Many of you, athletes or not, have heard the term “eating clean.” What does this mean? Well, depending on the individual it could mean anything from following a strict diet to using low-fat mayo instead or original. Either way its a good start to making better strides to your health.
In today’s society much of the food we eat is over-processed due to mass production. I am referring to basically any “meal in a box” type of foods. If we were to occasionally indulge in these foods it would not be a big deal, however, many people eat these foods daily and they make up majority of their caloric intake. These foods are often high in saturated fat (maybe even trans fat) and rich in omega-6’s while boosting a nil omega-3 content. The altered ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 breeds inflammation.
I recommend a 3:1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acid’s. If you are unaware, Omega-3 fatty acids (such as those found in fish oil) are excellent for protecting horomonal, cardiovascular, and neurological health so it is in your best interest to make sure you consume an adequate ratio.
Here are some simple strategies to start kick-start your way to a more favorable ratio, and more favorable health, and body composition.
1.) Drink 1 gallon of water every day. This doesn’t meant you have to carry a gallon jug around; just fill up for Nalgene about 4 times a day.
2. Include a green vegetable with every meal ( serving size should be about the size of your fist) and should equal around 3 cups per day.
3. Eat Fish once or twice a week. The benefits of consuming fish due to their favorable fatty acid make up are innumerable. Find a fish you enjoy eating and preparing and enjoy better health.
4. Limit your carbohydrate consumption to around 30% or less of your dietary caloric intake. When you do consume carbohydrates choose healthier, whole-grain choices.
5. Supplement with a quality fish oil supplement. The current research supports 3-4 grams per day for anti-inflammatory effects.