by Caroline von Fluegge-Chen
What you eat and drink has a profound effect on your health. One of the greatest challenges in making decisions about nutrition is that there are nearly as many different opinions on diet as there are different foods. This is not made any easier by food suppliers who profit from influencing your choices. The key is to find a style of eating that makes you feel good and keeps you healthy. Different diets suit different people. The following guidelines form a basis for any healthy eating habits.
Aim to keep your foods as simple as possible. Processing, refining, and manufacturing of foods remove a great deal of their nutritional value. Simple, home-cooked meals and snacks made with care tend to be the most nurturing and satisfying.
Pesticides and hormones are commonly used in food production to increase yields. Preservatives, flavorings, colorings and other additives are used to make food more attractive and last longer. Each of these things on their own would not have been permitted in food production if they were blatantly damaging to health, but combined together they are one of the major toxic loads our bodies have to bear. Choosing foods as pure and organic as possible helps to minimize your intake of artificial chemicals. Drinks containing concentrated substances and caffeine, such as soft drinks, tea, coffee, and alcohol, can add considerably to your toxic load and actually dehydrate you. Thirst is best quenched by water.
Fresh foods, in season, have the greatest nutritional value and taste. Frozen, canned and other preserved foods frequently lose much of their nutritional content. Fresh fruits and vegetables are high in water content, which makes them easily digestible. They add a valuable source of fluid to your body which is essential for its efficient function and removal of waste products.
Keeping your diet as varied as possible will add interest as well as nutritional value.
It benefits many people to eat the largest meal in the middle of the day and then eat only to satisfy hunger in the evening. Minimizing eating after 8 pm gives your body a chance to digest food before your metabolism slows down during sleep. The energy spared from digestion is available to regenerate and revitalize you.
Many people experience dramatic improvements to their health when they follow a vegetarian diet. Studies have consistently shown vegetarianism to be associated with lower incidence of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many other major diseases. A number of nutritional advisers, however, claim that the vegetarian diet is lacking in certain essential nutrients including iron, calcium, and certain proteins (amino acids) which therefore need to be supplemented. Contrary to these claims, many people have been observed to live in excellent health for decades without eating any animal products or supplements, and for many in ill health, positive changes are obtained. A vegetarian diet does not guarantee health, however. Many vegetarians are not healthy because they do not vary their diet adequately, follow the guidelines listed previously, and practice other good habits that contribute health.
The “Recommended Daily Allowances” (R.D.A.’s) that many food promotional advertisements talk about are based upon the dietary intake of the general population (so that you couldn’t possibly be deficient in any area) rather than any concrete human studies about necessary requirements.
The first thing to ask is why you want to lose weight? Losing weight can be a health risk if you don’t need to. Be careful judging your need to diet based upon “weight,” as this does not take into account the fact that people with greater physical tone and muscle bulk weigh more. Many people feel much stronger and healthier when they are larger. Only lose weight if you feel the desire to and to please yourself. If you need another “objective” opinion, ask your Doctor.
If you are carrying excessive weight, losing it can greatly enhance your health and well-being, and reduce your chances of developing many major diseases such as certain forms of cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and many others.
To lose weight permanently you have to change your lifestyle, taking in less energy in the form of food and using more. Exercising in the morning (even walking) increases your energy expenditure and raises your body’s metabolism so that more energy is used throughout the day, long after the exercise session is finished.
To lower your intake of food, chew slowly and completely and eat only what is comfortable, not until you are “full.” Shopping for food on a satisfied stomach helps to minimize impulse buying. Choose foods that are high in nutritional value and lower in “fats and sugars,” predominantly vegetables and fruits.
Losing weight is about changing your lifestyle. Methods such as slimming tablets, surgery, and calorie-depleted food do not enhance your health or prevent excess weight from returning, they simply cover the results of your lifestyle.
Everyone has their unique requirements and preferences. Find a style of eating that supports and feels good. Chiropractic care helps your body to improve its efficiency and can help you to normalize your metabolism.