If you ask me calories will never be king, food quality will always prevail. The thing is, we need to get back to basics and look beyond the shredded 6 packs which grace the front covers of magazines with ‘’3 fast tips to getting abs like this.’’ Above and beyond looking like a Greek God you should be prioritising your health first, every time. You are not a physique competitor therefore you do not need to delve into the territories they find themselves in during the latter stages of show prep. Your calorie intake never really needs to fall on its face like that. One thing which will be absolutely instrumental in your health is of course food quality, not just quantities and ratios. Calories and macros count but they will never take priority over quality presuming one was mutually exclusive to the other.
Here are 3 reasons I want you to focus on food quality and leave fads like IIFYM behind!
1 – Digestive Performance
Natural sources of foods don’t only contain minerals and vitamins (micronutrients) they also contain digestive enzymes which help the body cope with these foods. This is why you will often hear me say I am not a fan of pasteurised milk or mass produced bread. The digestive enzymes required for the body to have any chance of digesting these foods effectively aren’t present due to the processing. In contrast if you took a traditionally made loaf of bread without fast acting yeast you might get a different reaction. Digestion is arguably the most important part of the puzzle, along with absorption (which we will touch on in a minute). This means eating a diet which isn’t inflammatory, allows the digestive system to flourish and doesn’t create unnecessary stress.
2 – Absorption
If we aren’t focussing on food quality then we will miss a massive trick, cell permeability! After digestion comes absorption. If the cell isn’t receptive to the nutrients passing through the wall where they can then be processed it is a waste of time! Natural foods will generally support better cell permeability over processed crap. Foods rich in Omega 3s are especially important on this front.
3 – Immune Function
The immune system is housed within the gut. If we don’t take care of our digestive system then by default we could argue that we are going to cause immune function to suffer. This means foods which are inflammatory. Everyone is different, however common offenders are processed carbs along with wheat, gluten and dairy (pasteurised being worse).
There are endless reasons why natural foods win. This isn’t ‘’paleo’’ and it isn’t ‘’cave man’’ this is just common sense.