Everyone wants to be healthy. The problem is that modern 'healthy' comes along with a same for everyone diet. Surprise! A 'healthy' diet is not the same for everyone. Enjoy the following re-posted Real Results. Real People. article, January 28, 2013.
Welcome to a New Year, a beautiful new Real People website, a new blogger (me, CaveChick-The Nutritional Foodie), and new resolutions. Did you resolve to eat healthier in 2013? If you did, you're not alone. However, do you now ask yourself, “What is 'healthier'? Most people are confused and so turn to books, magazines, TV commercial, doctors, friends and family and the government food pyramid for answers. They'll then try gimmicks, diets and the latest eating trend. The 'eat healthy' resolution usually goes by the wayside because of lack of commitment, unobtained results and total confusion. So many opinions and ideas to wade through-juicing, smoothies, meat, high protein, fat free, vegan, eat for your blood type, paleo, gluten free, supplements, etc. Makes my head spin!
I'd like to offer a simple solution......Forget it all! Choosing what to eat is a simple task. Or at least it should be. To begin your new eating lifestyle you must be clear on what you expect from your effort of eating healthy. It must be realistic. For instance, you can't expect to live forever but you can expect to loose weight, lower blood pressure, clear acne, strengthen immune system, have more energy and get rid of pesky acute or chronic symptoms like asthma, migraines, sinus issues and maybe heal disease. With a clear idea of what is expected from this healthy diet let's answer the big question........What is a healthy diet?
First and foremost, a healthy diet begins with the understanding of what is healthy food. Healthy food is whole, natural and unrefined food. It is food that is presented to us from the earth, not the laboratory or manufacturing plant. Healthy food never contains artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives or flavor enhancers like MSG (monosodium glutamate). It is not genetically modified (GMO) or super hybrid, think common wheat. 'Healthy' is farm style vegetables and fruits, unpeeled, whole grains, raw nuts & seeds, fresh eggs, fresh fish and fresh meat (not deli meat!). These are nutritious foods that living things have evolved over the millions of years eating, including humans. With that said, it's important to remember why humans and all living things posses the desire to eat. Eating is designed to nourish; to obtain vital vitamins, minerals, amino acids and sugars in a balanced form. The further away you get from eating these whole, natural and unrefined foods, the further you get away from nourishing your body. Just remember what the food you choose to eat, those calories you consume, are meant to do. If it isn't nourishing it's just filler and it needn't be eaten because it is taking you away from your desired reward. And don't fall into the trap of thinking the enriched or vitamin added products are healthy. That's just unhealthy food in disguise! Does adding a few vitamins to corn syrup water make for a healthy beverage? Of course not!
Sadly, we are a society that has lost touch with food. It seems common practice is to eat to 'fill up' with a heaping plate of refined enriched white pasta, white rice or a bowl of packaged cereal “with 11 vitamins and minerals” added. If you look at the conventional or standard diets they consist almost entirely of super hybrid refined wheat flour. This super hybrid variety of wheat has be fashion in the lab to contain a higher gluten proportion, resist pesticides and grow differently. Great for growing and manufacturing but maybe not so much for our digestion or health. Refining of wheat flour removes at least 36 nutrients except for the 4 synthetic nutrients that have been replaced. Refining removes most of the B vitamins (folic acid, pyridoxine B6, pantothenic acid B5), vitamin E, chromium, zinc and manganese which are essential to human health. Don't think nutritious food is important? It has been shown that people with B vitamin deficiencies are more likely to have severe depression symptom. Is there a correlation between refined grains and the state of our nation's mental health?
Refining also removes fiber and beneficial fats. The fiber of whole grains reduces cholesterol, heart disease and ensures gastrointestinal health. This accounts for far less colon cancer, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and constipation. “The fiber content of the whole grains is probably the biggest difference between the natural, or primitive, diet and the industrial, or Westernized diet, and likely a big difference between poor health and good health,” says Elson M. Haas, M.D., Staying Healthy with Nutrition. Fiber from the bran and fats from the germ aids satiety and helps keep blood sugar levels even by slowing glucose absorption. Refined grains are metabolized as sugar. Remember, refined grains are metabolized as refined sugar so the white bakery bread, white rice and white pasta you eat is just like eating sugar!
Equally important to a 'healthy diet' is knowing it is special to you. What is 'healthy' to you is not necessarily healthy to someone else. I for one am very sensitive to dairy products. I get acne and reduced immune function. Yet every where I turn I'm being told dairy is a part of a healthy diet. The government food pyramid even lists it as a needed food and it's a required offering in public food programs. Bottom line, everyone has food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances. Dairy allergies might cause some to have postnasal drip that progresses to an ear infection, while someone else might have acne and another to have bowel issues. How these food culprits deprive you of good health is unique to you. It all depends on your unique genetic makeup.
Figuring out what bothers you is easier to discover when you are eating a truly whole food diet. Let's use bread as an example. If you notice after you eat bread you get lethargic or have sinus pressure and the ingredients in the bread you eat are whole wheat, water, yeast and salt there are only 4 ingredients to view as potential culprits. Now tell me what you'd do if your bread's ingredient label reads: wheat flour, water, high fructose corn syrup, honey, molasses, yeast, barley malt, wheat gluten, salt, calcium carbonate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, vit D3, vinegar, mono and diglyerides, calcium sulfate, monocalcium phospate, yeast nutrients (amonium chloride, ammonium sulfate), enzymes, yeast extract, wheat starch, calcium dioxide, ferrous sulfate (iron), B vit (Niacin, Thiamine, Mononitrate (B1), Riboflavion (B2), Folic acid), soy lecithin, azodicarbonamide, soy flour, whey, calcium propionate (to retain freshness), Datem, sorbic acid?
The later is a crazy ingredient list and I hope you are asking yourself why would anyone eat that! You get my point though. I want to leave you today to remember why living species actually posses the desire to eat. It's the way to nourish and grow. If you are eating food void of nutrients how does your body get nourished? If your body is left un-nourished what will support your immune system, neurological system or life systems? If your body is left starving for nutrition you will not be healthy as it will allow for illness and disease.
There are a lot of temptations out there but the further you move away from your healthy diet the longer and harder it will be to obtain your results.
Be Healthy.......Be Natural........Be Tempted by good stuff!
By: Lori Diversey
First published: Real Results-inc.com (01/28/13)