The CrossFit dietary prescription is as follows:
Protein should be lean and varied and account for about 30 percent of your total caloric load. Carbohydrates should be predominantly low-glycemic and account for about 40 percent of your total caloric load. Fat should be predominantly monounsaturated and account for about 30 percent of your total caloric load. Calories should be set between 0.7 and 1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass, depending on your activity level. The 0.7 figure is for moderate daily workout loads, while the 1.0 figure is for the hardcore athlete.
What Should I Eat?
In plain language, base your diet on garden vegetables (especially greens) lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch and no sugar. That’s about as simple as we can get. Many have observed that keeping your shopping cart to the perimeter of the grocery store while avoiding the aisles — where you find most of the processed food — is a great way to protect your health. Food is perishable. Anything with a long shelf life is suspect. If you follow these simple guidelines you will benefit from nearly all that can be achieved through nutrition.
The Caveman or Paleolithic Model for Nutrition
Modern diets are ill-suited for our genetic composition. Evolution has not kept pace with advances in agriculture and food processing, resulting in a plague of health problems for the modern man. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and psychological dysfunction have all been scientifically linked to a diet too high in refined or processed carbohydrates. Search Google for “Paleolithic nutrition” or “Paleo diet.” The return is extensive, compelling and fascinating. The Caveman model is perfectly consistent with the CrossFit prescription.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Excessive consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates is the primary culprit in nutritionally caused health problems. High-glycemic carbohydrates are those that raise blood sugar too rapidly. They include rice, bread, candy, potatoes, sweets, sodas and most processed carbohydrates. Processing can include bleaching, baking, grinding and refining. Processing of carbohydrates greatly increases their glycemic index, a measure of their propensity to elevate blood sugar.
What is the Problem with High-Glycemic Carbohydrates?
The problem with high-glycemic carbohydrates is that they give an inordinate insulin response. Insulin is an essential hormone for life, yet acute, chronic elevation of insulin leads to hyperinsulinism, which has been positively linked to obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, blood pressure, mood dysfunction and a Pandora’s box of disease and disability. Research “hyperinsulinism” on the Internet. There’s a gold mine of information pertinent to your health available there. The CrossFit prescription is a low-glycemic diet and, consequently, severely blunts the insulin response.
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