peanuts are a common allergen and not as nutritional powerful as some of the others, and cashews tend to have a moistening effect in the body so they are not at the top of the list either.
#3: Protein: for all you meat eaters
Remember hearing that a serving size is like the size of a deck of card, or the palm of your hand? It's true, that big slab of steak or half of a chicken that you might be served in a restaurant are not normal! If you are a red-meat eater, limit it to a serving size once per week. Make sure it is from a good source, grass-fed and organic.
Here's a quick tip on how many grams of protein you need: take your body weight in kilograms x one of these numbers.
To find your weight in kg, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2
Next, multiple this number by 0.8 - 1.0 to find the amount of protein in grams that you require to maintain your muscle mass.
Here's an example: If you weigh 150 lbs
150/2.2 = 68.1 kg
68.1 kg x 0.8 = 54.48 and 68.1 x 1.0 = 68.1
So your range is 54.48 - 68.1 grams of protein per day.
You can multiple your weight in kg by 1.2 - 1.4 if you want to gain muscle.
Here are some common serving sizes so you can get a better idea of this:
- Chicken breast, a piece of white fish is about 21 grams of protein
- 1 serving of black bean pasta: 20.5 grams
- 3 oz bison burger: 22 grams
Remember to eat as much plant based protein as you can and take at least one day a week (Meatless Monday concept) where you eat only plants!
Find balance in your diet and think about why you might be eating too much of any of these things? Is it a deeper craving? A nutrient imbalance? Think about this next time you feel like you might be indulging a little more than feels good!