Last week I was watching the 1980s comedy “Lost in America.” This Albert Brooks film has many themes, but a central one is about the nest egg. In the movie, the nest egg refers to a stockpile of cash that protects against adversity while allowing Brooks and his wife to drive across America.
I’m proposing another type of nest egg, one that will protect you from going crazy with every new diet, confusing research and food fad. Why not build a nutritional nest egg?
The main structure is built on a daily intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein. The nutritional nest egg is held together with a sprinkle of good fats and calcium-rich foods. This is a strong protective nest egg.
If there is an occasional sugar storm raining down on the nutritional nest egg it will hold together. It can handle an indulgent Memorial Day barbecue and a cake-and-ice-cream birthday because the nest egg is built on a foundation of nutritious food.
If your head is spinning because of the latest confusing research on eggs, you don’t need to worry if you have a well-maintained nutritional nest egg. Treat your taste buds and brain to choline- and lutein-rich eggs. When the base is strong and well maintained, the nutritional nest egg is not fragile.
Let’s say you are intrigued and want to try a lower carbohydrate intake. If you take away the whole grains from the nest egg, you need to increase the other building blocks of the nest egg to keep it strong. This could be more vegetables and more lean protein.
If one chooses to eliminate dairy foods, the nutritional nest egg can be maintained with other calcium-rich foods such as dark greens, canned salmon or sardines, soy products, milk alternatives and white beans. Or if you see research about the benefits of blueberries, almonds or macha, add to the nest egg. It all leads to strength and better health.
Sheah Rarback MS, RDN is a registered dietitian on faculty at the Miller School of Medicine.