Are you enjoying summer and the proliferation of farmers’ markets and fresh produce everywhere? Maybe even in your own garden!
I had a great conversation with a personal training and nutrition coaching client this morning about choosing the balance of foods for her athletic and weight control needs.
We hit on the subject of sugar – in processed foods, obviously to be avoided, but sometimes hidden like in products not considered to be sweet, like tomato sauce. High fructose corn syrup is added to certain processed foods and sweetened drinks and definitely should be avoided. Generally advisable not to drink your calories anyway. Likewise steer clear of dried fruits which are often processed with added high fructose corn syrup, or “veggie chips” which are highly processed and not a nutritious choice regardless of what the package promises.
Is fructose bad?
What about naturally occurring sugars, specifically fructose in fruit and certain veggies, like sweet potatoes (of course), carrots, beets, even peas, corn, and even onions?
The fructose naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables is countered by phytonutrients and fiber, which helps create a healthy gut microbiome.
Flavinoids in fruit and vegetables may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
A Harvard study includes ways to sneak more fruits and vegetables into your diet, and a handy chart explaining the meaning of a “serving” of a fruit or vegetable.
Find your balance.
There are no “bad” or “good” foods (as long as they’re real food). But if you’ve heard about “stoplight” foods, it might seem so. “Red-yellow-green labeling of foods can be pretty simple to understand versus wading through all of the claims on the front of the package and trying to decode the nutrient facts, ingredients and what they mean for your health”. Use this system as a tool rather than as a rule – it should work for you.
The key word here is balance, and it differs for everyone, even for the individual based on certain conditions like the volume of training, daily activities, or hormone levels.
Let’s talk about your nutrition sometime. You’d be surprised that you can eat almost anything you enjoy (as long as it’s real food) and understand how to find a balance that helps you feel and perform your best.
There’s a special this month: There’s a special for June to kickstart your nutrition:
- 3 Weeks Personalized Nutrition Plan Coaching
- Weekly coaching checkin
- Cost $149 (savings $50)
- Purchase June Special
17 No-Sugar-Added Summer Fruit Desserts
Here’s #3: Raspberry-Peach-Mango Smoothie Bowl