Tuesday, March 20, 2012

5 Tips to a Healthier Diet For You and Your Family

Micheal Pollan's Book "Food Rules"

What should I eat? #19 "If it comes from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant don't."

I put this statement from Michael Pollen's book, "Food Rules" on my educational board this week. Many patients laughed at the simplicity and yet impactful meaning of this sentence. For others, it was a new thought about what they needed to change in their diets. I have a range of patients in my office from those that eat only organic to those who have a hard time increasing vegetables into their diet. This statement brings up the simple fact that boxed foods are filled with preservatives and loss of nutrition. You will find 5 things listed below to think about when you are choosing your food. You are what you eat, so choose wisely.

1. I once heard Dr Claudia Anrig say, "Eat our of your fridge and die out of your pantry." You should be eating primarily things that are perishable. This means that they are nutrient dense. Your body recognizes these foods for protein, vitamins and minerals.

2. Eat a variety and colorful plate of vegetables. I try to have at least 2 different vegetable options with every meal. At my house we also try to eat seasonally and local if possible. I eat 6-8 servings of vegetables per day. Vegetables gives your body nutrients, fight diseases, and helps your body with elimination. I try to eat fresh at all costs but if it isn't available I will eat frozen fruits and vegetables. I do not eat canned vegetables. I will say that a canned vegetable is better for you than not having any vegetables.

3. Avoid Sugar Sugar lowers your immunity, robs your bones of minerals, feeds candida, makes your blood acidic, contributes to diabetes and decreases your energy. When avoiding sugar realize that sugar is used in over 40 forms in processed foods. This includes; sucrose, barley malt, beet sugar, brown rice syrup, cane juice, high fructose corn syrup, dextrin, glucose, sucrose,etc.

4. Cook with healthy oils I use butter to melt on my steamed vegetables. I use olive oil as a dressing in my salads. I cook with olive oil at lower to medium temperatures on the stove. Olive oil will go rancid at higher temperatures. I also use coconut oil for medium to higher temperature with frying. I use coconut oil or butter with baking. Healthy fats are important for healthy bones, increases immune system and also gives cells the necessary stiffness and integrity.

5. If your great-great grandmother wouldn't recognize the food you are considering, don't buy it! The foods that your great-great grandmother wouldn't recognize are typically proccessed, contain chemical additives and food dyes. Another statement that would give you a similiar result is if you shop along the perimeter of the grocery stores. This is where you will find fresh produce, meats and other live foods. In the inside of the store is where the processed foods are stored.

These are just a few basic things to think about when buying your groceries for you and your family. There are many other things to think about when eating health while these tips will get you started in the right direction to healthy nutrition for your family!

Here's to healthing eating! Cheers!

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