Eat "real food"
To lose weight and improve your health
Dr. Andrew Weil (www.drweil.com) is an internationally-
known physician, and the inventor of "Integrative Medicine," which combines conventional medicine with other forms of healing to provide each individual patient the most effective treatment for his or her specific medical problem.
Dr. Weil suggests these "General Diet Tips:
* aim for variety. * include as much fresh food as possible. * Minimize your consumption of processed foods and fast food. * Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables."
Dr. Hyla Cass (www.cassmd.com), a physician and psychia-
trist who uses integrative medicine, tells us it's not "just a pill for every ill. In my own practice, I began to notice that what people ate and how they lived actually influenced their
health. People who were eating junk food were not doing very well. People who were eating healthier, more natural foods, actually were feeling better, doing better, were healthier (have less colds, flu and all the rest), and even were nicer people to be around!"
Joel Fuhrman, M.D. (www.drfuhrman.com), a nationally-recognized authority on nutrition and weight loss, tells us that "Once you start eating larger amounts and bigger portions of fruits and vegetables, you will naturally not have as much room for other food like processed or refined food (fake, man-made foods.) These foods are lowest in nutrients and will sabotage your long term health. Processed foods are implicated in the scientific literature in the causation of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer."
USDA Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines
Advisory Committee, op. cit., states there are "numerous health benefits from dietary patterns that are higher in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and non-fat and low-fat dairy.
"In particular, fruit, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of vitamin A, C, folate (vitamin B-9), fiber, magnesium and potassium."
The American Heart Association's website tells us much the same: "To get the nutrients you need, eat a dietary pattern that emphasizes:
* fruits, vegetables,
* whole grains,
* low-fat dairy products,
* poultry, fish and nuts,
* while limiting red meat and
sugary foods and beverages."
Remember the old "food pyramid" that was printed on bread wrappers and other food packages? It illustrated that we should eat more foods made from grain---such as bread, cereal, and pasta---than from any other food group. That concept, endorsed by the US government for several decades
(for political and economic reasons) is no longer considered
valid. Now, we know that some grain-based foods (simple carbohydrates, also referred to as "bad carbs" and listed on the next page) are among the most fattening and unhealthy foods we can eat.
(1) According to an article by Bryan Walsh in Time magazine
(June 23, 2014) "It can be hard to understand why a diet heavy
on refined carbs ( called "simple" or "bad" carbs) can lead to obesity and diabetes. It has to do with blood chemistry. Simple carbs like bread and corn may not look like sugar on your plate, but in your body, that's what they're converted to when digested."
(2) Another problem with grain products is "gluten"---a protein found primarily in wheat, but also in barley and rye---that causes intestinal damage. About 1 out of 133 people have this problem, which is called "celiac disease." People with celiac disease must immediately stop using wheat, barley and rye products (or, at least stop using the one whole grain that is damaging their intestines).
There is also a non-celiac gluten sensitivity which---although not as serious as celiac disease---affects about 3 or 4 out of every 10 people. Those who have this milder form of gluten sensitivity can continue using (but certainly not a good idea) food items made from wheat, barley, and rye. However, they may suffer from stomach cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, and diarrhea---the same symptoms people have who are allergic to dairy items but persist in using them.
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Now that we know why some grain-based foods (simple or "bad" carbs) are NO longer considered healthful--- let's talk about those foods now known to be the
Best Foods to Eat (real food)
Fresh Vegetables, Legumes (dry beans,
peas, lentils, chickpeas, and peanuts), Fruit,
Nuts, and Seeds
provide vitamins, minerals, insoluble fiber (very important for digestive tract functioning),
and good taste! They have no preservatives (unless we buy pre-packaged salads which do contain preservatives).
On his TV program (Dec. 17, 2013) Dr. Oz and his colleague
Dr. Michael Roizsen, Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, whose medical credentials are too numerous to list, stressed the enormous importance of eating vegetables, vegetables, vegetables.
One exception to eating vegetables is potatoes, because The Harvard T.C. Chan School of Public Health tells us potatoes "have been found to promote weight gain." All other common root vegetables are excellent, including: yams, beets, sweet
potatoes, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, onions, garlic,
radishes, kohlrabi, and ginger.
An interesting observation about McDonald's French fries by Dr. Joseph Mercola, op. cit., in his Feb. 11, 2015 newsletter:
"... if McDonald's can make a tasty French fry without preserv-
atives, antifoaming agents, color stabilizers, TBHQ, and added flavorings for its British restaurants, why do they refuse to make them without this junk for Americans?"
TBHQ is also used in varnishes, perfumes, biodiesel and oil field additives according to Med-Health.net. The US Food and Drug Administration assures us the concentration of TBHQ allowed in foods is safe to consume. However, this reporter
has to wonder if the "safe" amount of TBHQ in the foods we
eat is completely eliminated by our bodies---or does some of that chemical take up residence in our cellular structure and
increase every time we eat food containing TBHQ?
Dr. Oz, again (on his TV program of Jan. 12, 2015) explained the enormous importance of eating vegetables. Dr. Oz also
explained how unhealthy "processed" foods are.
However, it makes no sense to eat fresh vegetables---and smother them in condiments containing: sugar (you know that's not good for you); natural flavor (What's that?); sodium (unquestionably bad for you); phosphoric acid; (doesn't sound palatable); monosodium glutamate (MSG, flavors food but not considered a healthy seasoning); xanthan gum (?); propylene glycol (?); alginate (?); potassium sorbate preservative (?); sodium benzoate preservative (?); disodium inosinate (?); calcium disodium EDTA (?).
Instead, use these ingredients to flavor your fresh salads: honey (an ancient, non-chemical food that people have been using for thousands of years); extra virgin olive oil (another ancient and time-tested good food); fresh garlic or garlic powder (not garlic salt); a drop of lemon juice; various kinds of vinegar; fresh ginger; crushed red or black pepper; salt (very little); and whatever other herbs and spices you may want to experiment with. Please stay away from store-bought salad dressings because they are "loaded" with chemicals and other non-food items!
There is no exact "recipe" to follow in making a tasty, healthy, chemical-free salad dressing. You just have to experiment and find out what you like best on your salads. Whatever you "come up with" will be healthier, and less costly, than store-bought salad dressings.
A word about prepackaged salads: They look good, taste good, and are time savers when it comes to quickly preparing meals. However, prepackaged salads are washed or soaked in water that contains chemicals to keep them fresh. Prepackaged salads are more expensive than home-made salads because they are labor intensive, viz., you have to pay for the labor that goes into selecting, chopping, washing, packaging, shipping and displaying the prepackaged salads that look so tempting in the store.
Cooked vegetables should be steamed if possible because boiled vegetables lose more nutrients than steamed. But, either way, cooked vegetables are a perfect food. Also, the crunchier (al dente) your cooked vegetables are, the healthier, because some nutrients are lost in prolonged cooking. Of course, not everyone can eat al dente vegetables. Children, some older folks, or denture wearers may have to eat well-cooked, softer vegetables. But, the fact of the matter is: Vegetables (except for white potatoes and french fries) are the single, most important food we can eat!
Vegetable juices are healthful, but not as beneficial as fresh vegetables because the skin (which contains vitamins, minerals and fiber) has been removed. Most canned and bottled vegetable juices have been Pasteurized (boiled, like milk, to kill bacteria) and, as a result, lose some nutrients. Also, some canned and bottled vegetable juices contain as much as 750 mg of sodium per serving as a preservative.
The healthiest vegetable juice is fresh squeezed at home. Try juicing fresh vegetables---singly and with other vegetables---
and find out which combinations you like best.
All fresh, home-squeezed vegetable juices will be healthful because they contain no sodium or other chemical preservatives, nor will they have been boiled.
LEGUMES - A class of vegetables (peas, beans,
chickpeas, lentils and peanuts)
with seeds inside a soft pod
Legumes are another excellent food, and contain more fiber (which is vital for intestinal health) than most whole grain foods." A USDA dietary guidance message states "diets including beans may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers." Also, the USDA notes "Beans are one of nature's healthiest foods, and provide nutrients such as calcium, iron, folic acid, and potassium."
The Mayo Clinic tells us legumes "are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available." Legumes are high in folate (vitamin -9), potassium, iron, and magnesium. They also contain beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fiber. A good source of protein, legumes can be a healthy substitute for meat."
Legumes include these beans, peas and lentils: black, black-
eyed, kidney, red, pink, great northern, cranberry, pinto, limas, baby limas, garbanzo, green split peas, yellow split peas, small white, fava, navy beans, chickpeas, and peanuts.
Most legumes are available in both dry and canned. Dry beans are healthier because canned beans have already been cooked and, like all canned foods, contain preservatives. Try the variety package of dry beans with about 15 different beans in one package.
There are many ways of preparing
tasty, and inexpensive, bean dishes such as chili, baked beans, bean soup, bean stew, and beans and rice.
Split-pea soup with potatoes,
carrots, and ham is a great delicacy!
Fresh fruit is another excellent food: No trans fat. No preservatives. Plenty of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and
Are there any tastier treats on Earth than nectarines, figs, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, melons, blueberries, blackberries, red and black raspberries, oranges,
grapefruit, pineapples, cantaloupe, kiwi fruit, apples, pears, papaya, mangoes, grapes, avocados (the only fruit with a fat content, but it's the "good" monounsaturated fat). And strawberries. As 17th century English physician Dr. Boteler said about strawberries:
"Doubtless God could have made a better berry,
but doubtless God never did."
If you purchase canned fruit, the healthiest is "packed in fruit juice," followed by "packed in light syrup." Try to avoid the "packed in heavy syrup" canned fruit which is very sweet, but that's because it has a high sugar content.
Dried fruit has had the water removed and is therefore highly concentrated (similar to frozen orange juice). For that reason, 1 lb. of dried fruit has more calories than 1 lb. of fresh fruit. That's because it takes about 4-6 lbs. of fresh fruit to make 1 lb. of dried fruit. So, the 1 lb. of dried fruit will contain as much sugar as the 4-6 lbs. of fresh fruit from which it was made. That is the only disadvantage of dried fruit, and why fresh fruit is better for you than dried.
The plus features are: Dried fruit is high in dietary fiber and contains almost no fat. It has a high vitamin and mineral content, and a natural sweetness. Dried fruit makes a great snack.
Freshly-squeezed orange and
grapefruit juice are great for
breakfast---or any time of day
Canned, bottled or cartons of 100 percent fruit juices are healthful even though some vitamins, minerals and enzymes may have been lost in Pasteurizing (boiling, to kill bacteria). Also, canned, bottles, and cartons of 100% fruit juice may contain preservatives or have "sugar added."
The subject of "fruit juices" can be confusing because many people don't read the labels. Don't be deceived by canned, bottled, frozen, or cartons of fruit "drinks" or fruit "punch" or "ades" (such as lemonade or orangeade) because they do not contain 100 % fruit juice---but varying amounts of water, sugar and preservatives.
If you want 100 % pure fruit juices you must purchase containers labeled "100 % pure juice," "100 % juice," or "contains 100 % juice." In the case of frozen juice, the label should read something like "100% frozen concentrated juice."
Nuts - another good food
Lucy Boyd, RN, BSN, tells us in her article WHAT ARE NUTS, A FRUIT OR A VEGETABLE? that we "call a large variety of products 'nuts'." But "referencing many of them as nuts is not technically correct. In the culinary sense, however, it's simply easiest to label them as nuts and recommend you eat many different varieties in moderation."
Ms. Boyd tells us that "Technically foods that are truly nuts are a type of hard-shelled fruit. Hazelnuts, chestnuts, almonds, hickory nuts, walnuts and pecans fall into this category. Other so-called nuts are actually seeds or kernels; these include cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, Macadamia nuts, and pine nuts."
Peanuts, Ms. Boyd notes "are far from the nut family, being a legume in spite of their confusing name. The legume family also contains beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas, making peanuts the only common legume that is often not cooked before eating. You may prefer your peanuts roasted or boiled, however. Peanuts bear a similar nutrition profile to nuts, making them a good option for your snack time."
Nuts have a high protein content. One-third cup of mixed nuts has about 270 calories, and about the same amount of protein as a 4 oz. portion of meat. They are a good source of vitamin E (an antioxidant), minerals, and fiber. A good way to enjoy the flavor of nuts is to chop them up and sprinkle on salads and cooked vegetables.
The experts tell us the healthiest nuts are: walnuts, maca-
damia nuts, and pecans.
CAUTION: It must be pointed out that a very small number of people are allergic to nuts, so much so that even eating one nut can cause illness, and eating many nuts may cause death.
Seeds are another excellent food
Seeds are eaten raw. If cooked
they lose their many important nutritional benefits.
Healthy seeds (also called "kernels") include: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, pomegranate seeds, apricot seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, and grape seeds.
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Dr. Fuhrman, op. cit., tells us that "Getting thinner is extremely important to maximally lower your cholesterol and protect yourself from heart disease and cancer. As you get closer to your ideal weight, your weight loss will gradually slow down and then stop. Your body is a very intelligent 'machine' and when you eat correctly, it will achieve its ideal weight.
"In addition, if you consume a diet that contains 90-100% nutrient-dense food (ed. note: This means no sugar; no soda pop; little or no "processed" foods; no "bad carbs") you can practically disease-proof your body. Superior nutrition has such a powerful effect on the body's ability to defend itself against illness that it can force genetics to take a secondary role; therefore, our genetic weaknesses can remain at bay."
Dr. Cass, op. cit., reminds us "Here we have these miracle bodies. What we have to do is feed them right and treat them right, and we'll get the most wonderful results."
The next page explains
Complex carbohydrates ("good carbs") and
Simple carbohydrates ("bad carbs")