Moosepaper.com takes upon themselves a public duty to not only inform its readers with stuff that matters, but also to provide them with accessible resources of important lifestyle materials that are not easily digested or produced.
Articles about nutrition, or diet, or health are abundant. But they are mostly trash. Normally, anything you find in lifestyle magazines are flippant, or short, or lacking depth; While on the internet, the articles are without fail written to maximize SEO rather than to provide any meaningful or useful information. In this regard, over the next week, Moosepaper will publish a 10,000 word reference serial on nutrition. You will find this serial to be a comprehensive and well-researched AND INTERESTING piece of writing. The article will talk about history, statistics, news, trends, trivia, useful hints and other guides to give you a truly all-encompassing guide to thinking about the things you consume for fuel. Once the final installment is complete, the entire guide will be published in its entirety in a single post, as well as PDF/Word form for you to download and reference and share as you please, for free.
Part 1 can be found here.
In yesterday’s edition of this article, we ended by suggesting a classic book to read about eating. Another landmark book about nutrition you should read, approaches a different vital aspect of the science of food; In 1926, Owen H. Wilson wrote “The Care and Feeding of Southern Babies,” stressing of course, the importance of starting good nutrition early.
Humans in general, can be expected to intuitively know the difference between what is good nutrition and bad nutrition. Any reasonably educated adult, let alone child, can figure the difference between the two. Classic pieces of wisdom brought down by grannies from aeons ago still apply, for example that eating green leafy vegetables is smart because “these are good for you,”. Ironically, however, there are a dizzying variety of diets to choose from nowadays, pushed by so many less than honorable interests. It neither doesn’t help that there are so many that many websites devote themselves exclusively to just reviewing all the diets which come and go (for example http://www.diet-reviews-zone.com/).
A simple plan for beginners: Just do the basics.
Obviously, good nutrition is synonymous with healthy eating. But like all else in our crazy world, simple things are easier said than done. For example, it is common knowledge that junk food is bad for one’s health, but who gives this a moments thought when confronted by the ice cream challenge one sizzling hot summer day?
Most of us know about (or have at least heard) of the CICO dictum (Calories In, Calories Out), yet how many people really walk the talk? To illustrate, you may feel immediately nauseated upon consuming a known toxic substance (alcohol, ahem ahem) but the impact of eating a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts daily may take days or even weeks to show up! And when it does, it is but human nature to blame it on something else! This explains why the fattening of America took several generations, although experts only discovered it to be an epidemic in the last few years. We will go into this matter in much detail later, for now let’s content ourselves with really hammering it in that it is so important to eat healthy foods.
Let us ask ourselves the question of all questions, what did your mother tell you about what is healthy eating? No this is not some silly Freudian thing… If your mother were like most others, she fed you the whole spiel that recommendations and guidelines for healthy eating vary from time to time, but the basic rules have not changed:
Cut down on all fats from fatty and fried foods.
Which we find hilarious, because essentially all of our meals growing up included butter, cream, margarine, oils and fried flour/egg concoctions.
Another back-asswards confusing issue that people encounter lately have is that today it is common to be told constantly to avoid carbs and starchy carbs like rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread (fu gluten-intolerance…..). Which is absurd, because these things play a crucial role in our health and our general well-balanced diet.
So have starches and carbs, just not too much.
Of course, we must counter-balance our starches with fiber. Fiber, what is largely the indigestible part of our food, and is often the part that really gets us chewing irritatingly, is responsible for so much good. It not only keeps our insides moving smoothly but it helps to lower cholesterol, prevent gallstones and bowel cancer, and keeps our weight in check. Whole meal and grain breads are full of it, as are brown rice, barley, lentils, beans and vegetables. To start your day, we suggest any of a wonderful array of wholegrain and bran breakfast cereals.
Have fibers, just not too much.
Which brings us to vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Vegetables, fruit and grains carry an abundance of vitamins, minerals and numerous other natural substances (called phytochemicals) which scientists are only just beginning to really focus on. Phytochemicals function as anti-oxidants, which fight off free radicals that could otherwise damage our cells, membranes and DNA. Numerous studies show that people who eat lots of veggies and fruit have lower rates of heart disease and cancer.
Have veggies and fruits, just not too much.
Back to what we mentioned about earlier, it is important to have variety. Variety doesn’t mean 10 different cereal packs in your cupboard, but rather a rotating sample of botanically different foods. Pasta, bread, puffed wheat and couscous all look and taste different but are all derived from the one basic (but versatile) grain (wheat). So they all provide similar nutrients.
Substituting other grains like oats, barley, corn or rye for some wheat adds diversity to your diet and ensures a wider range of nutrients. The nutrients you miss from one food, you can make up from another.
Have variety, but not too much. (Ok this is us making a joke).
Have as much variety as possible.
Which brings us back to sugars and sweets and junkfood, since everyone misses treats sooner or later; Human babies are born with a liking for sweetness, a trait that probably helped the human race survive by signaling when things were safe to eat (bitter-tasting plants are often poisonous). Sugar in modest amounts adds to the flavor of certain types of cooking and is a useful fuel for athletes and other active people. In excess, however, sugar adds unwanted kilojoules and can displace other more important foods – particularly for children and teenagers. In chewy and sticky form, sugar also can cause dental caries (or tooth decay).
Have sugar, just not too much.
But sugar is surprisingly slandered in mondern times, because there is a worse offender. Particularly in pre-frozen foods: SALT. Our modern diet is laden with salt. It’s not until you avoid salt for a few weeks that you notice how it masks the true flavor of foods. As 75 per cent of our total salt intake comes from everyday commercial foods (including bread, biscuits, cereals, butter, deli meats and snack foods), it is imperative to buy salt-reduced or no-added-salt products. Drink plenty of fluid, about two liters (8 glasses) a day, which is said to be needed to keep the body hydrated and the kidneys working efficiently. This seems reasonable, if somewhat unlikely to do automatically every day. In any case this is a hugely important thing to consider any time you are concerned about your health. So do indeed stay hydrated and drink water when in doubt. In any case, in hot weather, even more fluid is required. Alcohol and strong coffee do not count, they actually count backwards, as these act as diuretics and force the kidney to excrete more fluid than normal, and you should drink more water when consuming them.
Have salt, just not too much.
You get the point. See you tomorrow.