Since I am involved in researching nutritional sciences, it’s not surprise that I have people ask me “what should I eat to stay healthy?” Or “What should I eat to lose weight?”… and on and on.
I usually give them a straight answer: avoid processed foods as much as possible. But, if you take the time to think about what it means to avoid processed foods you will find that it’s a natural nutritional lifestyle that our bodies were evolved to consume (see link 3 about paleolithic diets). We should be reducing or eliminating the consumption of man made foods. So put down those pancakes and have a bowl of fruit with your coffee in the morning, because when you are in doubt on what to eat just rest assured that you cant go wrong with consuming naturally occurring foods.
But dont take my word for it. Here are a couple of resources on what you should eat:
1) The Nutrition Source: What Should I Eat? (Harvard School of Public Health)
The answer to the question “What should I eat?” is actually pretty simple. But you wouldn’t know that from news reports on diet and nutrition studies, whose sole purpose seems to be to confuse people on a daily basis. When it comes down to it, though—when all the evidence is looked at together—the best nutrition advice on what to eat is relatively straightforward: Eat a plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; choose healthy fats, like olive and canola oil; and eat red meat and unhealthy fats, like saturated and trans fats, sparingly. Drink water and other healthy beverages, and limit sugary drinks and salt. Most important of all is keeping calories in check, so you can avoid weight gain, which makes exercise a key partner to a healthy diet.
2) Operah: What You Should Eat Daily (Operah.com)
She is a billionaire for many reasons, and this may be one reason!
3) Should You Be Eating Like The Cavemen? (runnersworld.com)
“The Paleo diet isn’t an oddity,” Cordain says. “What’s odd is the way we’ve been eating the last 10,000 years, and particularly the last 200.”
Article first published as Teaching Children Nutrition: A Resource Guide on Technorati.
By: Ali Al-Rajhi, head editor
Parents want the best for their children. The BEST education…the BEST clothes…the BEST toys. But, there is one area that parents may neglect – nutrition! It’s never a parents intention to neglect proper nutrition, but it’s a common trend to overlook the long term importance of establishing solid nutritional habits for their children; and even for parents themselves as they must lead by example.
This is an area that I am passionate about for my family and friends. I’ve compiled a couple of useful tools that are helpful to teach nutrition. Keep in mind, that it’s a family effort and strive for PROGRESS, not PERFECTION.
1) Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Campaign
Why? Jamie Oliver presents the issues that should concern every parent in the U.S. caused by our obesogenic environment (e.g., rising rates of childhood obesity, diabetes, etc). His website is filled with tips on how to start a community campaign to address local food systems such as school cafeterias, how to educate kids on where their food comes from, and tips for families to get in the kitchen and cook with their kids. Check out the video on his site! Also, HERE is a quick guide to his Food Revolution.
2) The ABC’s of Nutrition
The name says it all.
3) Nourish Interactive’s Guide to Reading Food Labels
Knowing what your food is made of can be very powerful in making healthy food choices. The guide helps to “demystify” the food label for children.
4) Final thoughts
Most importantly, teaching your kids how to prepare and cook meals is the most powerful way to establish the important of a nutritionally sound lifestyle. All that children learn will assimilate nicely when experience the joy of cooking!
Again, strive for PROGRESS…not PERFECTION!
teamperks via Flicker
1) Calorie Labeling Has No Effect on Teenagers’ or Parents’ Food Purchases, Study Finds (source: Science Daily)
A new study led by an NYU School of Medicine investigator and published in the February 15, 2011, Advance Online Publication, International Journal of Obesity, challenges the idea that calorie labeling has an effect on the purchasing behavior of teenagers or what parents purchase for their children. Teens appear to notice the calorie information at the same rate as adults, however they respond at a lower rate. The conclusions are similar to a previous study about adult eating behavior by Dr. Brian Elbel, assistant professor and colleagues, which showed that although labels did increase awareness of calories, they did not alter food choices.
2) Vegans’ Elevated Heart Risk Requires Omega-3s and B12, Study Suggests (source: Science Daily)
People who follow a vegan lifestyle — strict vegetarians who try to eat no meat or animal products of any kind — may increase their risk of developing blood clots and atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries,” which are conditions that can lead to heart attacks and stroke. That’s the conclusion of a review of dozens of articles published on the biochemistry of vegetarianism during the past 30 years.
3) Zinc Supplements Lessen Severity, Duration Of Common Cold (source: Medical News Today)
A new systematic review that pooled data from 15 trials concluded that taking zinc supplements in syrup, lozenge or tablet form within a day of symptoms starting can reduce their severity and shorten the length of illness.
By: Ali Al-Rajhi
When food companies have to slap a sticker claiming they use “all natural” ingredients, I start to question if it’s truly natural ingredients I’m consuming. I decided to take the initiative to do some research and determine what is meant by “all-natural” and how companies are able to make such claims – which are often misleading.
One medical doctor (Dr. Mercola) states that an “all natural” food label claim means “ when you attempt to find a definition for the phrase “all natural,” you can notice that nothing is set in stone:
- “Natural foods” and “all natural foods” are widely used terms with various meanings and no legal definition. Natural foods are not necessarily organic foods: - wikipedia.com
- Food that contains no artificial ingredients (eg, colors, flavors, preservatives and other chemicals) and is only minimally processed (so the raw product is not fundamentally altered): - vansfoods.com
- Made without artificial ingredients or preservatives. - snackaisle.com
What’s even more surprising is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “has no plans in the near future to establish a definition of the term ‘natural’, saying it has other priorities for its limited resources.”
To my understanding, In addition, the FDA allows for
So, what can you do?
- Buying locally is a start. Check out your local farmer’s market where you can purchase products without additives, antibiotics, growth hormones, etc. Also, you are supporting the sustainability of these local farmers.
- Read the ingredients of the foods you are purchasing. The more natural the food is, the less ingredients it will contain.
- When shopping at your local grocery store, look for Non-GMO products (Organic Certified). Even then I question organic certified foods, but requirements to get organically certified by the USDA are more stringent and it’s an alternative for shoppers who don’t have access to a farmer’s market.
- If you have an iPhone, you can download a Non-GMO shopping guide free from the App store by searching “ShopNoGMO.”
Buying healthy, safe foods might require you to put in some effort as far as preparing in advance and to knowing what to look for, but in the end your are doing it for your health.
1) Global Hunger Index shows importance of addressing childhood malnutrition (source: Medical news Today)
The index found that Asia and Latin America reduced “their hunger indices by more than 40 percent since 1990,” AFP writes. “A handful of African countries also substantially reduced hunger – Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana and Mozambique – but in most of sub-Saharan Africa, the problem worsened or remained stagnant
2) Healthy eating decisions program tackles childhood obesity head-on (source: Medical News Today)
Dave Pittman is convinced you can teach schoolchildren to make healthy choices at lunchtime. And he’s got the research to prove it. Supplemental article: Improved nutrition on a shoestring budget…
3) Real, seasonal foods provide best nutrition (source: Coloradoan)
A wide variety of foods is recommended for optimal health, with our complex systems, functions and structures requiring a broad spectrum of nutrients. Yet, we find many of our population limit their selection to only a few foods and a narrow array of nutrients.