Despite all disclaimers I hand along, increasingly often I am tempted to give nutritional advice, like now. I am not a nutritionist, nor a dietician like Janet Noome, nor a doctor like Frank van Berkum, nor a life-style coach like Ralph Moorman. I am a simple engineer in chemical technology (TU Delft) who since then specialized in food technology and more specific in everything concerning green clean tech and mild conservation without conservatives. But people around me keep asking about it. And I do understand, given all my activities online.
When asked for by family or friends, I do give them some general tips. And ask they do quite often, especially after my confession of being a ‘softpaleo’ supporter (see also Loran Cordian about paleo and read this Distrifood article). As an introduction I usually state that it’s only a think arena, a hypothesis generator. Furthermore I really don’t want to be nor become a reverent of the Church-of-heathy-food. Also I tell them that there are no healthy or unhealthy products, it is about the total nutrition pattern. Besides, I’m absolutely not a vegetarian (though I am a flexitarian) nor a raw-foody.
Earlier I wrote mild prickling pieces like “Being fat is not sustainable”, “The truth about sugar and carbohydrates” and published the famous lecture of Robert Lustig on Fructose. Businesslike at TOP we have a site called www.tophealthfacts.nl with reports and lectures. And of course you find @tophealthfacts on twitter. We also filled Youtube with hours of viewing and listening pleasure, and TOP placed some information on www.topwiki.nl. Interesting footage I place on Pinterest.
In other respects, you will never hear me say E-numbers are bad and should be forbidden, or that you should eat only organic products, or that packs and bags are bad by definition. I am a proponent of new-fresh and fresh-processed though.
I write this little blog anyway, so that in future I can refer to it. My neighbor is the first to get the link. He also asked for ‘eat tips’ recently. Here they are:
Firstly the general advice of Professor Jaap Seidell (VU, Public Health):
- Never eat until you’re fully satisfied. Hara hachi bu…
- Avoid strongly refined products like sugar (especially in beverages), and white flour.
- Drink a glass of red wine every now and then. If you don’t drink at all, don’t start now.
- Eat together with family or friends.
- Eat little meat but a lot of fish and especially a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts.
Of course I support this advice of Jaap. In 2008 I wrote the following (which still applies I think):
- fat is not bad by definition (the scientific principles were incorrect).
- minimalize intake of alcohol (= ethanol) (government policy now: extra tax).
- stop consuming sugar water. Milk, water (and I think also tea and coffee) are okay.
- minimalize intake of Fructose (advice to governments: start taxation on Fructose; it is poison!)
- vegetables and fruit are always okay (but mind the total intake of carbohydrate/sugars for Kcal’s).
- consume much more fibers (and even more!), for instance together with carbohydrates.
- a limited amount of protein is really necessary (either from meat or vegetables).
- every minute of “TV” should be compensated by a minute of “exercise”.
- wait at least 20 minutes before you order a second helping (= Satiety signal)
Though now I would express it a little different and more precise: My modern though simple nutrition advice – combined with that of Jaap Seidell – is:
- 0 to 1.2 grams of protein – fish, meat or modern meat substitute – per kilogram bodyweight.
- consume 1 or 2 times a week a modern meat substitute. In short: be a flexitarian.
- try to eat (fat) fish at least once a week. More is allowed.
- eat unrestricted (fresh) vegetables and salads. Eat as many colors and shades. In short: eat as diverse as possible also within the category.
- spread out over the day consume two or maximum three pieces of fresh fruit or fresh fruit-smoothy. Focus on red fruit. Preferably non-heated (not pasteurized). Pascalized fruit(sap) is okay.
- consume protein and vegetables preferably in the morning and afternoon. I myself often start with bacon and eggs with some tomatoes and salad. Or a little salmon.
- carbohydrates are the energy balancing item of the day. If you lose weight or exercise a lot, take some carbohydrates. Though fat yoghurt or other fat products are a good alternative.
- consume carbohydrates – rather potatoes than bread or pasta – preferably in the evening. You’ll sleep like a rose after that 😉
- Try to eat as little bread as possible. I’m no big fan of cereals. Grain contains a lot of anti-nutrients and mostly delivers empty Kcal’s.
- take at least 1000, but rather 2000 IE vitamin D. Sitting in the sun is even better.
- drink plenty of water, tea or coffee. Don’t drink sugar containing beverages. Also reduce juice from concentrates. The kind of tea doesn’t matter. A little diluted lemonade is also okay.
- every day take an extra Omega 3 tablet and a multivitamin pill in the morning. I hesitate about magnesium (recently I started with a magnesium supplement, will be followed up later).
- focus on healthy food and a stress-free life, and exercise sufficiently.
On Foodlog I was recently challenged to nail my colors to the mast. This is the answer I gave, which fortunately matches my earlier mentioned advice:
@Ralph #32, good question “what do you recommend at coffee time”. So, nail my colors to the mast. Now, I’m precautious with that, I’m a trained chemical technologist, not a physician, nor a consultant, lifestyle coach, doctor or dietitian. So I’d rather answer the question “What do I recommend to myself and my inner circle?” 😉 The answer to this question is simple Soft-Paleo. An explanation:
- don’t eat too much, eat sufficient and diverse, eat regularly, etc.
- don’t eat between 20:00 and 07:00 hrs. Nor snack during that time. But do drink.
- eat at least 1.0 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight. Proteins from fish, meat or meat substitutes. Red meat (provided not every day) is fine, I’m not that strict to go for grass-fed only.
- consume a LOT of vegetables. More is always good. And as colorful as possible. Steam the vegetables or eat them raw. If you think you already eat enough vegetables, start eating more.
- consume 2 and maximum 3 portions of fruit(juice, smoothy), preferably of different colors. I am a red fruit fan. I’m not in favor of orange juice out of a pack (pasteurized and made out of concentrates).
- Don’t eliminate fat from your food pattern. Coconut fat is fantastic, but also a string of animal fat is fine. Bake in butter or oil. I don’t use margarine. Fat quark (a small portion) without sugar, yummy!
- carbohydrates are the energy balancing item of the day (if your weight is all right, you don’t want to lose weight). Rather tubers like potatoes than cereals (I eat a maximum of 2 slices of bread per day, sometime none at all). I never eat pasta, rice sometimes.
- drink a lot a water, tea or coffee (yes, there’s nothing wrong with coffee) every day. Green tea is fine, but not necessarily healthier. Avoid beverages and pasteurized juices. Rather light-beverage than sugar containing.
- Sin abundantly once a week. I myself am very fond of coke, a couple of glasses of coke with sugar in the weekend is my ‘sin’. But also try to have one extremely sober meal once a week.
- Extra vitamin D (a couple of hundred times the percentage of the current standard), extra Omega 3, and just to feel good a multivitamin pill (I know, not really necessary).
- Try to sleep sufficiently. Exercise every day (take the stairs etc.), but it’s not necessary to practice sports intensively (though it is allowed 😉 ).
- Don’t take in between snacks (although a tomato is permitted), eat nuts or peanuts. Avoid sugar and fast carbohydrates (or at least prevent them from becoming your basic food).
Addition 26 May 2013:
Stanford University attended a lecture on different types of nutritional patterns by an expert who has been a vegetarian for 25 years, and carefully starts to conclude that Paleo is really rather good. He also signified that with food design it’s all about the ‘portion size’ and ‘energy density of foods’. I agree…
Addition 3 November 2013
In 2012 I blogged a short infographic about paleo. I also write regular blogs about nutrition and health in general.