Before you get caught up with diet fads let's have a closer look at healthy nutrition and lifestyle. In fact let's examine the food pyramid.
Well I have just found a food pyramid. Who do you think publishes this thing? None other than the US Department of Agriculture. Um could they be biased? I mean are they just trying to find a way of selling stuff which they grow? Well let's have a closer look. Ok what do we have here?
Smirk. In the skool books this was always the biggest group. "Make half your grains whole". I'll tell you what I think. I don't think you should eat any grains which are not whole, and personally I tend to avoid that food group. Well why not? The Eskimoes have no grains or vegetables. They eat raw seal fat, cooked fish and cooked seal meat and have about 1/10 the incidence of heart disease that we do. And less of other diseases too.
So you want to get slim? Do you believe everything you read? Maybe you believe what I am typing right now! I would like to point out that what made me really question the food pyramid was when I saw a study conducted at the University of Western Australia, which made headlines. Basically they found that replacing 2 slices of bread a day with the calorific equivalent of lean meat reduced the risk of heart disease by 8%. Now red meat has never been touted as a health food that I can remember. So how bad is this bread? Well remember that study with rats where they starved them of calories and they lived 3 times as long? Has that got anything to do with it? You know what I think personally. You will need so many calories a day - which depends on how hard you work or exercise. Now if you got all your calories from white bread you would suffer serious malnutrition, and what about your blood sugar levels? Obesity? Diabetes?
So the US Department of Agriculture is right about the whole grains. You see it is the presence of what they remove from grains which lowers the glycemic index of grains. In other words things like bioflavonoids, vitamin B and minerals like chromium. Generally speaking these stabilize your blood sugar levels, regulate insulin release whilst assisting in sugar metabolism. I confess that I have researched vitamins and minerals which can prevent gray hair. Well I found what worked, that is mollasses, brewers' yeast and wheatgerm oil. But doesn't this list correspond rather closely with what they remove from carbohydrates during processing?
Let's see what's next on the food pyramid brainwashing schedule.
Well the US Department of Agriculture is right on track here. Of course they recommend vegetables because they care about your health. Not because they profit from growing them right?
Now you can get carbohydrates from vegetables and a lot more besides. Carrots contain carotene. Other carotenoids are zeaxanthin in maize, lycopene in tomatoes and capsirubin in chilli. They are all coloured antioxidants right? For example scientific studies show that people who get their daily tomato paste have a much lower incidence of cancer and heart disease. My slimming friend take note. The list of things that either cause or prevent cancer is similar to that for heart disease, obesity and diabetes. So why not forget the diet fads and learn about the wonderful healing things found in humble unprocessed food?
I don't plan to look at every antioxidant in every vegetable. Take my word for it, it is a huge list. Let us look at anthocyanin, the red stuff in grapes and red wine. Well it ensures collagen integrity. That means nice skin and blood vessels which don't leak. What you get is less varicose veins, better circulation and lower blood sugar levels. This can prevent blindness and amputation in diabetics and the elderly. Anthocyanin is also as good a pain killer as Ibuprofen. Now you may not have considered any of this in your slimming plan, but without good circulation neither healing or slimming happen, and of course high blood sugar is implicated in many diseases.
I will end my tirade on the benefits of vegetables by pointing out that proper scientific studies have shown that chlorophyll can reverse liver cancer. And who knows what other benefits it bestows, so get some of your cabohydrates from spinach and other greens. Besides they are high in fibre, and fill you up whilst being low in calories.
Enough of the food pyramid. I can summarise the above by saying that to be either slim or healthy get your carbohydrates from nutritious food, not from sugar and pastry. Otherwise you will be malnourished (but still overweight) and will not achieve your goals. What applies to carbohydrates applies to fats too. Quality is everything. You need your omega 3, and some scientific studies suggest that fish oil can actually assist weight loss. Of course, unless you are weight lifting you don't want to drink heaps and heaps. You calory intake should match your activity level. Have some extra virgin olive oil for omega 6. In the old days when cattle was grass fed, beef and dairy fats contained more CLA, a fat which assists in fat loss. Nowadays with grain fed stock that may no longer be the case. What about a little lamb like Mary had? Just a word of caution. Unfermented milk protein is linked to heart disease. Gook luck with your slimming diet!
Have you gone for your walk today?
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