When did “Fruits and Vegetables” become 1 word?
Fruits and vegetables seems to have become one word when it comes to giving advice on a healthy diet. Both definitely have a place in a healthy approach to food intake, however these two vary different food groups must be approached with different strategies. When it comes to optimizing health you need to choose the foods that best support your health and training needs.
We must first understand that fruits and vegetables have varying macronutrient and fiber contents. In addition they can also contain different types of vitamins, minerals, and other key micronutrients. They contain different types of carbohydrates that affect their digestion and effect on your blood sugar.
“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” -Michael Pollan
In America most folks are still missing out on many essential nutrients and simply do not consume enough vegetables. In schools we were all encouraged to have either fruits or veggies. Most of realize now that 8oz of orange juice is not going to provide the same nutrients as 1 cup of broccoli. Whole fruits do contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals but when turned into concentrated juices they are not much different than drinking a soda.
Even as an adult you may be guilty of eating 2 or 3 bananas in a day but neglected consuming foods like green vegetables that have true health benefits.
Fruits are higher in sugar and unless you are a high level athlete training multiple times per day you probably do not need to consume that many carbohydrates in your diet. A piece of fruit to fuel your workout and some fast digesting carbs post workout should be the majority of your “carb” intake. Fill the rest of your meals with vegetables that will make you feel full and contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
When you are consuming fruits focus on fresh seasonal fruit that will have a low impact on blood sugar. Dark berries are one of the best fruits in this regard and contain high levels of antioxidants. Post-WOD kiwis and pineapples are a great choice.
In the end, don’t forget or neglect to eat your fruits or your vegetables (2 separate words!). A healthy diet should consist mostly of healthy fats, high quality proteins, and complex carbohydrates from vegetables which are nutrient dense and have a minimal effect on insulin. This approach is a crucial part of you getting the most out of your hard work in the gym.