It Start With Food is a nutrition book explaining the intimate relation between what we eat and how we feel.
- Your health starts with what you eat
- Cut out carbs, especially sugar
- Eat lots of vegetables and met
Starts With Food says that we are hard-wired to like certain combinations of ingredients, and the food producers have exploited our own nature to provide us with the most addictive food we can have (also read: Salt, Sugar, Fat).
This is why it’s all the more important that we take the time to understand nutrition and reclaim our health.
It Start With Food: Our Mood
Food has a profound effect on how we feel and even on how we think (read The Power of Positive Thinking).
Indeed if we sometimes get drowsy after eating, or we are weak or stressed out. And oftentimes the root cause is to be found in the food we eat.
Food -or bad food- also affects our immune system.
One such example is chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation happens when your immune system confuses your own body for a foreign and possibly dangerous presence and start attacking itself.
Many processed foods today contain chemical compounds that our bodies didn’t evolve to understand and process.
These man made chemicals can stress and confuse our bodies, leading to chronic inflammation or other serious issues.
Food and Hormones
Food can mess up with our internal homornal regulations.
Insulin and Getting Fat
For example, when we eat sugar, insulin tells our body to store the extra sugar as glycogen to be used later.
But if we eat too much sugar our clycogen reserves fill up, and our body will store them as triglycerides instead, which is basically fat.
When we have too much sugar in our cells, the cells protect themselves becoming insulin resistant. But our brain gets confused and releases even more insulin.
When that happens we feel dizzy because our body wrongly believe we need more energy.
Leptin and Chronic Overeating
Leptin is also thrown off balance by excessive and protracted sugar consumption.
Leptin tells our body when we are full. But with too much sugar floating around our brain can’t properly read leptin levels, which leads to us never feeling full and overeating.
Eventually it’s also possible to develop leptin resistance, which means we never feel full and our body always feels like we’re too skinny and we need to eat more.
- Also read Why We Ge Fat
What to Eat
- Lots of meat
- Monosaturated fats
- Fruits (not too many though)
What to Avoid
- Grains (even healthy such as whole-grain or quinoa)
- Legumes (contain lots of phytate, read below)
- Soy products such as tofu
- Seed oils
- Dairy products (milk)
- Saturated fats from refined carbs (ie.: breakfast cereals)
- Caffeine after 12pm
Grain are not as nutritious as fruits and vegetables and they have a higher calorie content too.
Grains also contain a lot of phytate, which can bind with minerals such as zinc. When they bind together, our bodies cannot absorb the essential minerals, which can potentially lead to deficiencies.
Grain Opportunity Cost
There’s an opportunity cost with food, say the authors.
If you eat too much grain, then you will eat less fruits and vegetables which are much better for you.
When you eat grains, you may eat fewer fruits and vegetables because grains can fill you up so easily!
How to Eat
Listen to your body and you won’t need to count the calories, says It Start With Food. Here are a few tips to eat right:
- Don’t watch TV and eat distractly
- Chew slowly (a meal should take at least 15 minutes)
- Don’t snack
- Eat at least 3 meals a day (space them out 4-5 hours)
- Base each meal around a protein source and the rest vegetables
The authors say you should be able to hold the protein source in one hand. So if you’re going for eggs, it’s 2 eggs and then vegetables on the side.
- If you avoid processed food completely you can add salt and spices
Counterintuitively, the authors recommend you don’t reduce the amount of food you eat if you’re on diet. They say that healthy weight loss takes time.
You reduce weight instead by sticking to the new eating routine -3 meals a day with no snacks- and healthy food.
The Whole 30
The authors reintroduce here their first and most famous book, The Whole 30.
You Can’t Out-exercise a Bad Diet
Again, the theme of It Start With Food re-emerges in all its power when the authors says that no, no amount of exercise will offset a bad diet.
Real Life Applications
I know.. I love them too. But liquid fills you less than solid and it’s easy to drink too much of it.
Most resources I have read give a green light to beans, but not It Starts With Food. I’m not an expert opinion here, but to me it felt as if the authors were trying to squeeze some scientifically sounding name looking for some alternative and unsupported view.
Lots of Meat?
Some meat is OK, but I find the advise of eating “lots of it” to fly against what many other sources recommend.
Especially if it’s lots of pork meat and sliced or processed meat.
The part It Start With Food that reviews some of the science of food and body interaction is very informative.
The portion of the book teaching all the readers how important food is in our lives is a great message that deserves more attention.
Start with Food is a great book.
I’m not a nutrition expert, yet I found the advise of “eating lots of meat” and “cut beans” to fly in the face of everything else I read.
Except for that, little to add.
I’m on my way to further cutting out carbs and sugars.