Friday, August 21, 2009
people want to know what "Top Ten" foods are - and why I think they're important. It's a tough question, as there's a vast array of foods to choose from, and variety is important for a healthy diet too! Just because some foods are "better" than others in certain ways, doesn't mean that you should restrict your diet to those foods alone, in the mistaken belief that you've got all the bases covered. No one food - or short list of foods - can do it all.
Nonetheless, there are some foods that are especially useful, and pack
some extra "bang" for your calorie "buck". So keeping the above consider-
ations in mind, here's my "Top 10" list of foods that should make regular
appearances on your menu. These are:
1. Lean Beef
2. Skinless Chicken/Turkey Breasts
3. Cottage Cheese
5. Whey Protein
6. Tuna and Other Fish
8. Whole Grains
9. Fruits and Vegetables
10. Healthy Fats
What's so special about these foods? Here's the scoop:
o Lean Beef: Beef is often overlooked due to the perception that it's too
high in fat. While this is true for many cuts, there are several that have
more fat than other popular low fat choices, such as skinless
chicken or turkey. For example, if you check out the nutritional infor-
mation in the Food Database in the Members’ Area, you’ll discover that
100 grams (3 1/2 oz.) of broiled Top Sirloin steak provides a solid 30
grams of high quality protein, yet contains under 6 grams of fat.
Beyond the macronutrient content, beef is loaded with all sorts of
things that are conducive to muscle growth. Beef is a source of highly
bioavailable heme iron, creatine, carnitine, carnosine, CLA, B-vitamins,
zinc and selenium. It should be a staple of any anabolic diet.
See the shopping lists in Chapter 3 and Appendix A for more cuts of
beef that o er outstanding nutrition without excessive fat.
Skinless Turkey and Chicken Breasts: Versatility and ease of prepara-
tion make these low fat meats the rst choice for many bodybuilders.
It’s easy to nd boneless and skinless poultry, already cut into single
serving sizes which can be seasoned and quickly cooked in a variety of
ways. Both are excellent sources of high quality protein and provide
signi cant amounts of niacin, vitamin B6 and selenium.
Cottage Cheese: This is one of the most underrated bodybuilding
foods. It’s made by acidi cation of milk at a pH 4.6, which causes pre-
cipitation of the casein proteins. After that, the whey is drained o
and the curd is washed repeatedly. The washings function to remove
lactose and prevent further acidi cation of the curd, leaving relatively
pure casein protein. It’s also a an excellent source of vitamin B12 and a
good source of calcium, phosphorous, zinc, folate, ribo avin and vita-
min B6. Cottage cheese can be found in nonfat and low fat (1% milkfat)
versions, which are preferable to the higher fat (4%) products.
Eggs/Egg Whites: Eggs are considered one of nature’s most perfect
foods, and they’ve been used as the standard for evaluating the pro-
tein quality from other food sources. Although eggs have gotten a
bad rap for their cholesterol content, data has shown that dietary cho-
lesterol has less impact on serum cholesterol than was previously sup-
posed. Most people who eat eggs on a regular basis nd they don’t
increase their cholesterol levels.
Omega-3 forti ed eggs are now available from axseed-fed chickens,
which provide an additional bene t.Protein: Whey protein is fully covered in the supplement section
in Chapter 5, so only a summary is needed here. Whey is a product of
milk. The two major proteins found in cow’s milk are whey and casein.
The whey proteins are separated and puri ed into whey concentrates
and isolates. Whey has an exceptionally high biological value, high
levels of BCAAs, and low levels of lactose and fat. Whey protein also in-
creases the body’s supply of glutathione, which improves immunity
and helps protect against cancer. Glutathione’s antioxidant activity
may help protect athletes against overtraining syndrome, and provide
other positive health and performance bene ts.