Food is the most powerful drug you will ever take, so give yourself the best you can. Good food choices are the key to healthy eating, and they can be delicious.
You should choose food that reflects good variety and provides a well balanced diet. Ideally, foods should be organically grown and fresh. Avoid fast foods, junk foods and over processed foods.
Put meat in its place, at the side of the plate, and move the vegetables, fruits and whole grain products from the side to become front and centre in your diet.
Check out the Asian Food Pyramid, and remember that the rule of thumb is to choose lots of whole grain foods; fruits, vegetables and legumes; fewer dairy products, fish, eggs and nuts; and minimal amounts of meat and poultry. Soybeans and legumes are great protein substitutes.
Be aware of good and bad cholesterol’s and the glycemic index. Aim for a combination of foods that are high in fibre but low in fat, saturated fat, salt and cholesterol, have a low glycemic index and contain negligible refined sugar.
Find out about nature’s medicines, such as the potential benefits of flavonoids, and about which foods provide important phytochemicals and phytoestrogens.
Know both the value and the dangers of taking supplements. Generally, you should consider daily micronutrient supplements in the form of a multivitamin. Excessive supplementation in the form of macrovitamins, however, is not recommended. Although taking supplements should never replace a good diet, I recommend choosing a supplement that contains:
— antioxidants (vitamins E and C, beta carotene, selenium), which neutralize free radicals and are effective against chronic diseases and the aging process;
— folic acid, which is required in a pregnant woman’s nutrition to prevent brain and spinal cord malformations in the fetus, and which decreases the homo cysteine level, a risk factor for heart disease; and
— vitamin D and calcium, which are important for post menopausal women and for seniors, and are required by vegans.
Eating should be a pleasure. Try a new philosophy of healthy eating by using the suggestions in my menu ideas. Most problems with food and eating can be addressed by using meat merely as an enhancement to the meal rather than as the focal point, by emphasizing the role of vegetables and by substituting fruit for sugary desserts.