Does your food portfolio give you positive returns?

Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your options.

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Many of us spend valuable time managing our investments for children’s education, a home reno or retirement. We review our goals, risk portfolio and the types of investments that will provide the growth and returns we seek.

So if health is wealth, do we pay the same amount of attention to and analysis of our food portfolio returns? What do we really know about the effects of the foods and beverages we consume?

Do we feel better now than we did than 5 years ago? 10 years ago? If not, does it make sense to understand more about the impacts of our dietary choices on our health returns?

Like our financial investments, there are categories we are “investing in”  and eating every day. These would include: protein, fat and carbohydrates. These in addition to vitamins and minerals are essential to our health and survival.

Do we really know how much should be in our “portfolios” on a daily basis? We are advertised to with claims like: you can never get enough protein, carbs are bad, plant-based oils are good fats and some foods are low in sodium. But are these assertions true? If you have followed this information and feel worse now , then it may be the time to review assumptions and your food portfolio choices.

Just like information about investments, we want unbiased information about our food. An August 14, 2020 letter by the American Medical Association (AMA) requested the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) make animal protein optional in its guidelines. This is due to the high levels of saturated fats leading to alarming increases in pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Understanding Food Portfolio Guidance

Let’s dissect the USDA about dietary recommendations. Our calorie portfolio is recommended to be 35% from fat, 55% from carbohydrates and 10% from protein for a 2000 calorie diet.

CategoryRecommendations (Calories)Actuals (Calories)Variance
Fat7001,454200% over
Carbohydrates1,1001,790163% over
Protein200438219% over
Fiber1½50% under

Answers to our current health portfolio seems to be clear. We are eating more calories than recommended from all sources and less fiber than is optimal. If these were the “returns” we were receiving from our investments, we would bail out and make some changes.

Food Portfolio Basics

Fiber is protective to our heart and helps us feel full, allowing us to consume fewer calories. Fiber is only found in plants. Plants also have zero cholesterol and all the protein we need. While we need fat, carbohydrates and protein for survival, studies show that excessive amounts decrease our lifespan and bring on disease.  

Foods in our portfolios that we may want to review are dairy, meat and oil. They are high in saturated fats which can lead to heart disease. Sweetened beverages with added sugar and sodium, have zero health benefits and are empty calories. Foods that are not performing for our bodies and our health, may need to be trimmed down and consider some replacements. Options include adding more fruit and vegetables, decreasing: extracted oil, processed foods and refined sugar. Also consider adding larger amounts of water daily. Proper hydration helps everything from memory to energy.

Causes of Death and What We Can Do To Prevent Them

The number one and two causes of death in North America are heart disease and cancer, and these are related to obesity and diabetes. One study from the 1970’s shows that the consumption of excessive calories and large amounts of animal protein increase cancer risk. What if we could change our health is wealth portfolio simply by changing the foods we eat? Do you have anything to lose? If you are not happy with your health returns, maybe it is time for a change.

Flavour, Pleasure and Good Health

Great flavour is the best way to have a sustainable way to eat healthy and enjoy it. Never compromise on flavour or health. Your food should bring you pleasure. There are many great flavours using tasty fruits and vegetables that will have you wanting more. With small changes over time, you will see big benefits. Being open to new foods may help you experience flavourful meals while improving your health returns.

I have been on a plant-based lifestyle since November, 2019 and have seen weight loss, more energy, lower inflammation and lower cholesterol. The number of options for wonderful tasting foods is unlimited. I will only eat foods that taste great. That is how I have changed my food portfolio and made it pay the returns I expect. Maybe this could work for you too.

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