Aug 29, 2016From Science to Training Table: Optimal Eating Guidelines
- Make your calories count. Eat a wide variety of foods, even within food groups and selection, to get the most vitamin and mineral bang for your buck. Some brands may also just work better for you.
- Choose at least five colors a day (preferably each meal) for your plate, representing all the food groups on a daily basis. Include foods from the Legally Lean Guide in the Core Performance Program for bonus vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrient compounds shown to accelerate speed, endurance, and recovery from training and promote optimal health.
- Don’t skip! Eat at least three meals and two to three snacks throughout the day to sustain energy levels, manage blood sugars, and assist with pre-workout and recovery fuel.
- Choose wholesome and fresh foods. Whenever possible, limit additives, colorings, flavoring, and/or processing. If you have limited access to fresh and wholesome foods, go for frozen, organic, or without sauces/seasonings. The next best choice after frozen would then be canned, (BPA free), low sodium, and/or rinsed.
- Making Wise Food ChoicesTable 5 shows specific strategies for building nutritious meals, explaining the benefits of selecting the suggested choices.
Table 1. Nutrient-Dense Food Recommendations
|Choose This||Instead of This||Nutrition Benefit|
|100% whole grains such as cereals, brown rice, bread, crackers, pasta)||White, processed grains, baked goods, cookies, cakes, croissants, muffins||More B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and zinc; less fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium|
|Beverage: water, natural sparkling water, 100% fresh juice, unsweetened green tea||Powdered juice or ready-to-drink juice drink, soda, energy drinks, sweet tea||Less added sugar and caffeine; more vitamins and minerals in fruit juice|
|Fresh, frozen, canned unsweetened fruit||Canned or frozen fruit with syrup, dyes, artificial colors/flavors; fruit-flavored frozen pops, candy, or treats||Less added sugar; more vitamins, fiber, minerals
|Fresh, frozen, canned low-sodium vegetables||Canned or frozen vegetables with sauce, cheese, or in cream sauces and creamed soups||Less sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol|
|Low- or nonfat dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese||High-fat flavored yogurts, milk, or cheese||Less fat, saturated fat, cholesterol|
|Lean protein, no skin, limited fat: chicken, turkey, eggs, lean beef, turkey/veggie burgers, tofu||Processed luncheon meats: bologna, salami, frankfurters, bacon, sausage||Higher quality protein, less fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol|
|Healthy fats such as olive or canola oil, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanut butter, avocado||Butter, vegetable shortening, cashews, palm oil, margarine||More essential omega 3 and 6; less saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol|