I follow Dr Greger’s blogs and videos on www.nutritionfacts.org. I like that he reviews current mainstream research and pulls together a great summary of what to eat and not to eat and what to be cautious of.
He put together his Daily Dozen for the items to try to include every day in your “eating style”. His suggestion is a vegetarian/vegan diet. My perspective on the one-diet-fits-all theory is that, it doesn’t. In this case, not everyone should eat a Vegan or Vegetarian.
That said, I like his Daily Dozen idea because it is about getting real, whole-food nutrition, in your regular “eating style”. Your body needs nutrition – not just protein-fat-carbs, but micro-nutrients, like magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, amino acids, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and more. Getting nutrition from whole-foods improves the body's absorption because whole foods have the necessary combinations of those items. (Supplements just aren’t the same.)
Greger talks about his Daily Dozen HERE explaining the reason and importance of eating the variety of whole foods. He also has a "daily dozen challenge" that he talks about HERE and includes this colorful GRAPHIC showing the Daily Dozen items.
As a meat eater, I would modify the Daily Dozen something like this:
• Decrease the Beans and/or Grains, and add meat protein. (Beans/Grains tend to have more sugars)
• Decrease the General Fruits and eat more Berries. (Again, other fruits have more sugars)
• Increase Vegetables (Because you’re not likely to get too many!)
• Increase Nuts -IF- you’re keeping your sugars lower (More fat isn’t so bad)
• Increase Flax Seed -IF- you’re a woman (it can help with hormonal issues, increase slowly though)
Keep in mind, if you are getting the Daily Dozen in, but still eating a moderate amount of processed food and fast food, you may not get the health benefits. It’s really important to decrease the processed foods. This doesn’t mean you can never eat them … but getting them out of the regular, daily “eating style” is ideal. Then your body can reap much more benefit from the whole-food nutrition!
If you'd like your own checklist to print off and use, download a PDF version I created, the Daily Dozen Tracking Sheet.
I hope this has been helpful for you!
Here's to being healthier, day by day!