Guidelines for Healthy Eating© Peter Smith –Holistic Medicine Practitioner- (1/13)
The Healthiest Diet?Unfortunately there is no one single diet that is perfect for everyone, ideally you diets should be adapted to suit your individual metabolism and combat your personal health issues; people also have different dietary needs at different times of their life, for example when ill, convalescing, under heavy stress or when pregnant. Despite this there are some general rules that universally apply to all healthy diets this article is article is about these general guidelines.
Once you've read this article you might want to read my article on the Mediterranean diet.
The World Health Organisation and several other health bodies have voted this diet the healthiest in the world. It is associated with the lowest rate of heart disease, strokes and a low rate of common cancers. The Mediterranean diet tastes good, is easy to prepare and cheap to buy. It allows, in fact it requires a glass of wine a day and most people lose excess weight on it.
The Mediterranean diet is not simply Italian or French cooking open the link below for an explanation of the key components of this brilliant diet. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/20996241/Mediterranean%20Diet.doc
To see a webcast I did reviewing numerous different healthy diets including the Mediterranean diet try the following link (if it’s too slow go to the nutricentre website):
or visit the www.nutricentre.com website click on the webcasts tab and scroll down past talks to : Healthy Eating with Peter Smith.
General Healthy Eating GuidelinesThe most beneficial changes that most people could make to their diet is to:-
Eat more vegetables,
Follow a low gi and gl diet (i.e. Avoid all sugar and carbohydrates that cause a rapid rise in blood sugar),
Eat more plant protein foods (beans and lentils) and less animal proteins,
Drink more water,
Avoid fried foods,
Avoid processed foods, ready meals and food additives, you
Avoid pork, bacon, ham and processed meats,
VegetablesAim for 40% of your plate being vegetables. They have it all they are rich in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which so many people are deficient of. They can be eaten cooked and don't have to be eaten raw. The balance between cooked and raw depending on your constitution so people who feel the cold strongly, who are weak or prone to bloating should eat less if any raw foods; people who are prone to feeling stuffy and overheating should eat more raw foods. The balance of raw verses cooked should also vary according to the seasons: eat more raw in summer and cooked in winter.
There are many books around advocating an all raw food diet is the healthiest, be warned that there are many circumstances and constitutions for which this is quite wrong and would be stressful to your system. I've met people who followed a raw food diet because they heard it was healthy and eventually became weak and depleted. Some people find raw vegetables can be hard to digest and cause bloating. Some vegetables release more of their antioxidants when they’re cooked for example the antioxidants (lycopenes) in raw tomatoes are almost completely inaccessible to our digestive system, cooking tomatoes breaks down the cell structure and liberates the lycopene is which have powerful cancer fighting properties, a similar situation exists with broccoli however you must be careful not to o overcook broccoli. Incidentally research has observed the combination of tomatoes and broccoli eating together at the same time creates a super protective effect against prostate cancer and men benefit by eating this combination 3 or 4 times a week. Trying simmering down a tin (or better still some fresh) tomatoes with finely chopped onion, oregano plus optional garlic and olive oil to make a home-made tomato sauce that you serve over steamed broccoli.
When cooking vegetables it's important to retain the valuable potassium they contain. When you boil vegetables the potassium reaches out into the water, when you're making a soup this is not a problem because the potassium stays in the pan, when you're not making a soup use a steamer to prepare the vegetables as this minimises potassium losses.
You're aiming to cook the vegetables to the point at which they lose their crunchiness but have definitely not become soft, cooked vegetables should be firm but not crunchy. I use a simple stovetop steamer which works perfectly well, if you buy an electric steamer people have told me it's best to get one with stainless steel and not a plastic trays.
Another benefit of eating lots of vegetables is that the potassium enables the body to maintain the blood in an alkaline state; when you eat a lot of animal protein and not enough vegetables the phosphorus and sulphur in the animal protein acidifies the blood forcing the body to draw alkaline minerals from where ever it can to maintain the alkalinity of the blood. If the soft tissues (the muscles and organs) have insufficient potassium the body quickly draws calcium out of the bones to offset the acid forming effects of the animal protein. So an acid forming diet leeches calcium out of the bones and a long with a sedentary lifestyle it contributes to osteoporosis (thinning of the bones).
ProteinEating enough protein every day is essential for good health however most people who eat meat eat far too much meat for their bodily needs, for a person with a desk job or sedentary lifestyle the ideal amount of meat to eat it would be about the size of a pack of playing cards. When you eat more protein than your body needs the kidneys have an unnecessary workload to get rid of the waste products of the excessive protein, anybody with kidney issues should calculate exactly how much protein they are eating and not overindulge On the other hand what can make a high meat-based protein diet beneficial is that it helps to make us feel full which can help with weight loss; also protein foods are converted into glucose incredibly slowly this helps us stabilise our blood sugar improving all-day stamina and preventing type II diabetes. A healthier way to obtain your daily protein is from plant-based protein: lentils chickpeas, pinto, black, cannellini beans etc. Over half the world's population obtain all the protein needs from beans and lentils and I've met bodybuilders with enormous muscles obtaining all their protein from plants. Spend some time to learning how to cook tasty and healthy meals using plant-based protein from lentils and beans, lentils and especially beans need to be well cooked and ideally prepared with aromatic spices which aid in their digestion. See Indian/Asian vegetarian/bean recipe books for ideas. Use these foods to to reduce reduce the total amount of animal-based protein you eat. You can combine beans and lentils with meat in the same meal to reduce the amount of meat you eat and its healthy to have at least one or two days a week without meat. For example try making a lentil and vegetable soup with a half or a quarter regular portion chicken per person.
*(Technically the amount of pure protein you need in grams each day is your body weight in kilograms X 0.75).
At the other end of the spectrum I've see many vegetarians and vegans eating too little protein, thinking that a bowl of pasta and pesto sauce with a few vegetables is a balanced meal. Beans and lentils should be eaten in copious amounts every day you don't eat a source of first-class proteins such as meat, eggs or fish.
Last word on protein I'm not saying don't eat meat and eggs I'm saying don't overeat animal protein and to use more plant-based protein. However if you have cardiovascular disease (and the overwhelming majority of people living in developed countries do actually have some to some extent!) there's only one proven techniques to reverse cardiovascular disease and that is the plant-based protein, no fat diet developed by Dr Esselstyn
DigestionEat proper, nutritious meals three or four times per day and let each meal be fully digested before eating again.
Avoid constantly snacking, if you must snack you will need to prepare your own healthy snacks like an apple with palm sized portion of almonds, wholemeal snacks (e.g. oatcakes); absolutely avoid sugary foods like biscuits, cakes and sweets.
Avoid eating when highly stressed or upset, because digestion is less efficient when our body is producing a stress response. With 3 to 4 months practice you can learn what I call parasympathetic breathing and switch off unwanted stress responses within a few minutes as you sit down to eat see relaxation response training for instructions. Take some time to switch on your relaxation response during and after eating, just eight minutes practice will make a significant difference.
Avoid eating two to three hours before going to sleep.
Chew all food well. Break all solid foods down to a liquid in your mouth and thoroughly mix with saliva in the mouth. Saliva contains enzymes that begins the digestive processes, better digestive and equals better nutrition and less bloating. Liquid juices should also be mixed with saliva by swishing every mouthful before swallowing.
Avoid diluting your digestive enzymes by drinking large quantities with meals. Don’t drink from half an hour before and up to one and a half-hours after meals. If you must drink with a meal try green tea which actually helps fat digestion. When the body digests food it temporarily releases a considerable quantity of digestive juices into the upper part of the intestines which it then recovers lower down in the large intestines or bowels; if you feel thirsty with meals it's a sign that you either eating too much salt in your food or you are inadequately hydrating. Elsewhere I recommend you drink 2 to 3 L per day to flush toxins through the lymphatic system and kidneys, however now I am saying not drink around meals. For good hydration and good digestion the ideal thing to do is really tank up and drink a lot of fluids (say 750 mills to 1 litre) 40 minutes before each meal.
When combining protein foods (eggs, meat, fish, dairy, and beans/pulses) at the same meal as starch foods (all grains, potatoes, bread, and pasta) eat all the protein foods first and the starches last. The enzymes that digest protein only work in acidic conditions and the enzymes that digest carbohydrates only work in alkaline conditions, when proteins and carbohydrates are mixed up together the digestive process in the stomach will be incomplete. Eating in this way layers food in the stomach so that the protein lies in the bottom part of the stomach where the acid and enzymes are most concentrated on the carbohydrate sits at the top of the stomach allowing the saliva we enzymes to continue working in a relatively more alkaline area. This assists the stomach to manage the different requirements that protein and starch foods have to be properly broken down and absorbed. Non-starch vegetables (carrots, broccoli, peas etc) can be mixed with both starches and protein.
Modern humans are the only animals that have developed sophisticated cuisine and makes together so many different types of food into a single meal. Even human hunter gatherers generally only eat one foods type at a time, when they've caught an antelope they don't hold onto it while they get new potatoes and asparagus and mint sauce to go with it. On the one hand your goal is to have a very varied diet throughout the year but on the other hand for optimum nutrition individual meals should be fairly simple.
Avoid eating/drinking anything very cold or directly from the fridge, this weakens digestion. This applies especially to anyone who suffers from bloating. You can always want something up by running under the hot topic enough to.
Fruit passes through the stomach more quickly than protein and starches which need longer to digest, when fruit is eaten after a meal it held in the stomach longer than it should be and can begin to ferment which can encourage candida overgrowth and cause bloating. When you eat fruit, always eat it on an empty stomach and allow 20 mins before eating anything else. Contrary to popular belief fruit is not a healthy desert, it could be eaten however at the same time as you are loading up on your fluids before meals. The exception to this rule is cooked or stewed fruit such as baked apples do not seem to create the same formative problems. Also fruits with different textures like apples and oranges have different transit times through the stomach so avoid mixing fruits with different textures at the same time. You could combine apples with pears or oranges with Kiwis, but a fruit salad especially for desert is a nightmare for the digestive system. Lastly eat melon on its own at least 20 minutes away from all other foods, melon digest best when alone.
Eating for EnergyIf you want to have more energy eat no sugar and limit your coffee to 1 or 2 a day. Educate yourself about the GI (glycaemic index) diet and don't eat any food with a GI above 70 see www.Mendoza.com for a comprehensive explanation of glycaemic index and get a copy of the latest GI lists. Once you've learned about the GI system which only takes a few weeks move onto the next step and start practising the glycaemic load principles. Once this is all second nature after several months the third and final stage that ties it all together is called the zone diet in which you learn how to combine good oils and protein when you eat carbohydrates to further control of all the carbohydrates affect your blood sugar. On the zone diet every meal and snack must include the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. 30% of your calories comes from protein, 30% from good oils and 40% from good carbohydrates. In practice this diet is really easy to follow eventually you get to the point where you can just look at a plate of food and know if it is in balance or not; eating this way totally stabilises your blood sugar it gives you stamina and continuous all day energy, and it's a great way to lose weight. Stabilising your blood sugar is one of the cornerstones of preventing heart disease, type II diabetes and slow the ageing process.
You'll find everything you need to understand the GI/GL principles on the excellent website by Mendoza, for the zone diet you will need to book Enter the Zone. If you're interested in these very useful dietary principles as me about the next time during your appointment.
SaltSalt can raise blood pressure and contribute to cardiovascular disease. Substitute potassium-based salts if you have to and learn how to use spices and vinegar to compensate for the lack of salty flavour. Theoretically it okay to use salt in your cooking if you have low blood pressure but if you continue to eat salt I would recommend you invest in a home blood pressure meter so you can keep an eye on this stealthy killer. A high vegetable diet provides lots of potassium which compensates for salt to a large extent. When you give up salt completely everything tastes incredibly bland expect it to take several weeks before your taste buds come back to life.
Avoid overeating.The only proven method of life extension yet discovered is achieved by eating a diet rich with nutrient but slightly under your recommended daily calorie intake. Animal studies have produced extraordinary life extension from 25 to 40% of healthy increased lifespan. At the other end of the spectrum there is research showing that overeating shortens lifespan. It is believed that because of the high level of obesity in the current generation of American high school kids they will be the first generation ever in history to have a shorter average life span than their parents (excepting during times of war).
In a nutshell calorie restriction consist of eating a very healthy diet but carefully controlling the total amount of calories you eat to be 20% less than your recommended calorie needs. New research suggests that you can achieve the same or perhaps even superior benefits with what is called alternate day calorie restriction whereby you eat what you want one day and very little the next (women eat 300 calories and men 500 calories on the restriction days); another version is you follow a healthy diet five days a week then fast for two.
Short term therapeutic fasting coupled with a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your health; it lowers cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, excess insulin, insulin resistance etc etc etc. You can find instructions on how to fast in my article on lymphatic cleansing on myself-help page.
The two strongest lifestyle changes you can do to improve the strength of your immune system are calorie restriction and daily medication for more on techniques to improve your immune system see the article on maximum immunity on my self-help page.
Over eating causes degenerative diseases and a simple technique to live by is to stop eating whey you feel another few mouthfuls would make you full.
Mucus Forming FoodsIf you're prone to mucus congestion, sinus problems and frequent infections avoid a diet high in mucous forming foods. These are:-
VERY HIGH - dairy (especially cows dairy as opposed to goats and sheep’s), eggs.
QUITE HIGH - meats, fish, goat and sheep dairy foods, bread (wheat bread is much more mucus-forming than rye/barley bread) and soya products.
MEDIUM - all pulses/beans.
LOW - all grains (except wheat), vegetables, fruit and sprouts are totally non-mucous forming. The more processed a food the more mucous forming it will be. As a rough guide eat no more than two slices of bread daily, or equivalent of flour products. Eat dairy foods only two or three times per week if at all.
Fats & OilsThe fats and oils you eat have a huge effect on your health, let me apologise in advance understanding how to make healthy choices with fats and oils is complicated, contradictory and mainly bad news.
The Danger of Rancid FatsThe first thing to consider is the condition of the oils you eat. Saturated fats are relatively stable but fish oils and polyunsaturated vegetable oils (sunflower seed oil, flaxseed oil, rape seed oil, sunflower oil, sesame seed oil, corn oil etc) oxidise incredibly easily when exposed heat and oxygen (frying), they even oxidise went just sitting in the bottle especially when exposed to light. Once these oils have become oxidised they release free radicals into your system when you eat them, the free radicals promote cancer, ageing and especially heart disease. Do not ever use cheap vegetable oils sold in supermarkets, they are heat treated and exposed to air and stored in clear plastic or glass bottles causing them to produce free radicals when you eat them. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils used to be promoted as healthier than saturated fats like butter and lard but actually they are loaded with free radicals and they should have no part in a healthy diet.
An important point that you should know is that the healthy polyunsaturated oils: linseed/flaxseed oil and fish oils that we should consume are incredibly easily oxidised. So if you not careful in where you get them from and how you store them you may end up taking something to try to improve your health and harmony instead. Only buy healthy oils from reputable health food shops, they should be in dark glass bottles, ideally refrigerated and when you get them home keep them it in the fridge or ideally the freezer (the bottles don't break). Fresh non-rancid flax and fish oils do not have an unpleasant taste or odour if you observe these throw the oil away or use it to oil your cricket bat.
A tip is to pour a teaspoon of the oil out and leave it for a few days in a warm place or a windowsill to go off and then stick your finger in it to taste and smell it. This will teach you the smell and taste to watch out for that tells you the oil has gone off. Disappointingly I've broken open many fish oil capsules and discovered that they had somehow oxidised in capsule, break open and sacrifice one capsule to check the quality every time you buy oil and capsules.
Another tip is if you smell the bottle and think it's gone off sometimes it's just a drop or two of the oil has got onto the screw threads at the top of the bottle and oxidised so keep this screw threads clean with a tissue.
Essential Omega OilsThere's actually only two essential nutrients in oils that we humans have to eat one is called linoleic acid or omega 6 and the other is called linolenic acid or omega 3. These essential nutrients have too numerous functions to mention, the most common problems I've observed when people become deficient of essential fatty acids are poor immune systems, hormonal imbalances and mental health problems particularly depression and ADD. Another incredibly important function of omega-3 oil specifically is the development of the young brain throughout pregnancy, breastfeeding and childhood.
Exciting new information has finally definitively answered the question is fish safe to eat during pregnancy, the dilemma was you need to fish oil to enable the baby's brain to grow to its full potential on the one hand but on the other hand it is said that fish can contain toxic levels of mercury which actually stunts development of the brain. The new research has revealed that it is not the total amount of mercury that is in the fish that is important, it's the ratio of mercury to selenium. For example tuna does contain what looks like unacceptable levels of mercury however it also contains higher levels of selenium which antagonise and render the mercury safe. To see more on this exciting new understanding visit www.undeerc.org/fish/Default.aspx where you will see that all the common fesh we eat from the sea are completely safe except: swordfish, shark, dolphin and whale which apparently you can eat in Japan!
Omega-3 oil is found abundantly in fish and organ meats but there are very few rich vegetable sources. It is rich in fish and fish oils, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, hemp oil, walnuts and pumpkin seeds contain a little, eggs can contain moderate amounts of omega-3 oil however only when the chickens are reared naturally on grass and insects not corn fed chickens, the same thing applies to meats.
Omega 6 fats on the other hand are abundant in meats, nuts and the vegetable oils in your kitchen (sunflower seed, rapeseed, corn, sunflower oil etc).
Over the last few decades our consumption of saturated fats has declined but our intake of omega-6 has increased dramatically; not only are we using more vegetable oils in our cooking but these oils are included in practically all ready-made foods and to make matters worse the majority of meat produced today is corn and soy fed not naturally grass fed. Corn fed animals and eggs contain far more omega 6 than naturally grass fed animals. It is thought that our ancestors ate an Omega 6 to 3 ratio of 1 to 1 but today the standard American diet may be as high as 10-20 to 1.
The effect of over consuming omega 6 oil is having an awful effect on our health, in simple terms it blocks the ability of omega-3 oils to reduce inflammation in our body. You could say omega 6 starts inflammation and omega-3 stops it. Increased inflammation contributes significantly to nearly all degenerative diseases including cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, ageing in the brain and many other degenerative processes.
The solution to this to cut down on your omega 6 intake by: not to eat any ready-made foods that contain oils, get rid of all the vegetable oils except perhaps olive oil from your kitchen, only eat meat and eggs that is naturally reared and fed on grass and increase your omega-3 intake by eating more fish/fish oils and flaxseeds/flaxseed oils. Probably the best quality source of linseed oil is an oil called Udo’s choice. These oils should be used cold in dressings or directly consumed but never heated.
My personal solution to this problem is to take fish oil dayly. When you choose a fish oil research the brand to see if they pay attention to only using fish from unpolluted waters, Nordic Naturals is a good UK brand, I use. (Natural Factors, Rx-Omega-three factors from www.iherb.com).
Alternatively eat fish at least three times a week.
We need to eat some essential dietary fats (omega-3 and 6) every day so do not avoid fats in your diet altogether unless you're on the intensive heart disease reversing program developed by Dr Esselstyne and Ornish (see Google/YouTube).
Our typical diet is far too high in fatty foods and yet it can actually be deficient in the essential fatty acids at the same time.
Together with water eating good oils are the best way to keep your skin moisturised.
Fats Cholesterol & Heart DiseaseThere are whole book is dedicated to this subject so this is just a summary:
Saturated animal fats: (butter, ghee, goose fat etc) raised cholesterol but not everybody, if cholesterol was the only problem in theory if you cholesterol was normal you could carry on eating saturated animal fats, however these oils probably increase the risk of heart disease in pretty much everybody.
Saturated plant oils (coconut fat, peanut/groundnut oil and avocado oil) are different; because they are saturated fats they do not oxidised when heated so they do not produce free radicals and they do not raise cholesterol as long as you use unpasteurised coconut and peanut oils. These oils are the healthiest choice for use in high temperature frying like a stir frying and starting a curry.
Olive oil: many studies have shown that the consumption of olive oil is protected against heart disease, see my article on the Mediterranean diet provides on purchasing and storing olive oil.
All vegetable oils that are high Omega 6 encourage cardiovascular disease because upset our omega-6 is to omega-3 ratio which encourages inflammation. These oils also tend to be oxidised and flood our system with free radicals.
Omega-3 oils: for many years the body of scientific evidence has been that the consumption of omega-3 essential oils was protected against cardiovascular disease. In 2012 new studies suggested that this might not in fact be the case, however for the time being the consensus of opinion is that the consumption of omega-3 essential fats is protective for our cardiovascular system. Omega-3 oils have other health benefits as well.
Olive OilOlive oil lies now between the polyunsaturated oils and the saturated fats it is mainly composed of what is called a monounsaturated fatty acid. Olive oil is considered to have heart disease protective properties except by the advocates of the most extreme heart health diets who advocate extremely low oil diets excluding even olive oil. The Mediterranean diet has been voted as the healthiest all-round diet by the World Health Organisation several times and won of the central aspects of this diet is that olive oil is the only oil in the Mediterranean kitchen and is used up quickly compared to a typical northern European or American kitchen which might have two bottles of olive oil a cheap one and a high quality, and several bottles of other oils like sunflower seed and sesame seed oil. The problem with this is that you cannot possibly use up all these open bottles of oil before the natural antioxidants they contain protect them from oxidation run out, you could keep them all in the freezer and a simpler solution is just to have one bottle of olive oil kept in the dark. With regard to frying olive oil has a moderate tolerance to heat making it suitable for the type of sautéing done in Mediterranean cuisine, imagine a pan with onions and wet tomatoes sizzling, it is not suitable for high temperatures.
FryingWhatever oil you use frying is never a healthy choice so keep fried food consumption to an absolute minimum or giving up altogether. Fried oil has no nutritious value it is just dead calories and free radicles. Whenever you fry do not use polyunsaturated oil, eating food fried in polyunsaturated oils injects copious amounts of free radicals into your body which is going to have an effect on the cardiovascular system analogous to smoking a few cigarettes.
Saturated fats on the other hand tolerate heat very well and are not oxidised, however animal saturated fats can increase cholesterol and make the blood more “sticky” which promotes cardiovascular disease, saturated fats derived from plants (unpasteurised coconut fat, unpasteurised peanut/groundnut oil or avocado oil). Although these saturated oils will not create free radicals themselves to high temperatures you are using will probably create free radicals in the things being fried in the oil; when you brown something in a frying or griddle pan you making free radicals in the food which promote cardiovascular disease, cancer and ageing.
In Mediterranean style cooking one uses olive oil but not at very high temperatures, it's more sautéing than high temperature frying.
One of the worst things you can do is fry meat soaked in a sugar containing marinade; the combination of high temperature sugar and protein producers poisonous chemicals called high glycation endproducts.
I love crisps, French fries fried in sunflower oil, teriyaki chicken and curry made with ghee as much as the next person, unfortunately there's just no good solution to these problems.
People think of stir frying is healthy because the food is only cooked quickly on the outside, however it does involve quite a bit of oil and high temperatures and I'm sorry to say but it is not a healthy way to cook.
Another mistake is to use nonstick pans that claim you can fry without any oil. When nonstick pans are heated above 260°C they release a cocktail of toxic chemicals including two carcinogens. The fumes from nonstick cookware is known to be capable of killing pet birds quite low levels even when the pan is heated to as little as 240°C, they used to use canaries down coal mines to warn miners about the presence of toxic fumes, if the canary died it was time to leave. Ceramic nonstick cookware is toxin free if it's from a reputable supplier, but I have heard that it doesn't stay completely nonstick for long before you have to start using oils.
A simple and effective trick you can do when sautéing with olive oil to protect the oil from high heat and oxygen is to put a quarter of an inch of water in the pan first and then the oil on top. The water produces steam which keeps the temperature down and drives air and therefore oxygen away.
Margarine v ButterStarting back in the 1950s a monumental mistake was made which cost many lives, saturated fats were blamed for causing heart disease and unsaturated fats were said to be the solution. The general population was persuaded that they would reduce their risk for heart disease if they stopped eating butter and started eating margarine instead. Margarine is made by heat treating polyunsaturated vegetable oils and in the process the oils are damaged creating free radicals and often what are called trans-fatty acids or trans-fats. Despite the decline in the consumption of saturated fat and the increase in the consumption of margarine and other polyunsaturated vegetable oils the incidence of cardiovascular disease has not gone down, its increased.
Avoid margarine altogether. If you want to consume the cholesterol-lowering plant sterols that are put into some margarines, buy plants sterols in capsules instead.
The Fat Free ZoneThe very healthiest thing you can do is a virtually oil free diet promoted by Dr Esselstyne and Dean Ornish. Following these diets is likely to give you the lowest possible rate for cancer, virtually completely prevent heart disease and age related degeneration of the brain, however at the moment a virtually fat-free diet is a step too far even for me. I currently use olive oil for Mediterranean style cooking, coconut fat for my curries and my daily spoon of fish oil.
At the moment I only prescribed these fat-free diets for people with arterial and cardiovascular disease for which they are the only system developed capable of reversing the condition.
Eat a Varied DietWe used to have to eat food that was in season but with modern farming and food distribution techniques it is possible to eat more or less the same meat and vegetables the whole year round. Ideally rotate your foods to avoid and reduce allergies. For example with grains, eat quinoa one day, oats the next, rice, then kamut pasta etc. Have carrots one day then peas, then cabbage etc. Or if you eat a loaf of bread for three days to use it up, then eat the different grain for the next three days. Avoid foods that you have been shown to be sensitive to for at least 4-6 months. If you are serious about your health and have eaten food every day for years, why not miss it out for a few weeks. In practice the rotation diet only really needs to be followed by people with a tendency towards food sensitivities and allergies, however most people would benefit by adopting a more varied diet. A rule I use is if I see a food I haven't eaten for a while e.g. kohilrabi I have to buy it make something with it.
Conscious EatingStudies have shown that when people pay attention to their food as they’re eating it they eat less, thus helping calorie restriction and weight control. So no TV watching and eating at the same time.
Making Dietary ChangesDon't be overwhelmed and put off by dietary change, give yourself time making one step at a time over a period of weeks, months or even longer and eventually the new diet pills is natural is what you do currently. Eating for good health is more work than putting processed frozen meals in the microwave, but as you get used to the new cuisine it becomes easier and quicker to prepare. Allow yourself to carry on with a “bad” habit without feeling guilty about it, until you have found a substitute practice this way you will not feel so deprived and tempted to give it all up.
In brief: eat a diet very high in vegetable intake -mostly cooked-; use lots of pulses, beans and lentils, use GI/GL to guide you to choose healthy carbohydrates.
Exclude salt, sugar, polyunsaturated vegetable oils except linseed/flaxseed and hemp oils; eat fish or fish oils. Have little or no fried food.
You may eat lean meat and fish, pork, ham, bacon which promotes inflammation in the body and all prepared meats like sausages. On days that you do not eat meat/fish you must have some pulses (beans/lentils) to get enough protein.