7 ways to maintain a healthy diet

vegetables

Complement your training program with with these healthy eating guidelines by contributing editor Rod Cedaro. 

1. Eat whole, minimally processed, nutrient-rich foods. Moderate amounts of lean protein and plenty of plant-based foods – including grains, but limit the processed variety.

2. Cook your grains.

3. Try sprouted and fermented breads. To take it further, grains that have been sprouted (e.g. Ezekiel bread) or fermented (e.g. sourdough) have even lower levels of phytates, lectins and protease inhibitors. This increases mineral bioavailability and also tends to boost the protein quality of the bread.

4. If you’ve got a gut problem and suspect gluten may be an issue – get tested, properly. See your doctor and get tested for coeliac disease.

5. Diversify. For most, wholegrain wheat isn’t a problem. Unfortunately, it appears to be the grain most used and associated with the most problems with the least benefits. If you’re suffering from GI problems, try lowering your wheat consumption and replace it with other wholegrains.

6. Consider an elimination diet. Food sensitivities do exist. Speak to a qualified and experienced dietitian (not a naturopath), and consider a controlled elimination diet where foods are removed and systematically reintroduced, noting any changes to your symptoms.

7. Moderation is the key. Don’t go nuts. Nutritional extremism creates isolation, stress and potential health problems. Enjoy eating a wide variety of healthful foods with friends and family. Dining should be a joy, not an ordeal. Diet extremism leads to stress, unhappiness, and, unfortunately, weight gain and health problems. Tune out the ‘great grain debate’ and use that energy to cook delicious food, and eat it with family and friends instead.

Looking for more training advice? Find out how to improve your performance on race day and get all the latest nutrition tips.

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