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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

So what is a healthy diet?

What is a healthy diet? Most people don't know, not because they're ignorant or don't care - it's because they're confused. There is so much conflicting advice about diet and nutrition, who can blame us when we throw in the towel and eat pizza?

You may hear much conflicting advice and confusing information, but actually, hidden away among the self-serving propaganda of a lot of the food industry - and even the nutritional supplement industry - there are very clear guidelines for healthy eating.

After years of research and campaigning, there are finally official and nutritionally sound guidelines for a good diet.

The message is plain: a low saturated fat, moderate protein, low simple-carbohydrate, high complex-carbohydrate diet is the way to go.

Stated simply, the golden rules for a healthy diet are:

  • Avoid stimulants such as sugar, coffee, tea and cigarettes, and limit alcohol.
  • Avoid saturated (animal) fats and especially hydrogenated (processed) fats.
  • Avoid simple (refined) carbohydrates, including white bread, biscuits, cakes and other processed foods.
  • Avoid unnatural additives, flavourings and preservatives.
  • Eat more beans, lentils, seeds, nuts and wholegrains.
  • Eat more vegetables, raw or lightly cooked (steaming is best).
  • Eat several servings of fresh fruit every day.
  • Eat oily fish several times a week.
  • Whenever possible eat organically-grown, natural, unprocessed foods.
  • Drink plenty of filtered water.
  • Avoid these poisonous items in your diet and medications: aspartame, ritalin, Prozac, fluorinated water, vaccinations.

Alongside regular exercise, this works for weight loss but more importantly it's the cornerstone of optimum nutrition - an approach to diet and health that says food can be both pleasure and medicine, and that diet has a crucial role to play in disease prevention and longer, healthier living.

Many people would like to believe that as long as they take their vitamin supplements they can keep eating all the "bad" foods they desire.

But you can't rely simply on supplements; a well-planned, varied diet is essential.

Of course it is good to eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals. But this is only one criterion. Good food should also be low in saturated fat, salt and fast-releasing sugars, and high in fiber.

Alkaline-forming foods (foods high in calcium, magnesium and potassium) are preferable - such as all fruit and vegetables, millet, seeds, almonds, brazils, herb teas, yoghurt, bean sprouts. These help to buffer the acids that result from the metabolism of proteins, refined foods and stimulants. Such a diet will also be low in calories.

And to further help keep your weight in check, eat earlier in the day, rather than later when the metabolism slows down. And of course, equally important is to exercise every day.


1 comment:

AstroNutrition said...

Definitely avoid the prozac and aspartane. I like what you've listed. Drinking tons of fresh water and eating lots of oily fish does the trick for me!