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Eating Healthy

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CAUTION: Infants, Pregnant Women, and People with Food Allergies, Illnesses, Gastrointestinal Disorders, or on Prescription Medicine have special dietary needs.  CONSULT your doctor!
Limit or avoid these Items especially if you are diabetic or overweight.Healthy Choices
Eat a colorful, varied, "plant-full" diet including many Vegetables and Fruits.
Choose high fiber, low sugar (calorie), low fat, and low cholesterol (heart healthy) foods.
Lose weight and avoid diabetes.   Keep your Body Mass Index (BMI) below 25.   Keep life interesting by eating a variety of Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Herbs, and Spices
Any drink containing Sugar or Corn Syrup (Soda Pop, Energy drinks, Sport drinks, Sweet Tea, Milk Shakes, Frappuccino's, Chocolate Milk Water, diet drinks, diet sodas, diet fruit juices, diet cranberry juice, crystal light, sugar-free drink mixes, tea and coffee with zero calorie sweetener and non-fat creamer.  In some cases, you can buy "unsweetened" versions of a product, and then add zero-calorie sweetener to it yourself.
Any food containing Sugar or Corn Syrup (White Sugar, Brown Sugar, Syrup, Honey, Jam, Candies, Chocolate, Gummy fruit snacks) Dried fruit.  Nuts.  Almonds.  There are many sugar-free preserves, jams, and jellies.   Since most store-bought trail mix contains too much sugar, I recommend making your own trail mix.  Keep a jar of low-salt mixed nuts in the Kitchen for a handy snack. (Caution, some people have nut allergies).
Fruit juices (often have same calories as soda pop)At least 2 cups of fresh fruit per day including:  Strawberries, Watermelon, Mango, Kiwi, Guava, Grapes, Bananas, Orange, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Cantaloupe, Pomegranate, Plantain.  Diet fruit juices.  Minute Maid LIGHT lemonade 5 calorie.  Put unripened fruit into a clean brown paper bag and close the bag and it will ripen faster.   Alternatively, you can save fruit for later by putting fruit in the refrigerator where it will ripen slower.   For fast convenient delicious fiber-full vitamin-rich drinks and more, I highly recommend the Nutribullet Pro and Nutri Nutra.
Dessert Foods (pies, cakes, cookies)The "Asian" style of eating fruit as a dessert is a healthy alternative to traditional desserts.  There are also sugar free desserts.  Although it contains some sugar, angel food cake has 0 fat and 0 cholesterol.
Iceberg lettuce (Dark leafy greens are much more nutritious than iceberg lettuce) At least 2.5 cups of vegetables per day including:  Spinach, Broccoli, Green Peas, Green Beans, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Red Bell Peppers, Tomato Juice, Mushrooms, Black-eyed peas, Snow Peas, Lentils, Navy beans, Garbanzo Beans, Asparagus, Kale, Butternut Squash, Artichoke, Bok Choy, Collard greens, Watercress, Spaghetti Squash, and Sundried tomatoes.
Spinach and mixed green salads with low fat, low calorie dressing.  Yellow, red, green, purple vegetables.  Thinly-sliced radishes
Include each type of vegetables (green leafy, orange, legumes, etc.).  Buy prewashed bagged salad mixes with dark veggies and many kinds of veggies and make tuna and chicken sandwiches and salads with this.  Frozen vegetables are lower in sodium than canned vegetables.
For example, I was at Wendy's and asked to have dark leaves salad mix rather than lettuce on my chicken sandwich.  They did it and my chicken sandwich was instantly 3 times more nutritious.
Look for olive oil, vinegar, and herbs oil-based salad dressings.  You'll get good-for-you fats instead of the saturated fat found in some creamy dressings.  Low fat dressings are sometimes high in calories.
Combining vegetables when cooking meats will make your dishes healtier, tastier, more interesting, more colorful, and less expensive.  From an environmentally conscious perspective, producing vegetables is also significantly more environmentally friendly than producing meats.
Whole milk, 2% milkFat-Free Skim Milk Fortified w/ Vitamin D (about 3 cups per day), Soy Milk, Almond Milk, Cashew Milk, Low-fat yogurt, light or Greek Yogurt, low-fat low-sodium cottage cheese.  Calcium and dairy products are important for strong bones and proper growth when we are young and to prevent osteoporosis when we are older.  Unsweetened Greek yogurt, fruit, and granola is a good healthy snack.  Some unsweetened versions of almond milk are 1/4 the calories and twice the calcium of regular milk.  Almond milk is great on cereal (use spoon of sweetener rather than sugar).  Almond milk makes a nice calcium rich coffee creamer too.
White riceBrown rice.  (Choose brown rice rather than white rice or tortillas at Chipotle!)
Fried riceSteamed Rice.
White pastaWhole-wheat pasta is available at the grocery stores and can be requested at most Italian restaurants (like Olive Garden).  Fazoli's has whole wheat penne.  Noodles and Company can make any dish using whole grain pasta by request.
Corn, Cornflakes (have high glycemic index)Oats, Steel Cut Oats, Oatmeal, Granola, Barley, Soy, Bran, Whole-grain cereals.  Oatmeal is a whole grain.  I recommend breakfast cereals that are granola (with added fruit) based on whole-rolled oats.
Iodized Salt is beneficial, but should be limited.  Many canned products will contain too much Sodium (salt).  Excessive sodium/salt can lead to high blood pressure.Seasoning with Black Pepper, Herbs, Spices, Lemon, Lime, Vinegar, Cinnamon, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Scallions, Jalapeño peppers, Dill, Garlic, and Mrs. Dash are good alternatives to Salt.  Choose low salt or no added salt canned vegetables.  Choose unsalted nuts.  Choose Healthy Request soups.  Choose cayenne pepper sauces that are high in pepper content and low in salt content.
Mustard is a good low-sodium replacement for salt, and eating mustard and curry and turmeric appears to reduce the likelihood of Alzheimer's disease.  There is a very wide variety of specialty mustards to make sandwiches and dishes very interesting.
High-cholesterol foods including: Egg Yolk, Caviar, Liver, Pate, Butter, Shrimp, Fast Foods (esp. breakfast fast food), Oil Packed Fish, Cheese, Processed Meats (sausage, lamb, duck), Shellfish, Charred meats Eat a low fat and low cholesterol diet to prevent arteriosclerosis, clogged arteries (arterial plaque), and heart attack.  Making vegetables and fruits a higher percentage of your diet, Imitation crab, Fish, Turkey (lean 90/10), Baked Chicken Breast, Skinless Chicken, Tuna, Egg-whites, EggBeaters, Egg white omelets, Wild Salmon, Turkey Sausage, "veggie" versions of meats (soy and lentils), Tofu, Lox, lean meats (with fat trimmed off), Sandwiches and Wraps, lower-sodium ham.   Tomato sandwiches with zero sat. fat mayo and spinach are surprisingly good.  Light or Greek yogurt is a very healthy high-protein food.   Also try the new vegan Sofritas burrito at Chipotle25 Top Heart Healthy Foods.   Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout) are important for Omega-3 fatty acids which reduce the risk of heart disease.  Fish sandwiches on whole wheat.  Turkey, chicken, or meatless chili's.  Tempeh Sloppy Joes.  Asian Stir Fry can create many healthy meat and vegetable combination dishes.  Brown rice and beans.  American Heart Association’s Heart Healthy Check Mark List of Foods and Products.  High cholesterol is the most significant risk factor for heart disease.  Surprisingly, chicken and turkey lunch meat options often have signficantly less cholesterol than comparable chicken breast or lean ground turkey.
Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, hot dogsWhole grain breads sandwich with turkey, spinach and low fat mayonnaise.
Turkey burgers (lean 90/10) on whole wheat buns.
High fat and high cholesterol pizzasWhole grain and veggie pizza.  You can create a pretty healthy pizza as follows:  whole wheat thin pizza crust, pizza sauce, olive oil, shredded fat free mozzarella cheese, canned chunk chicken breast, green pepper, yellow pepper, red pepper, spinach, fresh basel, onions, garlic, oregano, mushrooms, olives, Italian seasoning or pizza seasoning, crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper sauce.  If you need a red meat, choose Canadian bacon and pineapple.
Butter, Mayonnaise, Lard, ShorteningOlive Oil (best), Flaxseed Oil, Apple Butter, Canola Oil, Light Margarine, Low-fat mayonnaise, olive oil mayonnaise.  Use canola or olive oil for cooking, rather than other oils or butter.  Olive oil can even used as a dipping sauce.
Blueberry waffles with butter and syrup(1) WHOLE-grain Blueberry waffles with yogurt and fruit topping, (2) oatmeal with dried cranberries, raisons, blueberries. fruit, sweetener, yogurt, almonds, walnuts, pecans.  Sweet potato pancakes.
White PotatoesSweet Potatoes, Yams, Nicola potatoes
White Breads, Enriched Flour, Bleached FlourWhole Grain Foods, Rye Breads, Pumpernickel, Whole Wheat Breads, Whole-Wheat Flour Tortilla Wraps, Teff Flour, Whole-Wheat Pita Bread, Whole-Wheat English Muffins, Bagels and Crackers, Whole grain rye crackers, Crispbreads (topped with hummus, tuna, turkey, pico de gallo, avocado, etc...), Sunflower seeds, Nuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Almonds, Peanuts, Pistachios, Nut butters (peanut butter, hummus, etc.).  Look on the ingredients and choose "WHOLE" grain foods.  For example choose "WHOLE wheat" rather than "enriched wheat flour".  To limit carbohydrates, make a sandwich using a half-slice of bread or thin slice instead of a whole slices.  Diabetics, overweight people, and really everyone should limit carbohydrates, sugars, saturated fats, and should increase fiber.  Salads with meat are a good choice if you are limiting carbohydrates.  The "total carbohydrates" amount can be a somewhat helpful indicator, but it should be remembered that this number includes carbohydrates, sugar, and fiber.  100% whole-wheat and whole-flax flatbreads (available at Aldi and Subway) are excellent for creating cold and hot wrap sandwiches with much lower carbs.  Healthy tacos are easy with whole-wheat tortillas, turkey (90% lean/10% fat), non-fat cheese, dark romaine or spinach, and salsa.
Potato Chips, CrackersWhole Grain Crisps, Olestra chips (in moderation), Baked Sweet-Potato chips
Fried FoodsBaked Foods
Processed foods. Fast foodsFresh produce. Non-processed foods.
Bad Fats (Saturated and Trans fats) increase Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and generally include animal fats
  • Eliminate ALL Trans Fats
  • MINIMIZE all Saturated fats
Good Fats (Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) increase High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and generally include vegetable and fish fats, olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, peanut oils, nuts, avocados

Keep your LDL < 100 MG/ML, and keep your total cholesterol / HDL ratio to less than 4.
Eat a variety of High-Fiber Foods: Foods with 3 grams or more of fiber per serving are good choices.  White Beans, Black Beans, Kidney Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Avocado, Whole-wheat pasta, Brown Rice, Edamame, Whole-wheat bread, Lentils, Pear, Artichoke, Oatmeal, Raspberries, Peas, Broccoli, Apples, Almonds, Barley, WASA crispbread
Avoid mixed drinks with sugar-loaded mixersAlcohol should not exceed 1 drink, but consider things like rum and diet coke, or vodka and diet cranberry juice.

* Teaching your children how to eat healthy is one of the greatest gifts that you can give to them. *

* Studies show that heart disease can start in childhood. *

* Make your home a healthy place.  If you don't buy and have unhealthy foods, you won't eat unhealthy foods. *

Children are very convenience and color based.  Put completely healthy, attractive, and bite-sized foods (like fruits) in front of them.  Let them eat whatever they choose, then just eat whatever is left over yourself.  Your odds are good on getting them to eat healthier in this way.


Nutrition information for virtually any food or menu item at popular restaurants is easy to find on Google

Helpful websites:  www.EatRight.org, www.ACSM.org, www.CDC.gov, fnic.nal.usda.gov, Nutrition Chart, Nutrition Information, Nutrition Data for any food, www.Nutrition.gov, Info. about fats, www.ChooseMyPlate.gov

To compare various foods, go to USDA.gov and for your "First", "Second" and "Third Nutrients" select combinations of "Carbohydrate by difference", Fatty acids (total saturated), Fiber Total Dietary (g), and Sugars(total)", select "Food Subset: Abridged List", select "Sort by: Nutrient Content", and press "Go".

Gluten-free food is normally seen as a diet specifically for Coeliac disease which can be diagnosed by a blood test.  Most people and diabetics do not have Coeliac disease.  This majority of diabetics that do not have coeliac disease should concentrate on whole grain diets rather than gluten free.  Gluten (a protein) is often erroneously confused with glucose (a sugar) - they are different things.

Losing Weight

Losing Weight:   Cooking & Recipes |  Eating Healthy |  Groceries |  Health To-Do's |  Health |  Main Menu
  • To lose weight, rather than do a fad diet, just Eat Healthy.  If you eat an extremely and consistently healthy diet, you will lose weight quickly and safely.  You CANNOT exercise away a bad diet and poor nutrition.
  • Everyone (especially those who are overweight) should watch the 4-part (4 hour) series The Weight of the Nation.  I recommend getting it from your local Library, but you can also watch it online for free.  Other good dvds are Killer at Large and Fed Up.
  • Be sure to read the nutrition labels on every single thing you buy.  You will be surprised how much your choices will change.  Watch calories, saturated fat, trans fat, and carbohydrates.  Read the "serving size" on the label.  If you eat twice as much as the "serving size", you must double the calories, fats, and carbohydrates shown on the label.
  • Vegetarian and Vegan diets are good for the earth, good for animals, and will reduce weight for you.   Absolutely strict vegans should be careful to ensure that they don't become deficient in proper nutrients (esp. Vitamin B12).   Recommended documentaries include Cowspiracy and Vegucated.
  • If you are pregnant, or if you do NOT eat a varied colorful diet, you will need to take vitamins, fish oil, and folic acid.   Kids who don't eat healthy may need vitamins.
  • Eat Slower.  Focus on the dinner conversation.  100% free ideas for losing weight at www.FatSecret.com.
  • Eat before you go out.  Eating at home will usually give you much greater control over saturated fat, calories, and ingredients used in your food.
  • A Half Sandwich is usually very filling.  Cut your bread in half and make a half sandwich.  Eating little bits several times a day is healthier anyway.
  • "Feeling full" is determined by the volume and weight of food - not by the number of calories.  So you can eat low calorie foods and not feel hungry.
  • Make sure there are healthy foods that you like nearby.  The worst situation is hunger combined with only unhealthy foods in the fridge.
  • In some cases you may slightly oversweeten tea with zero calorie sweeter on purpose.  Why?  To break the sweet craving and allow you to focus on healthy foods for the rest of the dinner.
  • Keep warm.  Eating is a natural response to being cold.
  • When I was little my mom made me cinnamon sugar toast and I loved it.  Now I make it with pumpernickel, cinnamon, and zero-calorie sweetener.
  • High-fiber foods clean out your digestive system, and makes you feel full with fewer calories.
  • Exercise (walking 30 min per day) is important for heart health and for bone health.  However, proper diet is dramatically more important than exercise for reducing weight.
  • Set an appointment reminder in your smart phone to weigh yourself once a week in the morning before breakfast.  Record the date and your weight once each week and monitor your progress.  Daily weight normally fluctuates too much to be useful measure.
  • Lose weight and eat healthy to avoid diabetes.  Long-term high blood sugar can cause severe health problems.  Avoid foods that raise your glycemic index.  Get A1C checked at least once a year.  A1C between 6 and 6.5 is prediabetes, A1C of 6.5 or more on two separate tests is diabetes.  Being overweight is like carrying luggage everywhere you go.
  • Becoming thinner will lower your blood pressure, but stay on medications until your doctor approves a change.  High blood pressure (Hypertension) is a severe risk factor for heart disease.
  • Calorie chart.  Calorie is a measure of the energy content of food.  3500 Calories is approximately equal to 1 pound of body weight.
  • Studies have proven that overweight people have HIGHER rates of metabolism than thin people..... Probably not what you expected.... Is it?
  • There a some indications (not conclusive) that aluminum pan and antiperspirant usage may increase Alzheimer's disease.
  • In order for a food to be labeled as "healthy", it must meet standards for being minimal in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol and it must have at least 10 percent of the recommended daily value for a range of nutrients.
  • Slow churned ice cream has 50% less fat and 30% fewer calories than regular ice cream.
  • Don't set your goal to be "average" because the "average" U.S. person isn't very healthy.  Instead, set your goal to be healthy.



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