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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

AGAIN! Back to basics

My son, Shayne, and me at A Basin
There is nothing simpler and yet apparently more difficult than maintaining a healthy eating life-style.  Why our society has so many problems with the age-old basic concepts is an interesting topic.  As the last couple of generations have been presented with so many easy, tasty, nutrient-deficient foods, we seem to have lost our way . . . and unfortunately our health.  I'm reprinting these steps from UC Berkeley Foundations of Wellness newsletter.  This is a perfect blueprint for eating right and if you're not already doing so,  I hope you take these steps to heart.
Steps 9, 11, and 12 are particularly insightful.  Happy eating and healthy living!

1  Eat plenty of high-fiber foods—that is, fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. These are the "good" carbohydrates—nutritious, filling, and relatively low in calories. They should supply the 20 to 30 grams of dietary fiber you need each day, which slows the absorption of carbohydrates, so there’s less effect on insulin and blood sugar, and provides other health benefits as well. Such foods also provide important vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (plant chemicals essential to good health).

2  Make sure to include green, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables—such as broccoli, carrots, cantaloupe, and citrus fruits. The antioxidants and other nutrients in these foods may help protect against developing certain types of cancer and other diseases. Eat five or more servings a day.

3  Limit your intake of sugary foods, refined-grain products such as white bread, and salty snack foods. Sugar, our No.1 additive, is added to a vast array of foods. Just one daily 12-ounce can of soda (160 calories) can add up to 16 pounds over the course of a year. Many sugary foods are also high in fat, so they’re calorie-dense.

4  Cut down on animal fat. It’s rich in saturated fat, which boosts blood cholesterol levels and has other adverse health effects. Choose lean meats, skinless poultry, and nonfat or low-fat or nonfat dairy products.

5  Cut way down on trans fats, supplied by hydrogenated vegetable oils used in most processed foods in the supermarket and in many fast foods.

6  Eat more fish and nuts, which contain healthy unsaturated fats. Substitute olive or canola oil for butter or stick margarine.

7  Keep portions moderate, especially of high-calorie foods. In recent years serving sizes have ballooned, particularly in restaurants. Choose a starter instead of an entrĂ©e, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything.

8  Keep your cholesterol intake below 300 milligrams per day. Cholesterol is found only in animal products, such as meats, poultry, dairy products, and egg yolks.

9  Eat a variety of foods. Don't try to fill your nutrient requirements by eating the same foods day in, day out. It is possible that not every essential nutrient has been identified, and so eating a wide assortment of foods helps to ensure that you will get all the necessary nutrients. In addition, this will limit your exposure to any pesticides or toxic substances that may be present in one particular food.

10  Maintain an adequate calcium intake. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. Get your calcium from low-fat sources, such as skim milk and low-fat yogurt. If you can't get the optimal amount from foods, take supplements.

11  Try to get your vitamins and minerals from foods, not from supplements. Supplements cannot substitute for a healthy diet, which supplies nutrients and other compounds besides vitamins and minerals. Foods also provide the "synergy" that many nutrients require to be efficiently used in the body.

12  Maintain a desirable weight. Balance energy (calorie) intake with energy output. Exercise and other physical activity are essential.

13  If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. That is one drink a day for women, two a day for men. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits. Excess alcohol consumption leads to a variety of health problems. And alcoholic beverages can add many calories to your diet without supplying nutrients.
From: http://www.wellnessletter.com/html/fw/fwNut01HealthyDiet.html