Good Nutrition Keeps You Healthy
Good healthy nutrition is something you learn early in life (preferably in childhood)
and you stick to it throughout. But because of fast paced life, especially in big cities, convenience
and quite often the price of food take precedent over the principles of healthy eating. Adolescents,in
particular, are "addicted" to fast food and bad habits are hard to kick. What many young people
don't realize is that bad eating habits build up a deficiency in micronutrients that is the starting
point for the degenerative diseases that appear later in life, usually in the late forties or early
fifties. Although good eating practices should be inculcated in the family schools on their part do
not place enough emphasis on healthy eating. And so we literally allow ourselves to become sick
meaning a decrease in the quality of life not to mention the enormous costs for the health care system.
In many parts of the western world people have become what nutritionists call overfed and undernurished.
And if you think words are not powerful enough I invite you to watch the movie Supersize me.
This is a good example of what fast food can do for you (see also this PowerPoint
presentation). This presentation is best viewed on Windows Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher.
Talking about proper nutrition, we all know about the food pyramid (as advertised by the USDA)
and the type of food we have to eat on a daily/weekly basis. However, according to some nutritionists who belong
to a growing trend, we should have a 80% alkaline-forming ash and 20% acid-forming ash diet (see page on Acid-Alkaline Balance on this website). All foods at the bottom of the pyramid on the left are acid-forming ash so they should be consumed with moderation.
For this reason we have amended the food pyramid according to the Acid-Alkaline Balance criteria. It is also important to note that the suggested servings are for healthy people, within the normal weight range who wish to maintain good health.
The third food pyramid is related to a problem that went beyond the attention of primary/family physicians and reached various
government agencies and has become a matter of national concern, namely the obesity epidemic. There is overwhelming evidence
pointing to the direct link between obesity and a host of degenerative diseases collectively known as the Metabolic Syndrome. The old adagio that high fat/cholesterol diet are bad for you has been largely abandoned as clinical nutrition research
of the last decade or so has clearly indicated that sweetned foods and beverages, chiefly soft drinks (colas) and fruit juices contain a high
amount of sugar, more exactly high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and are responsible to a great extent for weight gain and obesity. Fructose
in particular was shown to be rapidly metabolized by the liver into fatty acids, which are deposited as triglycerides in the adipose tissue.
For an excellent exposť on how fructose can affect your health please watch this presentation.
The third food pyramid may be used as a guide for those with weight problems, which are often associated with high insulin levels.
A high insulinemia can lead to insulin resistance and metabolic disturbances. It is highly advisable that you have your blood insulin checked periodically and if elevated, take immediate steps to correct it. A diet based on the foods shown in this pyramid, observed for several weeks together
with appropriate changes in lifestyle is likely to yield results for people with overweight problems.
The good news is that information on how to go about disease prevention through healthy
nutrition is out there in books, magazines and on the web. Get out of your comfort zone, look for it, use
good judgement and common sense and you are on your way to a vibrant health and a sense of well being.