There are many delicious foods to eat. Foods that not only delicious but that serve your changing body. As we age, we need specific nutrients to counteract the natural aging process. The loss of bone mass, the muscle shrinkage, the hardening of the arteries and the liver shrinkage can be supported through targeted food choices.

Let’s start with the proteins.

Proteins (20%)

We recommend eating between 3 and 6 oz of protein a day. It’s not difficult to eat that in one meal, so you may need to plan it out if you want to spread it over two or three meals. 

  • Fish and Shellfish: wild is better than farmed, and low mercury is best. Salmon, tuna, halibut, sole, trout, sardines, and flounder are all good choices. For shellfish, you can choose clams, scallops, oysters, shrimp, squid, and crab.
  • Poultry: Free run is best – chicken, duck, turkey, cornish hen, and eggs are all good choices.
  • Meat: Grass-fed organic is best. Beef, pork, lamb, bison and venison are all good choices.
  • Dairy: Grass-fed organic is best. Very small amounts. Some Greek yoghurt, grass fed butter, small amounts of hard cheese.
  • Nuts and seeds: Whole and raw is best, but roasted can be okay. Great choices include walnuts, almonds, and pecans. Seed choices include flax, chia, hemp, and pine nuts.

Vegetables / Fruits (45%)

Vegetables and fruits provide excellent nutrients for your body, as well as fiber to keep you regular. We encourage eating a lot of vegetables and daily fruits to support your body’s requirements. 

Let’s start with raw vegetables:

  • Avocado
  • Cabbage, red, green, Chinese
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce and spinach
  • Olives
  • All colors of peppers
  • Tomato 

Cooked vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Green beans
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Fennel
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards Greens, Chard and Kale
  • Eggplant
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion, leeks and garlic
  • Snow peas
  • Sweet potato
  • Carrots and parsnips
  • Zucchini

Fruits: (organic is best)

  • Apple
  • Berries
  • Orange
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Melon
  • Pear
  • Peach and nectarine
  • Plum
  • Grapes and raisons
  • Lemon and lime

Fat (35%)

Fat is what makes food taste great. It also contributes to satiety, but not every fat is recommended. Trans fats should be avoided altogether. These are found in pre-processed foods, cookies and other products with a long shelf life. The best fats are unsaturated fats:

  • Extra virgin olive oil (good for cooking and salads)
  • Avocado oil
  • Pure coconut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Macadamia nut oil
  • Omega-3 oil found in salmon, seeds and eggs

Drinks:

There are several beverages you are encouraged to drink. We encourage drinking 8-12 cups of fluid per day to keep muscles, digestion and skin hydrated. 

  • Water, flat or sparkling
  • Coffee, decaffeinated is best
  • Tea – green, black or otherwise
  • Nut-milks, unsweetened

To set yourself up for success, it’s recommended to clean out the cupboards, pantry, fridge, and freezer of processed foods. So what are the foods are you clearing out?

  • Packaged food: These are processed foods and they are full of unwanted ingredients. This includes pasta, bread, bagels, pretzels, chips, cereals, cookies, frozen dinners, or ice cream.
  • Wheat: Get rid of flour, corn, popcorn, white rice, pasta, cake mixes…
  • Unhealthy oils and fats: This includes margarine, soybean oil, sunflower oil, canola, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, or safflower oil.
  • Canned goods: Most canned fruits or vegetables include BPA (or Bisphenol A) which interferes with our hormones.
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners: The best sweeteners include stevia, monk fruit, or sweet alcohols (like erythritol and xylitol) because they do not spike insulin.
  • Dairy: All dairy except hard cheeses, heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, and grass-fed butter, need to go. When purchasing dairy, it’s best to purchase organic and to only eat it once or twice a week. Dairy is inflammatory to many people who don’t realize until they remove it.
  • Low-fat foods: Anything low fat is overly processed and contain ingredients that are not recommended. 
  • Sauces and condiments: Most sauces like ketchup are chock full of sugar so it’s best to steer clear of them. Herbs and spices are fine. You can make your own that is low carb friendly.
  • Beverages: clear out all sodas, sports drinks, premixed smoothies, fruit juice and drinks with artificial sweeteners.
  • Dried fruit, chocolate, and candy: A small amount of dried fruit is okay when added to a salad or recipe, but not as a snack. Stevia sweetened chocolate that is okay, but others should be removed. 

Sweets:

It’s true that many people have a sweet tooth and crave sweets. Luckily, this will wear off after as little as a week of “clean eating”. But it’s still nice once in a while to enjoy a sweet treat. There are some options that you can make using coconut and almond flour, grass fed butter and monk fruit and stevia. 

The quality of your chosen foods will make a difference in how you respond to the low carb way of life. The higher the quality, the better you will feel, and if it’s your goal, it will support weight loss. As we age, it becomes more important to eat to support our hormones and changing body. The low carb Mediterranean way of eating is a lifestyle approach that is delicious and sustainable.