These are the basics for anyone who wants to begin eating in a healthy way:
1) Learn how to read the labels on food. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has created labels that are
a. If there are many ingredients - it is probably TOO many*. And some of them will be artificial colors, preservatives, artificial flavors, etc.
b. Sodium is the same as salt - we are supposed to eat 2400 mgs or less per day.
c. Sugar - has many names, sucrose, glucose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup* (a really unhealthy type). There are sugar substitutes that we consider not very healthy*. Some have been shown to be carcinogenic in animals (possible causes of cancer).
d. Fiber - minimum is 2.5 grams of fiber per serving (Make sure you understand how many servings are in a package). Whole grain products have MORE fiber - whole wheat flour for example.
e. Protein - a 150 pound person needs 55 grams of protein daily. Someone weighing 135 might need about 42 grams daily. Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms. Then multiply that number by 0.8.
f. Trans fat, or transfatty acids - never found on a label, this is what we now call hydrogenated or partially-hdyrogenated oils. This is BAD for your heart. Do not eat anything with this - AVOID, AVOID, AVOID.
g. Calories - First figure out how many calories you should eat each day. Then divide it up by meals. Ann Fonfa, founder of The Annie Appleseed Project thinks the maxim to eat breakfast like a Queen, lunch like a Princess, and dinner like a Pauper makes a lot of sense. That's lightest meal latest in the day. And try to avoid eating at least one hour before bedtime - it helps promote restful sleep and avoid 'heartburn'.
*Why are things "not very healthy"? Well they can be artificially created in order to have a longer shelf life, or some other reason having little to do with food quality.
Artificially created flavors, colors, and other chemicals have also been shown to be problematic. And their use is rarely tested the way real people use them. Example might be one time in the life of a mouse or rat. But we could eat them daily if we did not read labels and AVOID them. Studies have not shown too much harm because there haven't been many long-term studies, nor many/any that look at continual use. And NONE that look at their use combined with any/many of the chemicals we meet up with daily from other sources.
Resources include: Deliciouslivingmag.com In particular the July 2008 issue
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