By Paul Newland
Expert Author Paul Newland
The 'dietary landmines' (i.e. things to avoid for a healthy diet plan!):
o Sugar - sugar is linked to a number of diseases such as obesity and adult diabetes and malnutrition. Sugar stops nutrients being absorbed and another problem with sugar is that the blood tends to stick together more raising your risk of cardiovascular disease. Sugar is also classed as a 'bad fat'. Healthy Diet = no sugar!
o Caffeine - Caffeine stops nutrients being absorbed and increases your loss of minerals and other essential nutrients, particularly from the bones. If you have osteoporosis or arthritis, avoid it totally. Otherwise, no more than one latte a day!
o Alcohol - Alcohol also prevents the absorption of nutrients and damages cells. (Reduce your intake as much as possible for a healthy diet plan).
o Vegetable oils and Margarine - of all the oils, hydrogenated oils and margarine are the worst; also don't heat vegetable oils or fry with them. This is because they turn into a fat structure (trans-fatty acids) that damages cells. Margarine is one chemical element away from plastic and is dangerous at all temperatures - definitely not part of a healthy diet. And heated vegetable oils, along with margarine (whether hot or cold) are rancid fats and form damaging chemicals in our body.
They are linked to diseases such as strokes, Alzheimer's, MS, coronary artery disease, cancer, macular degeneration, just to name a few. Extra virgin Olive oil in very small amounts is best (keep it in the fridge). Advice for a healthy diet is to use olive oil or cook in butter or ghee on low heat.
o Fried foods - Fried foods of all types fall into the same category as above. If you eat fried foods, you need to take plenty of antioxidants and plenty of the good fats to counteract them. Good fats keep you slim, regulate your hormones, keep your arteries clean and help to prevent some cancers, heart disease and strokes. Examples of good fats are fish, meat, nuts, flaxseed oil, borage oil, linseed oil, avocados - to name a few. Bad fats do the opposite!
o Carbonated drinks - Carbonated drinks do not form part of a healthy diet. Carbonation is produced by phosphoric acid and this causes the following major problems: 1) It acidifies your system - the ideal environment for cancer and arthritis. 2) It neutralizes stomach acid so you don't absorb nutrients. 3) It increases the loss of minerals from your body. They frequently have caffeine or sugar - see the above. Health professionals commonly agree that carbonated drinks will cause an epidemic of disease in our youth.
o Burned animal fat - it tastes great to some people, but burned animal fat is carcinogenic and there are a mile of studies to prove it. You can "have your steak and eat it" and make it part of a healthy diet plan, but make sure it is slow cooked and preferably medium rare. None of the black stuff!
o Carbohydrates - avoid simple carbohydrates like sugar, starches (potatoes, corn, wheat). Carbohydrates are a source of energy but we need slow release energy as opposed to fast carbohydrates that give us too much sugar. Examples of slow release carbohydrates are vegetables, beans, tomatoes.
o Sugar substitutes containing Aspartame - any so called 'diet' drinks and diet products contain aspartame - a dangerous sugar substitute linked to a growing list of health problems such as: headache, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma and cancer. It worsens or mimics the symptoms of such diseases and conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue and depression. Definitely not part of a healthy diet.
o Don't smoke!
Now we come to food that promotes health and that you should make part of a healthy diet plan!:
o Drink 8-10 glasses of pure, fresh water every day. This assists the body in dealing with toxins and keeps you hydrated. A small investment in a water filter is good advice. In the long run, it's a cheaper option than bottled water and will keep you and your family healthy. Remember to change the filter regularly.
o Two eggs a day - the most recent scientific studies conclusively prove that eating eggs will not raise the levels of dangerous cholesterol (LDL). The scientists really got this one wrong! Eggs are a very cheap and healthy food source of vitamins and protein and actually have very little effect on cholesterol. They are a key feature of a healthy diet. If the egg is not overly cooked or fried, then the nutrients will not be damaged and are easily absorbed. So eat them soft boiled, poached or lightly scrambled.
o Plenty of vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables - a great source of minerals, vitamins and fibre.
o Meat - slow cooked and to medium rare to avoid over-cooking. Meat is still one of the best sources of amino acids (protein), 'good fats', minerals and vitamins. Fish is also a fantastic healthy food and a great source of good fats (omega oils) too - just make sure you buy your fish from a trusted supplier so you avoid heavy metal contamination (such as Mercury).
o Other examples of good fats are fish, meat, nuts, flaxseed oil, borage oil, linseed oil, avocados - to name a few. Most people find it difficult to consume enough essential fatty acids from a healthy diet - in this case we recommend you take essential fatty acid supplements from a reliable and high quality source.
o Butter instead of margarine - margarine, when at or above room temperature will turn into rancid fat and damage cells.
o Salt your food to taste! Salt is essential for nerve transmission and in providing all your sells with liquid. Iodized sea salt is an excellent source. Avoid all types of processed salt. No single medical study has ever proven a relationship between salt intake and high blood pressure, which is a calcium deficiency.
o A small to moderate amount of exercise each day - about 20 minutes is fine for strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health. Little and often is best. If you don't have time to jog or walk in the mornings or evenings, even just doing some 10 minutes of press-ups, sit-ups and stretches is much better than doing nothing. If you don't have time to go to the gym, you can try working out at home.
As you can see, none of these things are really that hard to do. If you have trouble with this healthy diet plan then I'd encourage you to begin by writing down everything you eat over a 7 day period then start making small changes rather than drastic alterations so that you find it easy to adapt to and stick to this healthier diet.
Essential Nutrients are Part of a Healthy Diet Plan
Whilst most people will tell you that you can get everything you need from the food you eat, in fact the opposite is true - especially if we are to get the nutrients in their optimal amounts.
We live in an age where we are subjected to chemicals and fertilizers in our food, pollution, a 'fast food' culture - all of this places higher demands on the body in terms of nutrition.
When you combine this with the fact that our farm soils are overused and the crops which are produced (and the animals that feed from them) are depleted of minerals - it is no wonder why it is so hard to enjoy a healthy diet from the food we eat.
We see evidence of this in rising rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, chronic diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis and many others.
The answer, is to supplement with a broad range of nutrients - vitamins, minerals, amino acids (protein), and essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
When you combine nutritional supplements with healthy diet choices, then you are giving yourself the best chance to avoid one of many nutritional deficiency diseases.
Paul Newland is a health writer, sports training consultant and martial arts instructor and manages the Global-Longevity.com website. He is the author of numerous health information books and guides, including the Wellness Report, The Ultimate Antioxidant Report, The Selenium Report, The Bird Flu Report, The Ultimate Nutrient Guide and The Essential Fatty Acid Report and The Ultimate Sports Nutrition Guide - available Free (for a limited time) through Global-Longevity.com [http://global-longevity.com/catalog/wellness_report.php]
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