Is eating a Healthful Diet the answer to all your problems? Probably not. Others things certainly come into play. However, eating a good diet is a relation to good health. A good diet throughout one’s lifetime certainly contributes to a life being lived to its fullest.
It includes a Vegetable and Fruit Group – good for Vitamins A, C and fiber; Bread and Cereal Group – good for sources of the B Vitamins; Milk and Cheese Group rich in calcium, riboflavin, protein, and vitamins A, B-6, and B-12; Meat, Poultry, Fish, and Beans Group – valued for protein, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and many of the vitamins, to include Vitamin A; Fats, Sweets and Alcohol Group – this group has provides limited or no valuable levels of vitamins, minerals or proteins.
In 1980, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare came out with the following food choices and recommendations for the American people. It was called the ‘Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ – as follows:
- EAT A VARIETY OF FOODS – “No single food item supplies all the essential nutrients in the amounts that you need. The greater the variety, the less likely you are to develop either a deficiency or an excess of any single nutrient. A well-balanced diet is to select foods each day from each of the Food Groups.” (above)
- MAINTAIN WEIGHT – How? “Improve your eating habits by eating slowly, prepare and eat smaller portions, avoid seconds. Lose weight by- increasing physical activity, eat less fat and fatty foods, eat less sugar and sweets, and avoid too much alcohol.”
- AVOID TOO MUCH FAT, SATURATED FAT, AND CHOLESTEROL – by “choosing lean meat, fish, poultry, dry beans and peas as your protein sources. Moderate your use of eggs and organ meats (such as liver). Limit your intake of butter, cream, hydrogenated margarines, shortenings and coconut oil, and foods made from sich products. Trim excess fat off meats. Broil, bake, or boil rather than fry. Read labels carefully to determine both amount and types of fat contained in foods.”
- EAT FOODS WITH ADEQUATE STARCH AND FIBER – “Select foods which are good sources of fiber and starch, such as whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, beans, peas and nuts.”
- AVOID TOO MUCH SUGAR – to include “white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, honey, and syrups. Eat less of the foods containing these sugars. Select fresh fruits or fruits canned without sugar etc. Read food labels for clues on sugar content.” The names sucrose, glucose, maltose, dextrose, lactose, fructose, or syrups indicate large amounts of sugar.
- AVOID TOO MUCH SODIUM – “Learn to enjoy the unsalted flavors of foods. Cook with only small amounts of added salt. Add little or no salt to food at the table. Limit your intake of salty foods, such as potato chips, pretzels, salted nuts, and popcorn, condiments (soy sauce, steak sauce, garlic salt), cheese, pickled foods and cured meats.”
I label the above as the ‘good old days’. Things have changed a lot since these guidelines were published. The suggestions above (in my opinion), are some good and some not so good. If you are following the TV shows on health and listening to the radio health commentators regarding your health today, you will find that they are slowly coming around to a SIMPLE ‘eat lots of fruits, vegetable of the green leafy type, and just lately, stay away from the beef and eat more chicken and fish. Eat smaller portions, drink lots of water, get exercise conducive to your life situation, and get plenty of sleep.
This is more to my liking, because I have been trying to teach this method of staying in good health for the last 15 years to my clients. Check out some of my earlier blogs. I also suggest staying away from alcohol altogether, do not smoke any type of nicotine producing device, and if possible stop the caffeine habit. They all destroy the brain cells – and healthy brain cells are the key to the whole body’s health.
I am aware there are extenuating circumstances of many varieties for each of you concerning your health situation – to include genetics, accidents, birth defects, etc. However, good and correct eating and food basics never change, if adhered to. There are a myriad of new diet plans out there such as the Paleo, Keto, Vegan, Canadian, Mediterranean, etc.
Decide for yourself if you want to stay in the ‘old school’, so to speak, or join the today’s world to improve on dietary methods, which just may be your road to good health. REMEMBER – YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST DOCTOR!