If you’re looking to gain maximum nutrition from what you eat, Rich Food, Poor Food by Jayson and Mira Calton is an excellent resource.
This new book is easy to read and comes with a sense of humour along with a whack of information. It focuses on micronutrients in food (things like zinc, selenium, and vitamins) and guides you to the most nutrient-rich available choices.
I thought I had a pretty good handle on nutritious foods – basically, avoid too much processed stuff and buy fresh and local. But after browsing Rich Food, Poor Food I’m making different choices.
For instance I’d long thought of pasta as a minimally processed, low fat and thus healthy food – the ingredients list is usually comfortingly short. It was a staple of my diet, along with the fresh veg. And I loved my pasta! But basically it’s devoid of important micronutrients. It’s a ‘poor food’. That’s even without considering the potential adverse effects of its gluten content. After Rich Food, Poor Food I’m opting for other more micronutrient-dense foods to bulk out my meals (cauliflower, sweet potato, greens, grass-fed free range meats, wild fish).
The small things matter too. In Rich Food, Poor Food I found out that iodised salt is actually refined salt stripped of a great many micronutrients and ‘enriched’ by putting back in only one of them – the iodine. Now I’ll pick unrefined salts like pink Himalaya salt.
My figuring is that my food choices, no matter how small, are cumulative. So a pinch of iodised salt versus pink Himalaya salt might not seem like much of a deal, but over the long term, it could be. And so each rich food choice I make will add up, little by little, toward good health.
Thanks to the Caltons for engineering a great deal of research into a handy guide. To quote from caltonnutrition.com: ‘Health is not something that you biologically lose as you age. It is something that you build or give away a little each day, in what you do, and what you don’t’ do.’
I’ll second that!