There is a problem with food. How do we know what we are really eating and what is on our food as well as what is in our food. Without being technical or fanatical about our food all we can do is eat fresh organic whole foods as much as possible and try and be more aware of where our food comes from. Taking note of news stories on food problems etc is also worth following where problems with a food is highlighted.
Avoiding all processed and junk food is a start. Buying organic is also preferable if not for the nutrition content, where there is some arguments about whether organic vegetables have more nutrients than non organic, then for the fact that organic food should be free from pesticides and herbicides etc. As just mentioned some studies claim that organic vegetables are no more nutritious than non organic. Is that comparison on a like for like basis. If you grow ‘organic’ carrots on poor soil and grow carrots non organically on the same soil they will both be lacking nutrients. The non organic grown carrots though will still contain traces of any pesticides/fertilisers used.
Meat is also a problem. Try to buy meat that is grass reared and organically produced free from hormones and drugs. Supermarket meat is becoming more contaminated and not just from horse meat! Most chickens (other than free range) are now fed genetically modified (GM) feed and most supermarkets are no longer guaranteeing chicken to be GM free - and there is no mention of GM on the labelling which makes life more difficult.
Better to buy meat from a good butcher where you can ask the source and how it is produced. Often you will be surprised to find it is competitively priced as well. If it is a little more expensive but better quality buy slightly less or a cheaper cut. Eating a little less meat is generally good advice anyway. Then make up the meal by adding more vegetables which will improve your health as well. You can read more about healthy eating and making good nutrition the basis of your diet in my free (yes free) book to be found at http://www.obooko.com under the heading ‘Health and Self Development).
I hope readers of my blog enjoy the subjects and maybe are interested in nutrition as the basis for any diet. Well you can find out more by downloading my free book ‘The Nutrition Diet and Recipe Book’ by going to www.obooko.com under the heading Health and Self Development
The book explains nutrition and how it works in laymans terms (I am not a scientist) and gives advice on nutrition as a basis for diet together with food tips and an easy to follow plan to incorporate nutrition into any diet. There are also lots of healthy recipes.
I have made the book available on Obooko as the easiest option for me to get the book to as many people as possible and it is FREE. I hope you enjoy the book and carry on reading the blog.
Christmas is coming and maybe it is not just the goose that is going to get fat. We all tend to over indulge to a varying degree at this time of the year. Why else is the main new year resolution dieting, either for health or weight loss. It must be our guilty conscience.
There is no need to have a guilty conscience. You can indulge and join in the festivities without watching what you eat or drink. I don’t mean stuffing your face or drinking to excess just because it is Christmas, but you don’t have to watch your diet too carefully. Anyway if you normally eat healthy nutritious food and avoid junk and processed foods you will not be going crazy anyway.
If you follow my advice in this site and in my website at http://www.thenutritiondietclub.com and eat a healthy nutritious diet already the traditional Christmas dinner will be little different - other than maybe quantity. Turkey, potato, brussel sprouts, carrots, peas and stock based gravy, gives a healthy meal. Pudding and pies are perhaps an excess but once the day is over we will no doubt revert to our normal diet and no harm is done.
If you avoid over indulging too much on the chocolate and alcohol and nibbles, things you may not eat much of during the year, you can have a ‘normal’ guilt free Christmas and no harm done. There is also the new year resolution if all else fails! So eat drink and be merry.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
There are many diets around, and knowing which diet is best for you is hard to work out. There are low fat, low carbohydrate, low calorie, low gl, raw food, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, food combining (one of the better diets), and even ‘the perfect diet’; though nothing is perfect in reality.
We are not perfect either so trying to stick to a rigid diet routine is difficult enough without wondering if it is the right diet. So what is the answer. We all want to have a better diet, either for weight loss or health reasons. If it is a diet that is ‘low’ or restrictive in some way then it is probably not balanced and the nutrient content is not complete.
A complete diet is the answer and should be one that provides all the nutrients the body needs. Though I doubt any diet can do that in reality today without a lot of care and work. A diet with healthy nutritious food and few rules to follow is a good start. A diet that is not too difficult to follow and fits in with everyday lifestyles and uses everyday foods. A advocate a diet based on nutritious food and some simple rules. The main one being avoid processed foods, junk foods and soft drinks and colas including diet drinks (another story) and eat more fruit and vegetables.
You don’t have to starve yourself or count calories, and can eat as much fruit and vegetables as you like but eat more vegetables than fruit. The following is a list of foods to base your diet on and none are exotic, expensive superfoods.
Apples, Bananas, Berries, Pineapple, Broccoli, Lentils, Garlic, Onions, Mung Beans, Flax Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Nuts, Oats, Olive oil, Green Tea, Tomatoes, Sprouts (as in sproutings), Yoghurt (plain), all Vegetables, other fruits (grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, oranges, peaches, pears, prunes (high in anti oxidents)
Plenty of choice there and if you are not vegetarian make sure any meat etc you choose is organic, free range chicken and eggs, meat from organic grass reared animals and oily fish such as sardines and salmon. You don’t have to have large amounts of these or eat them every day, so the cost is not out of reach.
Age is another factor to take into account when working out a diet. While on the subject of ideal foods, the following are good for us oldies - cherries, oats, almonds, oily fish, tomato, chicken (free range), full milk (organic), together with the rest of the above foods.
Add to this healthy nutritious diet more fresh air and exercise and you have the potential for a healthier lifestyle that will make you feel good and look good.
We are all on a diet of some sort or other. Maybe it is a healthy diet, a diet to lose weight, a detox diet or the latest craze diet, low everything (low calorie, low carb, low sugar, low fat) et all. Just eating is dieting in many ways.
What is important is that we eat the right foods whatever our diet. A healthy whole food diet of nutrient rich foods should be the aim. Given time that is all that is needed for health and weightloss.
The other important point to remember is to know what you are doing with dieting. If you are going to change your diet to one you have seen on TV or read about in a magazine, whether for health or weightloss, make sure you find out what the diet involves, how it works and its effects, especially long term. Is this explained and if not get more information before you start cutting this or that food type. Make sure you understand what the diet does for your health. Cutting down or cutting out foods will generally mean less nutrients available. Though that also depends on your diet in the first place. It makes more sense to first look at your existing diet and cut out the bad foods, the junk foods etc and replace them with more nutritious healthy foods.
That may be all that is needed to improve your health and lose weight and you would probably be getting more valuable nutrients in the diet. Low carbohydrate diets are popular but cutting carbohydrates altogether and increasing protein can cause health problems if carried out without knowing what you are doing. The type of carbohydrate and protein used are important. using nutrient dense carbs (whole grains, vegetables, fruit) and a variety of small portions of protein plus plenty of vegetables and fruit will work just as well as restricting carbohydrates is a more balanced approach.
Low calories diets are also popular and there is also a school of thought that calorie restricted diets are a healthy option for a long term diet. Again this is another example where you could just think that you eat less and at the same time eat less nutrients that the body needs. If you want to change your diet for the better think about what you eat. Change any poor quality or processed and junk food to more healthy, nutritious foods; add variety to your meals with more fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Avoid large portions especially of meat and carbohydrates and avoid snacking between meals. If you want to follow a particular diet get the information – there is plenty around and ask questions if necessary. Above all remember that nutrient rich foods are what the body needs. Your body needs food – the right food!
A lot of newspapers often carry reports about superfoods that we should all eat to ensure a long and active life. The the experts recommend that we should all eat them as part of our diets.
So do I and in this site my nutrition diet recommends the foods – mostly fruit and vegetables. They include apples, berries, broccoli, tomatoes, oranges, plums, spinach and grapes. These foods are among foods that contain polyphenols. In fact it is often stated that ‘a low intake of fruit and vegetables increases the risk of chronic disease’. My main diet recommendations are based on eating more fruit and vegetables.
Polyphenols are powerful anti-oxidents and also have anti inflammatory properties. Another powerful one is an extract from olives called hydroxtyrsosol.
Anti-oxidents help prevent damage to cells caused by oxidation. Oxidation can lead to cell damage that triggers cancer, inflammation, ageing and heart problems. This process is caused by free oxidising radical (commonly known as free radicals). Free radicals are also found in exhaust fumes, smoke, fried foods and BBQ foods.
Anti-oxidents that fight free radicals include Vitamins A, C and E and Selenium and others include the polyphenols they are all talking about. It is not a new discovery but more confirmation that anti-oxidents help slow down the ageing process. Anti-oxidents also help boost the immune system, increasing the resistance to infection.
More and more anti-oxidents are being discovered including the polyphenols, bioflavanoids, lycopene (from tomatoes) etc and they are found in berries, grapes, tomatoes, broccoli etc which includes the foods often mentioned in the studies.
The other factor about the foods is that they should all be eaten or as many as possible included in your diet. Once again it brings me back to The Nutrition Diet. There I to stress the benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables and at the same time a wide variety of foods to get the widest range of nutrients, including anti-oxidents.
Now a bit of a conundrum. Here I am advocating a healthy lifestyle and a diet of nutrient rich food. I follow (more or less) my own recommendations on healthy eating which can be found on my website at www.thenutritiondietclub.com. I don’t expect anyone to be perfect, least of all me. I eat healthily most of the time, exercise and walk up to 1 1/2 hours daily and consider myself reasonably healthy at 66 years.
As I said I practice what I preach though not perfect – who is. I may have a couple of glasses of wine 2 or 3 times a week and the odd bowl of crisps. I don’t eat sugar (except fruit) and avoid all processed and junk foods. I only eat small portions of meat once twice a week, fish the same and the other days none at all just vegetarian. So why did I wake up one day at the end of November with GOUT!! Yes gout in my left foot.
That’s the conundrum. Gout is supposed to be caused by too much purine high foods. Red meat, offal (liver etc), alcohol (beer more than wine) all of which I ate in moderation. So if diet is to be the cure how to improve the diet and keep it practical and realistic. Trying to get any information is confusing as it is in anything to do with diet and health. One study will say one thing, another the opposite. We are told to eat more oily fish, yet sardines, mackerel, herrings are in the list of foods to avoid if you have gout.
We are all different and variety of foods should be taken, eating more fruit and vegetables, avoiding processed and junk foods most of the time. Everything in moderation. I can’t pinpoint a particular cause for the gout attack. However the initial flare up and pain has subsided after a few days of self treatment. So far no repeat of the problem. I was not as bad as the picture thankfully.
After a search on the web for answers and getting lots of good ideas I think I solved the problem by drinking a large glass of water with the juice of fresh lemons then a little later a glass of water with bi-carbonate of soda. I did this every 1/2 hour for a couple of hours to make my body more alkaline. This was meant to help flush out the uric acid crystals from the joint. Then resorting to modern medicine (anti- inflammatory tablets) for two days. Together the problem seems to have been solved quickly.
I am now looking again at my own diet and drink alkaline water. In fact finding it difficult to change my diet, drinking alkaline water seems to be the main difference and presumably enough to solve the problem. I drink mainly bottled water and what I did not know until I looked into things, bottled water is in fact generally acid. Now I add PH drops to my water to make it alkaline. You can also buy alkaline water filters. Hopefully this will stay a one off attack and I will keep you informed.
Well the holiday/festive season is over and a new year 2012 is upon us. Many people will be thinking of all the things they will be doing in the new year and a new diet is usually top of the list. A new year resolution to lose weight or eat more healthily is the first thought especially after the guilt of all that food and drink over Christmas and New Year.
The papers and magazines all had their diet stories and diet plans for a new you and of course a new diet pill is out to make it easy for you to lose those pounds. Once again it is an attack on fat. The new pill like many others is supposed to work by interfering with the body’s ability to absorb fat. This is not the answer. The body needs fat for various reasons but the right fats. Stop using cooking oils and margarine and spreads. Cut out the fried foods and use olive oil and a little butter. The brain is made up of a high proportion of fat and we need the fat soluble vitamins – Vitamin A, D, E, K and essential fatty acids. Why do we keep getting told to take our omega 3 oil. Vitamin D is also important for many health reasons including heart health and there are always stories about the need for Vitamin D.
The other problem with a pill is that even if it worked it does not change your diet. Which is why you got fat in the first place. If you have also changed your diet, well forget the pill. A diet of healthy highly nutritious foods as I keep recommending is the way to achieve a healthy weight loss. Plenty of fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains if you tolerate grains and legumes. Eat a wide variety of foods and as many as possible raw. You can learn more about a healthy nutritious diet at http://www.thenutritiondietclub.com. No need for a pill and so you save money as well! Happy and Healthy New Year.
1. Record daily everything you eat and drink. Everything – snacks and drinks as well not just meal content. Do this for at least a week and include snacks and meals out.
2. Go through your list and highlight with a green highlighter all the ‘good’ healthy foods on the list. Then highlight in red all the ‘bad’ unhealthy foods on the list. Healthy foods would be fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, whole grains, water, herb teas etc. Unhealthy foods would be snacks – crisps, salted nuts, anything processed and full of sugar – cakes, biscuits, puddings, coffee, alcohol, etc. Be strict with yourself.
3. Then start changing some of the red highlighted bad foods for healthier options. You may be able to start simply by cutting out some of the ‘red’ bad foods and eating more of the ‘green’ good foods you are already using. Make things easy for yourself. For instance if you have chips with a meal, replace them with a baked potato. If you are busy and need to have more vegetables use frozen vegetables or a side salad which may include grated carrot for an added benefit. Start in simple ways which is better than doing nothing.
4. When buying food read labels if it is packaged. If you don’t understand the ingredients or there are a whole list of unpronouncable items don’t buy. Someone once said if there are more than 5 ingredients listed on a product don’t buy the product.
5. Further reduce the ‘bad’ foods by cutting the portion sizes. Meat is healthy and you don’t have to try and be vegetarian, but you don’t need a an 8 oz steak. Have half that and save the other half for another day! Add more vegetables to the meal for more health and so you don’t feel you are starving yourself.
6. Change to healthy snacks if you must have a snack - mixed fruit and nuts (not salted), fresh fruit or vegetables like carrot sticks, celery or even raw cauliflower ( which is delicious and totally different taste to cooked cauliflower). Seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin are also a healthy snack and again not salted ones.
7. Exercise more. Leave the car and walk to the local shop if just going on an errand. Park further away from you work and give yourself a little bit extra walking everyday. Do exercises at home, even if you don’t want to miss your favourite tv programme do them while watching the tv. Not ideal as you should be thinking about the exercises but better than nothing.
8. Don’t tell yourself that you can eat anything in moderation. If that includes bad foods they are still bad even in moderation. If you have to have a treat change to a more healthy on – dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. But don’t get stressed out by falling by the wayside. If you go to a party or dinner with friends and can’t stick to your new regime don’t worry. Just make sure you are even more strict with yourself the next day.
9. Begin in simple stages – one step at a time and get used to the change, then take another step. It doesn’t matter how small the step, each step is forward and is a success. With success comes better health and well being. You will feel better, look better, have more energy and feel better about yourself.
One of my pet hates is the drug industies attempts to provide miracle cures for illness and of course obesity and its related problems. There have been various diet pills, fat burners, fat blockers, etc. Get the latest pill that stops you getting fat, and the obesity epidemic is solved. It doesn’ t seem to be working. Just this week the UK is top of the list for obesity in women. Like most health related problems just taking a pill is not a cure all. You have to change your diet and also your lifestyle. But that is too difficult for most.
There is now another wonder drug in the pipeline to cure obesity. This time it is a daily jab that attacks the blood supply of fat cells. The supposed obesity solving drugs on the market all have side effects and this new one is no different. At the moment only being trialled on animals but the drug causes some kidney related problems which the researchers think can be overcome.
Regardless of that, we have fat cells in our body for a reason – we have fat soluble vitamins and fat is a large constituent of the brain. So why would scientists/experts think blocking the blood supply to fat cells will be any safer than previous attempts at curing obesity with a miracle cure. Of course if the product sells there is a large profit.
Diet and lifestyle changes are the only way and it does not have to be difficult. My nutrition based diet does not deprive you of food but concentrates on small changes that add quality to your diet. You can read more in my book The Nutrition Diet and Recipe Book which is available free from www.obooko.com (under heading of Health and Self Improvement).
Just to confirm the benefit of diet instead of a pill new research has now shown that obese people with type 2 diabetes, can be overcome by diet. A low calorie diet can help with the diabetes and show results in 4 months. This is good news for those with type 2 diabetes and would mean they don’t take a pill for the rest of their lives. How much this news is taken up is of course another matter. People seem to prefer taking a pill to changing their ways unfortunately.