Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Eat By Color - Intro

Eat By Color

Eating by color is an intuitive way of looking at food and a guide to making healthy food choices. Sure food is made up of enzymes, vitamins, proteins, fats, phytochemicals etc., but most of us don't understand how these compounds promote health or disease in our bodies. Further complicating matters is an endless barrage of advertisements, diet books, and airbrushed celebrities telling us how to make our skin glow and look young forever. With so many do's and dont's, we are overloaded with nutrition information and confused about what to eat. That is why I love the simplicity of eating by color. It states, within a balanced whole-foods-based diet, choose those foods containing the deepest colors on the spectrum. Make your plate into a rainbow of color and re-wire your brain to associate these colors with health.

Dark Purple is our first color!
Science tells us that within those deep pigments are concentrations of nutrients. (There are exceptions to this rule as in the case of white vegetables such as turnips or daikon radish which we'll come back to later on) Many studies have been published correlating a healthy diet to skin health and the reduction of disease states.  We know about the benefits of Vitamin E and antioxidants for reducing cellular damage from free radicals.

Nutrition science has come a long way in identifying the metabolic pathways with which nutrients promote health in our bodies. However, when science collides with marketing and mass media, food and supplement companies end up promoting fad diets and a "magic pill" mentality in an attempt to sell their products.  This is the idea that you can keep your current diet and incorporate one all-encompassing health-promoting food (or supplement) to meet all your health goals. Like, if I just eat these goji berries, I'm going to prevent cancer.  Go for it on the goji berries if you enjoy them, but let's add to your miracle foods a foundation of healthy eating that will far exceed the benefits of any one food.

The truth is, antioxidants are amazing, but so are thousands of compounds in fruits and vegetables that science has not yet identified.  It's the antioxidants in combination with these unknown compounds that work synergistically throughout the metabolic process to impact our health. By piecing together the isolated scientific outcomes, we see that health promoting nutrients are present in all whole foods, especially those darkest in color.  So in this series, we are not going to spend a ton of time singling out nutrients. Instead, we are taking isolated scienfic outcomes, combining them, and concluding that a balanced plant-based diet, rich in dark colored fruits and vegetables should be the foundation of any health plan.

Throughout the next series of posts, we will break down the color wheel and identify those dark colored foods that are must-haves in the diet. If they are not already present in your diet, it's time to make some space and squeeze them in. I will provide simple recipes and methods to incorporate one or all of the foods we discuss, so that you can give them the taste test. In most cases, by using food substitution, you can take your favorite recipes and substitute the deeper colored vegetable in the place of a like food.  The idea is not to focus on the elimination of problem foods, but on the incorporation of optimal foods. Really try to add one or more of these foods five days a week. It works for me to eat optimally during the week and allow for special desserts, drinks, or eating out on the weekends, but you will find your own routine. Ultimately, it's what you do the majority of the time that impacts your overall health over the course of your lifetime.

The foods we eat will go on to become our cells

Whatever your goals are, keep in mind results are not instant. What is required is time, will-power, and dedication to the establishment of new habits.  According to British researchers, it takes approximately 66 days to form a new habit. (  Within a whole-foods Eat-by-Color diet, weight loss is only a side effect of the adoption of your new diet and lifestyle. So let's commit to trying the new foods we talk about for 66 days and see if we are not more energetic, happy, healthy, and radiant after 66 days!

I look forward to your feedback as we move forward. Please feel free to email me with your questions or comments. Also, if there is a food you would like more information on, please let me know.


Katie Fugnetti

This series is being featured by Erin Denise Esthetician at  Your best skin is a combination of what you eat and your skin care regimen. Follow the link for a free skin care consultation and individualized skin care plan focused on natural skin rejuvenation! 

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