Many of us grew up with The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) definition of the "Basic 4" food groups, consisting of dairy, meat, grains, fruits and vegetables. However, with The Daniel Plan, we often speak in different terms and we want to guide you along with common terms and food groups we discuss throughout the plan.
Helping with this is Tina Pretsch, a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, who is also on staff at Saddleback Church helping with Online Small Groups and The Daniel Plan.
Here are the basic food groups, and examples:
There are true proteins such as: lean meats including, chicken, turkey, fish, lean pork loin, organic grass-fed beef, and eggs. Note: when buying meats, choose free-range, organic with no hormone or antibiotics meats. There are also other good sources of protein like quinoa, beans, tofu and nuts.
There are complex carbohydrates, which is the good type, such as: whole grains, brown rice, beans, lentils, millet, sweet potato or yam, quinoa and other vegetables.
There are simple carbohydrates, which you want to avoid or eliminate, including: simple sugars found in processed foods, table sugar, fructose, lactose, white potatoes, white flour, honey and fruit juice.
Good fats include grape-seed and coconut oils which are great to cook with at high temperatures. Other good fats are olive oil and hemp oil--but don't cook at high temperatures with them--which are great for salads, and additional flavors. Additional good fats include avocado, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, raw organic butter, ahi, wild salmon and vegetables.
Bad fats include canola oil, vegetable oil, trans-fatty acids (trans fats), and any hydrogenated oils. These fats are not in their natural form and the body cannot digest them properly, storing them as fat which is linked to heart disease and many other chronic health problems.
Fiber makes you feel full and helps with digestion. Some higher fiber foods are raspberries, grapefruits, apples, oranges, papaya, nuts, acacia fiber, flax seeds, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens vegetables, asparagus, peppers, and glucomannan.
Grains are to be used in low quantities, typically in the morning to help you feel full and help with digestion. Examples include millet, spelt, quinoa, wheat, kamut, amaranth and brown rice.
To help with counting calories, use www.thecaloriecounter.com to determine your caloric intake per day.
Ingredients to Avoid
- Sugars - sucrose, fructose, maltodextrine, high fructose corn syrup, several other types of sugar are located in this article. Examples include almost all processed foods and fruit juices, sodas, jams, jellies, candy and much more.
- Trans fats - This is a bad fat the body cannot digest. Read the label and avoid this ingredient.
- Nitrates - This is usually a preservative found in meats. Instead buy fresh, organic, free-range meats.
How much protein should I eat per day?
Here's a formula to help you determine how much protein to consume per day.
Take your weight, divide by 2.2, then multiply by .8. That will give you the total number of grams of protein to eat per day.