How you can achieve sustainable healthy weight and disease prevention
Most of us have felt stressed, deprived, confused, or out of control when it comes to eating. It’s time to free yourself, to ditch deprivation and embrace eating in abundance. It’s as simple as focusing on foods you can (and should) eat in abundance while crowding out foods that should be limited or eliminated. The result? A sustainable healthy body composition and, most importantly, disease prevention (plus more energy, less inflammation, and a more diverse gut microbiome). An added bonus? By eating this way, you’ll be minimizing your impact on the environment and animals’ lives.
High nutrient density + high fibre + low calorie density = plants
By focusing on whole plant foods (veggies, tubers, fruits, whole grains, and legumes), you’re consuming high-volume foods that will fill you up with nutrients and fibre, in turn triggering the message from your brain that you’re full and preventing you from overeating. In other words, you get satiation, nourishment, and satisfaction.
What does eating this way look like? Big portions of colourful food, and no more measuring. Eating should give you feelings of pleasure and contentment, rather than guilt and stress. It should be seen as an opportunity to fuel your amazing body with the nutrients it deserves.
All of the above options are low volume and calorie dense, with zero fibre.
On the other hand:
By filling up on nutrient-dense, fibre-rich, high-volume food (whole plant foods), you will naturally be eating fewer calories without feeling deprived.
Plants are king for their ratio of high nutrients and volume to low-calorie density for sustainable weight management and longevity. They’re also packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and, most importantly, fibre—which makes them queen when it comes to gut health!
These prebiotic plant fibres are the preferred food for the trillions of microbes within your gut microbiome. Eat a variety of plants and you’ll become the host to a diverse party of happy microbes.
In return, you’ll receive the greatest gift: a healthy gut to combat disease. You’ll assimilate nutrients optimally and produce anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acids that may have an effect on brain health, serotonin levels, energy, immunity, weight management, digestion, hormonal balance, blood sugar balance, and healthy skin.
Studies strongly support the role of plant-based diets in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Reducing the high saturated fat and zero-fibre animal foods in your diet actually lowers the risk of insulin resistance and, in turn, helps prevent, or even reverse type 2 diabetes. Fixing the underlying cause will help you achieve the ability to metabolize health-promoting whole carbohydrates.
It’s time to start crowding out animal-based and processed foods, and focus on eating more whole plant foods!
Think about why you want to switch to a plant-focused diet. Maybe you want to eat more plants to minimize your environmental footprint or prevent lifestyle-related health conditions such as heart disease, obesity, or diabetes. The rest is easy.
It may sound radical, but deprivation and restriction are not required to transform your health, love your body, and glide through life with confidence and energy.
Men’s health across the life course
Theodore D. Cosco, PhD (Cantab) CPsychol