Confused about nutrition? I don’t blame you. Diet advice from days of yore categorically deemed whole macronutrient groups, namely starchy carbs and fat, as “bad for you.” As it turns out, vilifying single macronutrients was a vast oversimplification. There are, in fact, “good” and “bad” fats and starchy carbs.
The misinformation of the “low-fat” and “low-carb” diet eras still lingers and a lot of my patients have questions about how to reconcile their many conflicting sources of nutrition advice. Luckily it’s pretty easy to categorize the starches and fats that are beneficial for your health and the ones that aren’t.
Beneficial starchy carbs:
– Paleo, starchy tubers (things you could dig up or pick) like sweet potatoes, cassava/yucca, potatoes, plantains, taro.
Starchy carbs to avoid:
– Not great: grains that have low cross-reactivity with gluten (quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, long grain white rice)
– Worse: Other non-gluten grains (other rice, oats, corn, millet)
– Worst: gluten containing grains (wheat, farro, barley, rye, smelt, kamut)
– Monounsaturated fatty acids: avocados and avo oil, olives and olive oil, duck fat, macadamias and macadamia oil, almonds.
– Omega-3 fatty acids: Cold water fatty fish like salmon (wild caught!), egg yolks from pasture-raised hens, flax oil, chia oil.
– Saturated fats: coconut oil, well-sourced animal fat, grass-fed dairy fats like butter and ghee.
Fats to avoid:
– Industrial seed oils (canola oil, grape seed oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, palm oil, corn oil, etc.).