Healthy Diet Basics and Unhealthy Food

1. Increase the amount of whole, unprocessed foods in your diet (fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, raw nuts and seeds), relative to the amount of processed foods you consume (pasta, bread, packaged foods). Suggestion: Switch from white bread to whole wheat or multigrain.

2. Diversify your diet by including new and different foods in your diet each week.  Rotate the foods you eat so that you do not consume a given food every day.  The foods should not be processed, fried or contain added sugars and preservatives.

Suggestion: At the very least, eat one or two new and healthy foods per week and increase from there. Focus on adding new foods as opposed to removing everything that you currently eat. Overtime your diet will transform for the better!

3. A fat free diet is not healthy!  Fat should constitute 20-30% of your total diet generally speaking.  Limit saturated fats (fast found in animal products) to less than 10% of your daily diet.  Avoid fried foods, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and cottonseed oil (read the label).  Healthy oils to consume include:  unsaturated essential omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids found in flax seed oil and seeds, olive oil (cold pressed, virgin, imported and in a tin to protect from light), canola oil, salmon, cod, tuna, mackerel, currants, raw nuts and seeds (roasting the nuts and seeds saturates the oils in them and this is not at all healthy).  Store oils and nuts/seeds in the refrigerator.  Roasted nuts and seeds contain saturated fats that put on weight and increase your risk of heart disease, cancer and other degenerative conditions.

Suggestion: Eat avocados, use fresh olive oil in salads and cooking, eat raw nuts and seeds. Eat baked or broiled salmon

4.      Eat a high fiber diet by consuming a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, and minimizing your intake of meats and refined foods (i.e., desserts, table sugar, candy).

Suggestion: Exchange meats for chicken, turkey and fish.  Limit fish to no more than once per week or less if you are overweight and has hypercholesteremia (high blood fats).

5.      Ensure you eat sufficient protein each day (about 15-20% of your diet).  Good protein sources include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, soy products, beans, low-fat dairy products, nuts and food combining of grains/beans/vegetables.

6.      Decrease or eliminate refined and processed sugars from your diet.  As a substitute, use natural, unprocessed sugars high in the vitamins and minerals needed to help digest them, including 100% pure maple syrup, fruit-only jams, fresh fruit, honey, molasses, barley malt, brown rice syrup and carob.

Suggestions: Not all sugar is the same. Sugar found in most desserts and table sugar (sucrose) is called simple sugar; simple sugar consumption (even in small amounts) is known to cause inflammation in the body, increase blood fats, promote weight gain, reduce ability to loose weight and increase your risk of developing these and other diseases: diabetes, heart and vessel disease, hypertention, cancers, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, etc.

7.     When you eat healthy carbohydrates do not eat them alone.  Instead, add proteins to all of your meals and snacks.

Suggestion: Protein will slow down the absorption of carbohydrates helping to level out blood sugar. Fluxuations in blood sugar can cause attention deficit, fatigue, slow metabolism and increase disease risk.

8.     Add sea salt to your regular diet to help keep your adrenal glands in shape.

9.      Drink plenty of water each day (body weight divided by 2, multiplied by 0.8 is the number of ounces your body needs, more if you are exercising).  Avoid caffeinated and carbonated beverages; caffeine is a diuretic (loss of fluids and minerals) and carbonated soft drinks leach calcium from bones).  Herbal teas, fresh vegetables and fruit juices are healthy to consume.  Diluted bottled juices and naturally decaffeinated beverages are OK in moderation.

10.     Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of two or three large meals.  Smaller meals spaced fairly evenly throughout the day help balance blood sugar levels and each the stress of digestion.

11.     Chew your food thoroughly.  Chewing signals the “feeding centers” and “satiety” centers in your brain telling you when you are full so you do not overeat.  Chewing also aids the digestive process starting in the mouth and signals the rest of the gastrointestinal tract to “get ready” food is on the way.

12.     Consider not drinking fluids of any kind with your meals or at least sipping fluids as opposed to gulping them down in large volumes.  Fluids can dilute digestive juices impairing optimal digestion of foods.

13.     Do not eat when you are stressed or on the run.  Proper digestion involves activated a part of your nervous and digestive system which is active during a more relaxed state (i.e., like during a meal).  A different part of the nervous system is activated when you are up-and-around which is not conducive to optimal digestion of foods.

14,   Eat every two hours.  Small meals consumed throughout the course of the day balances blood sugar. Problems with blood sugar promote weight gain, diabetes and cardiovascular risk and other health problems.

15.     Supplement a healthy diet with a good quality multi-vitamin/mineral complex and other nutrients indicated by your individual health needs

Suggestion: Have nutritional and medical laboratory work performed to find out more exactly the nutrition that you require as an individual.  See: www.intmedny.com for more information.

PLEASE CONSIDER THESE SUGGESTIONS AS FUNDAMENTAL TO YOUR OVERALL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.  MORE SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF OUR WORK TOGETHER.  THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE USED IN PLACE OF SOUND MEDICAL AND NUTRITIONAL ADVICE.

Posted on October 7, 2012 and filed under Bounce, Editorial by Dr- Wald.