Healthy Eating: A Few Simple Tips

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September 30, 2008

By Lynn Difley

Are you tired of counting calories, carbohydrates, or sugar in each food item? Do you feel overwhelmed by all the contradictory information about what you should eat and what you should shun? We in America tend to follow the latest food fad, from low fat to low carb in a head-spinning short time.
Despite our obsession with eating healthy, we are growing steadily more obese and the unhealthy risk factors for chronic and life-threatening diseases are increasing. What’s a poor bloke to do?
Eat food. No joke, many of the items on our plates or our Styrofoam boxes are not food items at all, but a mixture of processed non-food items. Consider the ridiculous notion of Atkins bread–bread that has the least amount of what makes a bread a bread.

To make your own choices, follow this practice:

  • Don’t eat anything with a list of ingredients you can’t pronounce, or do not recognize.
  • Trans fats and high fructose corn syrup are two warning phrases that indicate that the food is far from the way Mother Nature created it.
  • Eat food that you have cooked, or could cook.
  • Eat food that your grandmother would recognize.

And Another thing

Downsize rather than super size. Our tendency is to listen to the advertisements that tout “less fat” “fewer calories” “low carbohydrates” and then give ourselves open season on the quantity. We are eating 300 more calories than we did in l985. That’s enough to gain a pound about every 11 days. Multiply that by a year, and you will find out why the trousers you bought two years ago have become tight.
A few other tips about overeating:

  • Don’t eat in front of the TV, or computer.
  • Avoid seconds.
  • Shop and eat better quality, not greater quantity.
  • A Super anything is not necessarily tasty, as a matter of fact, you may consume three times more calories in your desire to have it taste better.
  • The better the quality of food you eat, the less you will need to feel satisfied.
  • How about one tiny square of the finest chocolate? It will make you feel like royalty, as you consume it with full awareness and appreciation.

Plants vs Meat

Eat lots of plants. Meat is not the enemy, but the quantity of meat as well as its overemphasis is what causes problems. Small amounts of meat can be used, as in Mediterranean, Asian, Indian, or Mexican cuisine to flavor, rather than be the whole meal. You are not doing your arteries or your waistline any favor when you gobble down a 10 oz steak.
Appreciate your food. No matter what you eat, sit down and savor it. Life is too short not to include the simple joy of eating delicious real food, prepared with love and care, served with joy, and shared with loved ones.

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  4. lynn difley

    Hi Greg, thanks for your comment. I agree, organic is the best way to go. Who knows what all those chemicals do to harm us. We are lucky enough to be close to a couple of farmers markets, so can count on lots of delicious organic produce. Lynn

  5. lynn difley

    Hi Bob. thanks for taking time to answer. I agree, label reading can be eye opening, if not intimidating. Try to find anything in a box that doesn ‘t have salt and sugar added, as well as unpronouncable ingredients. Lynn

  6. lynn difley

    Hi Lloyd, thanks for your comment. Yes you’re right, Michael Pollan is one of my heroes and has a lot to offer us without being preachy or condemning. Lynn

  7. Your recommendations are akin to those of Michael Pollan in his book: In Defense of Food. Pollan’s book explains the title by detailing the subtitle: EAT FOOD. NOT TOO MUCH. MOSTLY PLANTS.

  8. bob smith

    It is scary when you read the amount of things in premade foods I can’t have salt and so much is put into diffrent things even dry cerials. I was supprised that only sreaded wheat is salt free’ it shure changes your feelings to read lables

  9. Greg

    Try to eat Organic as much as possible. There are many pesticides and chemicals in the fruits and vegys we eat. Its not just the fats and sugars but the chemicals. Thats why we mostly die of cancer.