Guess what? Eating is a healthy part of modern life. But, what if you thought about eating less to become healthier? Well, that may seem simple, but your body needs different amounts and a variety of foods at various times in your life. Babies, for instance, need lots of healthy breast milk or formula to begin their lives. Their healthy daily diet consists of plenty of fats, proteins, developmental nutrients, such as calcium and iron and, of course water, for re-hydration. As their bodies grow and even if they remain as breast feeders past the 1 year mark, they still need healthy fats, carbohydrates, proteins and nutrients other than iron, calcium and vitamins. Eventually, they graduate from soft creamy baby food to crispier and crunchier solid foods.
Our bodies need to eat those crispier, crunchier solid foods too, but in moderation. Like a growing baby’s stomach, which can only hold a few ounces at a time, increasing the amount as it expands and grows. Our stomachs can only hold so much at one time as we intake and digest our food. Originally, at the beginning of mankind, our adult bellies weren’t made to process a pound of fast food, cookies and ice cream, but up to a pound and a diet consisting of roots and fruits and berries, raw meats and animal fat. Early man had to eat fats to survive the harsh cold winter, but today we don’t. So, consider trying this your first week: Try to eat well, just as much as before, but eating healthier options.
Remember the colorful rainbow USDA recommended Food Chart back in grade school? It was a colorfully built pyramid depicting the limitation of sweets and treats in the first colored red line at the top. The top of the pyramid (which for adults should now include high sodium and processed foods, fatty fried and fast foods and alcoholic beverages). Then the next line was a limit of fats and oils, then moderate sized portions of lean proteins, then low fat dairy and eggs, then nuts and beans and then a green line depicting 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Last, but not least in a yellow line consisting of 6 daily servings whole grains, pastas and breads. Today, based on your health specifications, whether you have diabetes, are considered obese or need to be on a special or restricted diet; this Colorful Food Chart doesn’t apply to your dietary needs. It is now recommended that, for adults, a whopping 7 servings of vegetables and no more than 3 servings of fresh fruit be the average caloric intake per day!
Our current civilization and acceptable society’s form of thinking and eating has been turned upside down, putting the sweets, fast foods, etc., at the bottom of the pyramid and limiting our fruits and our veggies intake, which is now at the top (see Food Pyramid for Modern Life above). No wonder in 2035 they expect the percentage of obesity to rise from around 30% to nearly a whopping 45% in the United States alone. Something to think about this week is to eat as much as you do now, but to try eating on a daily basis from the Healthy Eating Plate; including the majority of colorful fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and lean proteins…making sure to use healthy oils and drink plenty of water, unsweetened drinks. Limit your intake of sodium, sugary sweets (including soda pop), fast food, fried foods and alcohol. Also, remember to stay active!
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