Sunday, January 28, 2007

Nutrition for Dummies

We weren't born food dummies. We have been given such conflicting, erroneous, mind-numbing information from the "Experts" it is no wonder so many people are confused about what is the right thing to eat. Every day we read "New Scientific Studies Show...". From low-fat, to saturated-fat, to trans-fat, to low-carb, to high-fiber, to carrots are good, to carrots are bad, to potatoes raise the glycemic index....and on and on. The result of all of this nutritional advise and ever changing food pyramids is that the three leading health concerns in America (Heart disease, diabetes and obesity) are soaring.

If you have time to read Michael Pollen's fantastic article in 1/27/07 New York Times, Unhappy Meals, go for it. If you are too time challenged to read the full 12 pages, I will summarize here the high points for your reading pleasure. Forget the ever changing recommendations of the experts. Think simple:

1. Eat foods your great-great grandmother would recognize as food. Would granny recognize a Go-gurt , breakfast bar or non-dairy creamer? There are 17,000 new food products introduced very year. Avoid them.

2. Avoid food products that come bearing health claims. They are apt to be heavily processed. (read my first post on this blog). Did you know that the American Heart Association charges food makers for their endorsements?

3. Avoid food products that are unfamiliar, unpronounceable or contain more than 5 ingredients.

4. Use farmers markets. The soil is important to the nutrients in the food (duh!). Every tomato is not the same and farmers markets are seasonal. That is how our bodies are designed to eat.

5. Pay more, eat less. That $1.29 happy meal is not a bargain. The "eat less" part is a challenge but conscious eating means you slow down, enjoy the taste and feel more satisfied with less.

6. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves. When was the last time you ate winter greens (collard, mustard, spinach)? Greens are really easy to prepare. Here are some recipes to try. winter greens recipes

7. Eat like the French or Japanese or Italians or Greeks. It isn't just the foods they eat. The secret may be in the small portions, no seconds or snacking, communal meals and pleasure taken in food and company. It is the traditional culture that may lead to better health outcomes.

8. Cook at home and take your homemade lunch to work/school.

Lets face it. Americans have too many food choices and easy access to the wrong kinds of foods.
We don't need nutrition experts to tell us what mom always said. "Eat your fruits and vegetables before you have that cookie" We just forgot.

7 comments:

Raymond said...

Very nice and informative . I like the picture too !
Brains and beauty , what a combination ... ! I cannot wait to read what you are going to write next .

Raymond Bouchayer

Raymond said...

Another book that I followed and lost all kind of weight is "eat right for your blood type"

Raymond Bouchayer

AbbyP said...

Hey Toni-Craig sent me your link. I love your blog. I think it will be my daily reading. :)

Judy S said...

Hi Ms. Toni: Your blog is fabulous! You are such a clear writer.

I especially liked the "only eat foods your great-great gramma would recognize." good words to live by.

Judy

Loriann De Martini said...

Perfect timing. My son (8th grade) is doing a science project on the generational influence on serving size perception.

I printed the NY Times article for his reference material

Love the synopsis, easy to understand and adopt.

lrgordon said...

Your lice info is fantastic helping families where schools find a problem. Imagine skipping the natty tedious combing bit.

Does this work for dogs and other annoying insects?

Julie m said...

I like your straightforward commonsense advice - lots of good info and easy to put into practice.