Written by Elaine Newkirk
I can’t count the number of times I get asked what seems to be a very basic question. I was shocked recently to find several young adults not knowing basics of nutrition. Silly me, I thought it was being taught in the school system. Sadly I guess that time slot is being filled with the priority of the moment like locker searches for weapons. I guess that is a different soapbox for a different day. Back to the question at hand.
So..what is the best diet for each of us to be consuming? I realize that there is no book of rules that will apply to all of us. Some of us are consuming low carbohydrate/high protein foods because you are trying out the Atkins diet. Others are trying to eat right for their blood type. Still, others are concerned about carbohydrate “points” with little concern for nutrition, while others want to follow the latest fads like cabbage soup or rice diets. I personally like proper food combining. EEEK!! Information overload! No wonder we are all confused.
To my dismay I find that the public schools are still serving whatever the government offers. Numerous school dietitians have told me that they have the difficult task of “creating” healthy meals from whatever the government offers them as surplus.
The food pyramid lied!! If you were taught that this is the correct way to eat and pattern your family's diet accordingly there is a good chance you and your family are headed for type II diabetes. This diet has a high probability of making you obese.
OK, Let’s start with some basics.
A healthy diet should contain 2 servings of FRESH fruit daily. This is needed to cleanse the body. We tell our clients that the whole fruit is much preferred over juice. The additional fiber helps control the sugar rush from the fructose. Also, try and get fruit grown locally that is in season.
You should strive for 5… that is 5 vegetables. This should be at least ½ cup servings of each and they should be rainbow colors. Dr. Bernard Jenson said to make your meals look like a rainbow of colors, because each color group contains different nutrients. Rainbow salad is a regular meal at our house.
Depending on your blood type and dietary desires protein values and sources will vary. However, a good rule of thumb is to divide your body weight in pounds by 3. This is a minimum number of grams of protein needed daily. There are many formulas out there but this is easiest. (ie: weight =150 protein need 50 grams) The average 3 oz serving of meat or fish is 25 grams. 1 ounce of raw nuts is 20 grams. There are many other protein values listed on our website.
Obviously grains are important, but not refined grains. You need your grains to be complex whole foods which means they should NOT be white. Rice and wheat are brown, well really beige but better than white. The colored part is what cleans and moves the bowel. (provided that you drink enough water.) I generally say that the average person doesn’t need any more than 100 grams of carbohydrates daily. The foods in a package are required by law to place carbohydrate values on the back label.
Obviously if you burn a lot of calories at you work or in heavy training of some sort these numbers need to be adjusted. If you are gaining weight, even a pound a year, you probably need to modify the carbohydrate intake. We have been told that fat is the bad guy, but trust me it is probably carbohydrates if you are having a problem with weight. If you are looking for more energy, and aren’t we all, try separating your carbohydrates and proteins into separate meals. Perhaps make the protein meal a steamed vegetable with a chicken or salmon caesar salad. You could have a handful of nuts as a snack to get the protein you need.
Nuts digest easiest if the are raw and soaked in plain water for 8 hours and drained before eating them. This deactivates the enzyme inhibitor in the skins that makes them hard to digest. Fruit is best eaten alone also. Perhaps first thing in the morning or when you hit that 3:00 PM slump.
I am certain that there is no one diet that suits everyone. However applying these simple guidelines may help you understand you bodies needs and balance out your food cravings. FYI, it takes 11 days for you to get over cravings that you may have related to old patterns of eating. Therefore keep re-reading what to do for healthy eating just to remind yourself not to go back to old habits.
Benessere Miami is located in Doral, Florida and serves the surrounding areas of Hialeah, Pembroke Pines, Medley, Fountainebleau, and Miami. Established and run by Regina Oyarce, Benessere Miami provides a variety of services for wellness, relaxation, and holistic traditional medicine, focusing on Oriental Medicine. Regina Oyarce is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM), and licensed in the state of Florida as an Acupuncture Physician. Regina is also a Health Care Practitioner, Licensed Massage Therapist, Licensed Esthetician, and Certified Natural Health Provider. Benessere Miami provides the following wellness and therapeutic services:Hydrafacial, Acupuncture, Acupuncture for Kids, Acupressure, Massage Therapy, Deep Tissue Massage, Swedish massage, Therapeutic Massage, Iridology, Nutrition Consultations, and Chinese Herb Supplements. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Benessere Miami at 305-599-0770.