With our abundance of healthy food, why are we an unhealthy overweight nation? Maybe we don’t know what a healthy diet consists of, or maybe we just love the taste of fat and sugar. We certainly don’t want to land in the hospital with a stroke or heart attack, so we’d best get our act together with a good diet and proper exercise.
Most people in the U.S. have an abundant supply of food available that is healthy and good to eat. It’s something our forefathers never dreamed of. So why don’t we have a great majority of healthy people? More than two thirds of Americans are extremely overweight suffering from diabetes, heart problems and other diseases. It makes you wonder if we are in our right minds, or if we are completely ignorant of what a healthy diet is.
We used to think that bacon, pork chops and butter were good for us, now we should know better. Our bodies need the right kind of fat. Canola oil and olive oil lowers bad cholesterol,(LDL) and raises good cholesterol, (HDL,) reducing the risk of heart disease. Bad fats are found in meat and hydrogenated oils.
We must have some salt in our diet but too much raises blood pressure. The only way you can know if you are getting too much salt is to take your blood pressure after you have eaten salt. It’s almost impossible to have too little salt in your diet if you eat any processed food. Chocolate and coffee usually gets a bad rap, but dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants in small amounts when it contains less other ingredients. Coffee is another good source of antioxidants and might help prevent dementia, diabetes and Parkinson’s diseases.
Whole milk is better than skim milk, although it has fat, the fat binds with calcium in the gut so you absorb less fat. Skim milk contains too much natural sugar and contributes to diabetes. Just remember moderation in all things. Take no more than two servings of milk a day,(16 oz.) Otherwise it’s too many calories of fat. Eat little red meat and get your protein from eggs,(1 per day) beans, Greek yogurt, fish and chicken.
Fat free are two bad words. We understand it to mean that we can consume as much as we like. Not true. All those two bad words mean are extra sugar, salt and thickeners. We only get more products that are harmful to our health. The Adkins diet (mostly meat) was a disaster. People jumped on the band wagon and did lose weight fast but it led to inflammation that causes heart disease and strokes.
Foods that are available means that almost everyone can have access to healthy food, whole grains, fruits, berries,vegetables, dairy, and fish and skinless chicken. If you are vegetarian as I am, soy, dried beans, eggs, Greek Yogurt and the amount of protein in all vegetables can supply the protein required.
Exercise is another important factor in good health. To stay at your most healthy weight you must consider how many calories you take in and how many you expend. The main foods that add on weight are French fries, sweets, soft drinks, meats, and refined grains. Those that help you remain at your ideal weight are named above. Everyone should exercise every day. Walking is something everyone can do. Taking the stairs instead of elevators, parking on the far side of the parking lot or taking a long walk around the neighborhood after dinner. Eat in moderation and exercise your body are good rules to follow for optimum health.