Subject: Re: [COPD] High FAT Diet
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 03:12:55 EST
From: David McNeill
As a nutritionist, I can tell you that metabolism of carbohydrates
does absolutely produce CO2.
If you always do what you've always done,
you'll always get what you've always got!
But, if you don't want what you've always got,
Then it's up to you to stop doing what you've
always done...and do something different!
Sample High - Calorie Diet at end of page.
DIET of CHOICE
( YOU HAVE TO READ to find out why)
A diet is whatever we eat, and there are literally millions of them. What each one of us eats is our individualized diet. When we say this word “diet,” many of us may think of a particular time when we might try to lose or gain weight before going back to what we usually eat. Who we are, how we feel, and how we look in size and shape are the results of what we eat, our eating habits, and all that we do and think. So, if we wish to change in any way, we probably need to change our diet—that is, what and how we eat—rather than go on a diet.
In this section, I discuss the variations in diets, their different classifications, such as vegetarian or omnivorous diets, and the common cultural diets throughout the world. I define each one and then discuss its strengths and weaknesses, along with ways to modify it or additional supplements needed to make it healthier.
Diets are influenced
by a number of factors. First, the classification of the diet is based
on its content. This initially was based on availability of foods indigenous
to locale—what could be grown or hunted, gathered or caught. Nowadays,
it is even wiser to eat locally
and minimize imported foods,
which often are heavily treated to protect them from decay and germ and
insect infestation, as well as to meet government regulations. However,
eating locally obviously has its limitations
as our foods are subject to seasonal and climatic influences.
Each culture has its own dietary patterns regarding what is eaten and how it is prepared. These patterns are very strong, as are our tastes and food conditioning. Even stronger are family influences. Thus, both our culture and our environment affect our eatingpatterns. Specifically, diets and habits seem to run in families, as do many of the problems that cause them. I believe that in many cases, such diseases as hypertension, heart disease, adult diabetes, obesity, and even cancer are related more to familial influences, both psychological and nutritional, than to a genetic predisposition.
Our genetics may also play a factor in our diet. Over generations, our bodies adapt to the foods we eat and our physical well-beingis influenced by our ability to digest, assimilate, and utilize any food. Although the human species is adaptable, genetic mutation is a slow process. When we shift cultures or markedly change diets, we may consume foods that our body will react to rather than receive easily. Digestive problems, other sensitivities, and allergies may occur from this. We should pay close attention to how our body handles new foods and new recipes.
Our general eating patterns and habits are greatly influenced by our upbringing. Such preferences as when we eat, whether we snack, or whether we like to eat quietly or very socially may have their origins in childhood. The emotional ties between love and food or between love and cleaning our plate are deep-seated and influence our whole life. Sweets such as ice cream or milk and cookies after dinner or before bed or sweets and treats as rewards may create lifelong problems with our relationship to food. These eating patterns, likes and dislikes, develop early and are very difficult to change. (I will discuss these aspects more in the next chapter, Dietary Habits.) Each of our individual constitutions affects how we respond to these influences and how we grow on the diet fed to us. As we age, our individuality usually creates a new diet that fills our own needs; occasionally, though not often, this varies a fair amount from our family’s diet.
availability of foods due to the industrialization of our world has influenced
dietary changes more than any other factor in the last fifty years.
Technology has led to food refinement, increased storage, and flavor control.
Salt, sugar, and fried foods have never been so prevalent. Diets have shifted
from more natural ones to fast and snack foods. The working class has always
looked for ways to save time and effort in food preparation. Even in the
last decade or two, we have seen a shift from TV dinners and other frozen
foods to the huge “fast-food” restaurant business and microwave meals.
The influence of technology on our food chain, though it has helped somewhat
in food shelf life, has had a very bad effect
overall on general nutrition. The
Western or American diet has been the most shaped by these industrial changes, which are spreading rapidly to other nations.
These technological influences have definitely played a major role in the field of nutritional medicine. Our main concern in the past was deficiency disease, caused by not getting enough of certain important nutrients. Though this still occurs in some people, we now have the added concerns about problems that arise from excesses found in the new world diet.
There is no longer any doubt that there is an important relationship between diet and disease. Even the federal government has recently acknowledged this relationship. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published in 1988 The Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health. Dr. C. Everett Koop and other contributors discuss the dietary aspects of the most common diseases that plague our society, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, dental diseases, behavior, and many others.
Probably the most significant aspects of diet are the fat and fiber content. Protein sources are a concern, and vitamin and mineral levels are also important. But overall, it is the high amount of fat, specifically saturated fat, that is associated with the major diseases cancer, cardiovascular disease and hypertension and their secondary problems.
Though the high-fat (and high-protein) diet has made Americans and others consuming this diet bigger in stature and weight than most of the more vegetarian cultures, it is not necessarily healthier. Cancer and cardiovascular disease, both nutritionally related, are the two biggest killers of our adult population and the two greatest costs to society, in terms of direct medical costs and lost work. But these diseases can be changed, and they are changing, because more doctors and the public are responding to the suggestions contained in this book and many other good nutrition texts.
There are usually big differences between the diets of rural and urban families. The availability of restaurants, fast-food outlets, and giant supermarkets have become obstacles to good nutrition for many people. Growing our food, either as our means of making a living or in our own gardens, brings us back into contact with the earth and provides us with the freshest, most vital nutrition on the planet. This influence often will affect the rest of our diet for the better. And it has! Words such as natural (as nature provides), organic (chemical free), and fresh (just picked) are becoming more popular again in societies that have moved far from these qualities.
Each of us needs eventually to find our own balance in diet. Through knowledge and experimentation, we can learn what works best for us. Each culture must find this balance as well. Each has its basic natural diet, as well as extremes or abuses that may undermine health. For example, the Oriental diet is high in fiber and complex carbohydrate, with a good balance of fat and protein. But it uses a lot of salted or pickled, preserved, foods which influences the incidence of stomach cancer. Those Western cultures that consume more fat and less fiber have a much higher incidence of colon cancer.
Balancing the diet is what is needed. This often requires developing new tastes. And sometimes it involves taking some supplements to assure that we consumesome hard-to-get nutrients or those that may be deficient in our soil or foods, as well as more of those nutrients that help protect us against cancer and atherosclerosis, such as the fish oils and the antioxidant nutrients vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and selenium.
Historically, the evolution of our diet began with the nomadic tribes who moved with the seasons, eating those foods available through hunting and gathering. With more stable village life, we had to learn anew to feed ourselves, to cultivate, to store, and to prepare foods to feed the growing numbers of people. Both farming and hunting were necessary for survival. And these were influenced by the climates and the spirits. Droughts or floods affected feasts or famines and health and disease.
Different areas of the world had different foods available, and this led to the cultural-type diets. Knowledge and recipes to nourish the family were passed from generation to generation. Each generation usually added something new. And the increase in food cultivation and industrialization went hand in hand with the rise in the population and urban living. More food was needed to feed the masses.
Survival was dependent on the food supply. We had to become more adaptable and learn to eat new foods and even change our diet. And we still do and we still can. Adaptability is the key to survival. Even if we have eaten a similar diet for 40 years, we can still change if we feel that shifts may be helpful. Such change is often very important for continued health or to reduce the level or incidence of many diseases. And it is even more important as we age. Changing our diet or lifestyle is not necessarily easy, but it can be done, and it may influence many other aspects of our life for the better.
habits—that is, the way we eat—probably
influence our health even more than the foods we choose to eat. Developing
good dietary habits should begin as early as possible, because these habits
will help or hinder us for life. Once they are “under our belt,” so to
speak, they are very difficult to change. For example, obesity is as much
a result of how we eat as it is of what we eat. Overeating,
at night, or eating too
many different foods at a meal can weaken
our digestive functions and make it much easier to gain weight. Overeating
at meals and snacking between meals are common eating problems, and often
these habits are picked up from other family members during our developmental
years. The focus on food and the socialization around eating are family
that become deep-seated very early. Our psychological and emotional states are often tied into habits such as these. Equating food with love or prosperity, and eating for emotional satisfaction or security, are powerful psychological factors which are influenced by eating patterns and problems. Thus, weight reduction is a significant challenge that encompasses major shifts in our psyche, attitudes, emotions, and, hopefully, our physique.
Specific food attractions are also part of our personal eating pattern. These likes and dislikes often develop when we are children and are usually difficult to change. They also influence our health and weight. Breads, pastas, meats, peanut butter, chips, ice cream, fried foods, sugars, hot dogs, hamburgers, and french fries are not our most healthful foods, but these are surely in greater demand than carrots, celery, and apples. The Western family’s attraction to fatty foods continues to influence children, teenagers, and young adults, toward the trend of obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Tastes for specific flavors, such as for salty or sweet foods, also develop when we are young, and are accordingly difficult to change. Occasionally, people become attracted to sour or spicy foods, to bitter foods, such as leafy greens, or to other, less common, flavors. In our culture, abuse of or addiction to sugar and salt is very widespread and influences health significantly. From sugar added to baby food, cereal, coffee or tea, and salt added to almost everything else, to further hidden salt and sugar in most restaurant or fast foods, we are constantly bombarded with these two flavors. The Chinese consider that there are five flavors—sweet, salty, sour, spicy, and bitter—all of which must be balanced to create a healthy diet (see further discussion in Chapter 12, under Flavors [Balance]).
The abuse of sugar and salt in America and even worldwide is significantly influencing the types of diseases seen. Too much sugar affects the teeth, contributes to obesity, and may be an important factor in the development of adult diabetes. Extra salt affects the body’s waterbalance, thereby affecting the kidneys, blood pressure, and, eventually, the entire cardiovascular system. Most of these problems could be greatly reduced with a more balanced diet.
During the last quarter century, we have seen a dramatic increase in fast foods, snack foods, artificial foods, and foods containing excessive amounts of sugar, salt, or fats. Though these foods may be less expensive for the consumer, the overall costs are more than just what it takes to pay for big factories, expensive equipment, and many employees; it affects the health of our internal and external environment, and that’s a high price to pay! Nowadays, nearly 40 percent of the food dollar is spent in restaurants. Fat intake is more than 40 percent of the average diet. A large portion of the American diet consists of those poor-nutrition foods with their empty calories and excess fat, salt, and sugar—hamburgers, french fries, soft drinks, pizza, hot dogs, fried chicken, bacon, potato chips, candy, pastries, and so on. The attraction to and regular intake of these foods because of their flavors, consistency, availability, or social acceptance easily become “habits”—we seek them out without thinking, and they become a regular part of our diet, often in place of more nutritious foods.
Luckily, we can change these habits. We can change what we eat, how we eat, and when we eat. We can shed addictions to sugar, salt, or other specific foods. We can gain new attractions to more wholesome foods, and lose weight, allowing our body to find its more optimal shape and metabolism. Any change, however, does require motivation and time to allow for physiological readjustments and even withdrawal to take place; this usually takes at least a few weeks. But more and more people are choosing natural foods and losing their tastes for unnatural, oversweetened, salty, greasy, meaty foods. Preparing simpler meals with simpler foods in modest quantities spread out through the day is a healthful way of eating that has come back into vogue.
FOOD HABIT INTERVIEW
When, Where, Why, and How
There are many factors involved in eating to achieve a balance of physical nourishment, mental relaxation, and emotional harmony. These goals are easily undermined when we let certain patterns develop and lose our sense of eating as a way of nourishing body, mind, and spirit. When we do not take the time to prepare wholesome food, or if we hurry our meal or eat in unpeaceful settings, we risk creating difficulties in digestion and assimilation and losing the basic nurturing potential of our food. Let us take a brief look at a healthful way to approach food and our relationship to it.
Who is it that
is eating? Of course, it is each of us that is ultimately responsible for
our nutrition, except when we are babies or young children. However, many
of us never grow up when it comes to being responsible for what we consume
and learning about healthful nutrition—how to shop, how to store food,
and especially how to prepare it. It is not the responsibility of our spouse
or the cook at the local restaurant; we all
need to learn the art of food preparation
so that we
can ultimately nourish ourselves and others. Anyone who feels that their only role is to go out into the world and make money is selling himself or herself short as complete human beings. I am not suggesting that we all become gourmet chefs, but I would urge everyone to learn the basics of meal preparation so that when left to our own devices we will not just survive, but thrive. As we grow, we need to develop our sense of what is the best diet for each of us, and not live by the needs of our housemates, spouse, parents, or children. This individual process is an essential part of good nutrition throughout life.
With whom we eat is also important. Creating a peaceful setting around food preparation and food consumption is a vital part of the nutrition process. “What goes in is what comes out” is a wise saying regarding the transformative powers of energy—and if love and a nourishing spirit go into food while it is being prepared, it is likely that the person eating it will experience those qualities. When a meal is prepared by someone who is frustrated or angry, it may take on a whole different nature. That is why loving mothers and grandmas are often the best family cooks—they put their love into everything they make.
This leads to another important aspect of eating—the social setting in which we eat. The family meal, with its members sitting around the table sharing the day’s experiences, is potentially wholesome and relaxing. But if there is more stress than peace, more argument than discussion, or too much coming and going, digestion and nourishment can be negatively affected. If we are particularly sensitive to others or easily upset, it might be best to eat in peace by ourselves or with another who likes to eat quietly. But many families and cultures use mealtimes to socialize, and I believe that we can adapt to this with the right attitudes. Everyone should make the time to relax and breathe before eating—before receiving new energy. To receive nourishment, we must be receptive. Eating on the run or while doing other things, even having an intense conversation during a meal, does not really allow us to pay attention to the whole process of eating—chewing, tasting, and swallowing our food. Overeating is common in these situations. I believe that when individuals, couples, or families have their main or primary contact around the dinner table, inappropriate attitudes toward food can be disasterous. Using food as a barrier against social interactions and closeness, are some resulting problems.
It is a good idea to ask ourselves with whom and in what kind of setting we like to eat—quietly alone, with a certain friend over an intimate dinner, or in a quick, move-’em-through meal. When we tune into our own preferences, we can nourish ourselves to the fullest potential.
What we eat is probably the most important factor. (However, even the healthiest diet will not be utilized properly if we are stressed, upset, or eat on the run.) A balanced diet is, of course, what we all need. What this actually is may vary from person to person. Our diet is ultimately based upon our individual needs, our cultural background, and our current knowledge and tastes. At best, we should eat moderately and eat a variety of foods.
A balanced diet in my “book” contains lots of fresh foods—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. More concentrated foods such as eggs, milk products, and animal meats, can be added as desired and tolerated, though they should make up a much smaller percentage of the diet than the vegetable source foods. An even smaller amount of manufactured, processed, or baked foods could be included—these are really not needed at all.
Food combining and rotating our foods so as not to eat the same things every day, may help alleviate or prevent such problems as poor digestion or allergies. We may find that certain foods feel very good in our body both short and long term, while others do not resonate very well.
The topic of “what to eat” is really what a good part of this book is about. Also, see Part Three, Building a Healthy Diet.
When we eat is a fairly controversial concept in nutrition. Though most cultures have regular mealtimes, this is ultimately an individual choice based on body cycles, work, energy levels, and sleep patterns.
The first rule of eating is to eat when we are hungry. The message of hunger tells us that our body has digested and used the last food we consumed and is ready for more. Many people, especially those who are overweight, experience more emotional or psychological hunger than the physical feeling we are talking about here.
We need to balance this hunger response with regular eating patterns, as it is also important to plan meals and have food available when we are hungry. If our schedule is such that we have specific times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we need to eat sufficiently but not excessively, so that we are feeling some hunger at the time of our next meal. There are many people in the world, especially in Western cultures, who rarely experience hunger. There are also millions of impoverished people on this earth who rarely experience nutritional satisfaction.
When to eat what kinds of foods and how much food to eat are nutritional issues about which there have been a variety of theories. That we should not eat too much too late in the day is a pretty unanimous viewpoint. Eating a wholesome, well-balanced dinner in the late afternoon or early evening is a fairly well-accepted activity. Dinner tends to be the most social meal, a time to relax after a hard day at work, school, or home. In many parts of the world, particularly Europe, people tend to eat lightly in themorning, and then eat their main meal in the early afternoon. Dinner is usually light with soup and bread or salad, and often a social time with friends or family. See Chapter 9, the Italian diet, as an example.
a more open question. The word breakfast means
to “break the fast” after not eating overnight,
often for nearly twelve hours. Some traditional schools of thought feel
that breakfast is the most important meal
of the day—that a big breakfast consisting
of fruit, starch, protein, fats, muffins, and so on is what gets us going.
Clearly, if we finish eating for the day by 6:00 or 7:00 p.m., the next
morning we should be hungry again and need a wholesome, nourishing breakfast.
However, many adults eat later in the evening. Thus, there are many, myself included, who think that our fast should be broken in the morning very lightly, with fruit, for example, and that we should progress through the day with more concentrated foods. The best-selling nutrition book, Fit for Life, suggests that the “natural hygiene” of our body cycle wants to cleanse the previous day’s food from 4:00 a.m. until noon and to want only cleansing fruits in the morning. At noon, we may begin to eat vegetables and use more concentrated starch, protein, or fat food per meal. We consume most of our food from midday until 8:00 p.m. If we are early risers and workers, our food intake cycle can begin earlier, though it should probably end earlier as well. When it is very cold, or if we do a lot of physical work, we may need a more warming and fuel-oriented breakfast, though many people can do very well on fruit alone in the morning. With this system, fruit is eaten by itself, not with or after other foods (see the section on Food Combining later in this chapter).
Often, we do
not know our own needs unless we experiment.
By eating different amounts at different times of the day, we can see what
will work best for our work and energy schedules. If we get very fatigued
in the afternoon after lunch, we may need to shift things around. A big
dinner and light breakfast may be best for us, or it may be the other way
around. We won’t know unless we try it. Just
because we have been doing things one way for a long time does not mean
is the best way.
Where we eat
can be particularly important for people who
are overweight because of poor eating habits. With our concerns about time,
convenience, and comfort, it is easy to find places to eat or snack away
from our usual ones, such as the dinner table. Eating in front of the television,
in the car, or while walking around leads to an increased intake of food,
especially of the more highly caloric snack foods. This can
become an extra assault on our digestive tract,
no chance to rest. While eating, avoid “techno-traps,” such as telephones, television, and computers. Choose foods which will reduce electrical interference in our digestive, assimilative, and mental abilities (see Electropollution in Chapter 11).
I suggest to
people on weight-loss programs or to those who
have developed poor eating habits that they pick one or two places to consume
their food, usually one indoors and the other
out. Eating outdoors, especially in a natural
setting, can contribute to the relaxation and enjoyment of the meal.
The dining room table is usually the best indoor spot, so that eating is
mainly centered around meals instead of snacks. Restaurant eating involves
another place we may need to include,
but, for a variety of reasons, restaurant eating is best done only occasionally.
People who are overweight tend to snack or eat while watching television or become “prowlers” in their own home, checking the refrigerator and cupboards for treats even after a good-sized meal. Retraining ourself to eat in a limited number of places, those that are in our best health interest, may be difficult, but it is a good habit to develop. Where do you usually eat? Do you like quiet meals, with nice music, or social meals?
Why we eat is definitely an interesting question. We should basically eat to nourish our being—our organs, our tissues, every cell in our body. Food is the main human fuel for life; it provides heat and all of the specific nutrients that we have discussed so far in this book. It helps the body function. For a period of time when we rest or fast, our body can use stored nutrients to run itself, but eventually we need to refuel.
As my associate
Bethany ArgIsle suggests, we have
many more mouths
feed other than just our oral cavity. Our
eyes need to be nourished with color and beauty,
ears with music and the sounds of nature,
nose with the natural fragrances of the world,
our hands and body
with the touch of another, and, of course, our
heart and spirit with the love and friendship
of other living beings. Nourishment comes
in many forms and on many
levels. Many people feed their
bellies but not their souls, and this will not lead us where we are meant to go.
There are, of course, many other reasons why we eat—loneliness, frustration, reward, and punishment to name a few. Some of us use food like a drug to sedate or numb ourselves to our life situation. We should be aware of this aspect of eating.
Most of us at some times eat for social reasons. Sharing food is a custom of friendship. When we are asked to join someone in their creative cuisine or for a drink or snack, it is often taken as a rejection or even an insult if we decline. I have learned through the years, especially since my diet has usually been so different from those around me, to share what I was or wasn’t doing and why, as a means to educate or inspire friends or relatives to other possibilities. But it is often difficult not to succumb to their temptations. If we are planning to go to a social gathering for eating, it would be wise to eat lightly in the hours prior to your arrival; the extra hunger will allow us to really enjoy the meal, though we must be careful not to overeat. We all, on some level, want our friends or family to be like us. Still, individuality is the beauty of our species and one of the most important aspects of nutrition.
How we eat can also make a big difference in our nutrition. Eating slowly and chewing our food well are very important. Starting the digestive process in the mouth saves a lot of wear and tear on the stomach (which does not have teeth) and digestive tract. We can then more easily break down the food and utilize the nutrients contained in it. When we rush through meals, we are doing our body and digestion a disservice. Our emotions influence our digestive functions as much as any system in our body, so getting into a peaceful and receptive state is important to healthy food consumption. Allotting enough time to nourish ourselves is also helpful.
How we get
the food from the plate or bowl to our mouth—what utensils we use—is also
an interesting topic. The choice of the Western world is silverware (or
other metalware). Personally I do not like
to eat with metals. (Forks are sharp and hard,
and if the metal hits the metal fillings in our mouth, well, that’s no
fun.) Those of us who enjoy Eastern influences prefer chopsticks, especially
the wooden (not plastic) variety. My favorite utensils, though, are my
called fingers. My mother and my more “proper” friends have never been very supportive of this habit. Whether with fingers or chopsticks, eating can be a very primal and personal experience. Many foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, adapt easily to hand- or finger-eating. Soup may be drunk, and soft foods such as mashed potatoes or oatmeal may need a little creativity and practice. If we adapt to the individual characteristics of the food and the individual dietary
needs of our body, we should do well.
HABITS TO CHANGE
Overeating often leads to obesity, which is a factor in many other diseases. The overconsumption of food also causes stress to the digestive tract and other organs and can lead to the overworking and weakening of those areas. Congestion or stagnation occurs more easily with overeating.
These problems need to be dealt with at the level from which they arise. If they stem from a nutritional deficiency, so that the body is craving missing nutrients, that should be discovered and corrected. If they are of recent onset, stress may be the source. More often, though, overeating is a long-term and deep-seated problem that needs to be dealt with on both the psychological and nutritional levels.
Moderation in eating is a very important habit to develop. Eating small meals several times a day instead of one or two large meals is probably better for most people. Balancing flavors as well as types of food will help satisfy us and may lessen our desire to eat more.
All forms of undereating, skipping meals, or eating only limited foods will lead to poor nutrition and eventually, to problems from protein, calorie, vitamin, or mineral deficiencies. Other symptoms include lack of energy and subsequent weakness, malnourishment of internal organs, skin problems, and hair loss. Severe weight loss in spite of regular eating may indicate an underlying medical condition and warrants an evaluation by a doctor.
People who undereat are often overly concerned about obesity or have a distorted self-image. This is more common in women and in teenage girls who become very body conscious or are concerned about becoming too shapely. Often, being very thin is similar to being fat in that it makes us less attractive and is a protection against intimacy with others. These issues may come up during sexual development—that is, in adolescence.
Anorexia means “loss of appetite,” and anorexia nervosa means not eating because of “nervous” or psychological problems. The majority of people with that condition are young females who want to be trim, or to be models or ballerinas, which require a long and lean body. This may not be the natural body shape of many people, who literally need to starve themselves to maintain that weight or shape. Bulimia is voluntary vomiting by people who wish to get rid of food just eaten so as not to absorb the calories and add weight. Many “bulimics” and “anorexics” also use laxative pills or take regular enemas to clear out the intestines more rapidly. All of these problems have strong psychological bases and usually require counseling as well as a lot of support from loved ones. Occasionally, these situations become extreme and, as with overeating, can be fatal. Fortunately, these conditions are often short-lived, and those troubled by them see their way clear to begin a new balanced diet and create a newly shaped body and self-image.
It is best to try to eat earlier in the evening, ideally before dark, and not too heavily; to engage in some activity, both mental and physical, after dinner; and to eat very little in the two or three hours before bedtime. When we have not eaten enough through the day, it is wise to eat lightly in the evening also and sleep well to awaken energized for some exercise and a good, hearty breakfast.
There are people who develop what I would call positive restrictions in their diet. We all have certain foods we do not like because of their flavor or past experience with them. Specific allergic foods are clearly best avoided. Restricting foods such as meats, milk, or chemical-containing foods may be based on certain philosophical or health choices. However, being too rigid in our diet is usually not in our best interest.
It is difficult to get people to change when they do not wish to, especially in regard to what they eat. They already know that they won’t like it before they even try. Sometimes, consulting with a nutritionist and doing a diet analysis by evaluation or computer can show people the excess or lack of nutrients in their diet, and this may educate and influence them to make some changes.
Ideally, we should eat a variety of foods, from all the groups that I have discussed previously, unless there is a particular sensitivity to certain ones. This gives us the opportunity to absorb the nutrients that nature and our world provide. Eating them in moderation while introducing new ones daily is a healthful path to follow.
Using hunger as a guide, integrated with a regular eating plan, we create our basic diet. If we are overweight, we need to plan our meals to include less food; if underweight, we will include more food and calories and then maintain a balanced diet when we are at a better weight.
We can learn to deal with stress, sadness, frustration, depression, and so on through self-development techniques, through counseling, or through mental affirmations and visualization, all good ways to clear these problems—or at least not let them take hold of us and run our lives. There are very few issues that are important enough to take precedence over our health. And not using food to cover up these important feelings, thoughts, and issues is crucial to maintaining our health.
LIQUIDS AND EATING:
Water is generally
our best beverage, and consuming about eight to ten glasses a day (most
of us will need less when we consume a higher amount of fruits and vegetables),
is very helpful for weight loss and keeping the body functioning. It is
best to drink two or three glasses first thing in the morning, several
glasses between meals, and then a couple of glasses about 30–60 minutes
before dinner to reduce the appetite a bit. Sweetened soda pops should
be avoided. Milk is a
food (to be used sparingly by adults), not a beverage to be drunk with meals. Many people feel that a bit of alcohol before a meal stimulates the appetite and thedigestion of food. Coffee or tea following a meal is enjoyed by many people, and is probably not too detrimental when done occasionally. Overall, it is wise to be aware of needs and drink when thirsty, and it is best to drink only between meals, giving our digestive tract the best shot at getting those nutrients ready for our cells.
ADDITIONAL HABITS TO CULTIVATE:
around eating is a good habit to develop. This is part of preparation and
digestion. After a fair-sized meal, it is important to take some time to
let digestion begin. After about an hour, we can begin some light activity.
A walk is ideal. However, most of us cannot afford the luxury of taking
this time around meals. When I cannot, I try to follow the Warrior’s Diet
(see Chapter 9) of frequent small snacks, through the day, until I can
take more time to prepare and eat a
proper meal. Exercise is very important to keeping our body healthy and to utilize the nutrients that we consume. I do not recommend exercising for at least an hour, or longer, after eating. It is usually several hours after a meal before my body feels right doing any vigorous activity. Often, I exercise first and use eating as a reward for doing the physical activity that I feel is needed. Early in the day before breakfast, and after work before dinner, are the two best times for exercising.
For a system
that does not get too acidic, congested, or mucusy, the diet should contain
about 70 percent alkaline foods. This means the type of diet that I have
been talking about throughout this book—one that focuses on fruits and
vegetables, with some whole grains, more sprouts, and smaller amounts of
animal foods and refined treats. This will keep our system functioning
optimally, provided we get the balance of vitamins and minerals we need,
as well as the essential fatty
acids and amino acids to perform the required fat and protein functions.
Fruits are eaten alone, as they are more easily digested than other foods. We eat lots of vegetables and combine them with either starch or protein foods—protein foods, such as meats and milk products, are not eaten with starches, such as potatoes and breads. So meat and potatoes are out, as are cheese sandwiches. The reason for this is that, for best digestion, proteins require an acid digestive medium and starches an alkaline one. When eaten together, they interfere with each other’s utilization, so that digestion takes longer and is inefficient.
Fruits and simple sugars are not eaten along with or after other foods, because doing so would cause them to be delayed in the stomach juices and begin a fermentation process, allowing gas to go through the intestines. Milk is not drunk as a beverage but used as a food. The fruits of the melon family are eaten alone, not even with other fruits.
Fruit is usually
eaten in the morning or several hours after other foods. Meals are simpler
than is usual in the American culture, consisting of lots of vegetables
with either a protein food, such as dairy products, eggs, or meats, or
a starch food, such as grains, pasta, or potatoes. This type of diet, I
believe, generates less stress on the intestinal tract and creates overall
better health, both immediately and on a long-range basis. In Fit for Life,
the authors stress the principles of food
combining and the need for a more alkaline diet in their program. I feel that it can be a healthy one provided we balance our diet properly and obtain all of our necessary nutrients.
Food allergy is fairly common and can be short- or long-lived. Some people who are allergic to certain foods as children may remain allergic to them for most of their lives, while for others, sensitivities to certain foods may come and go.
of food allergy is somewhat complex and still mostly theoretical. It involves
both our cellular system and our immune system. Keeping stress to a minimum,
reducing incidence of infections and colds, and maintaining basic health
and digestive tract ecology all seem to minimize food reactions. If we
do haveproblems with certain foods or wish to prevent such problems, food
rotation is a good idea. The theory is that it takes about four days for
the body to entirely
process a food and clear it from our system. Thus, each food in the diet is consumed only in one day out of every four, so as to minimize the potential allergic stimulus of each food. Following this program also allows us to isolate foods more easily should we have any reactions. It is not a simple process, but it can be very helpful, and it is probably a good habit to develop. It provides us with a variety of foods and brings a certain discipline to our diet, which is positive practice
for developing other useful habits.*
Dr. Haas has been devoted to healing through
the process of detoxification and cleansing,
and has seen thousands of patients transform their health. He is the author
of three previous Celestial Arts titles, Staying Healthy with
the Seasons (1981), a classic health text in its 20th printing, Staying Healthy with Nutrition (1992), a popular nutritional
resource for practi tioners and lay people, and A Diet for All Seasons (1995), a simple eating plan for the entire year.
Dr. Haas directs the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California.
way to healing
Spring Cleaning isn't just for houses - it can apply to our bodies, too.
by Elson M.
(Excerpted from the author's book, "The Detox Diet.")
As a physician, I am fascinated by the complexity, subtlety, and diversity of individual health habits - the combinations of the various substances we imbibe and ingest. The spectrum of these substances includes the components of our diet (foods, drinks, chemicals), supplements (nutrients, herbs, homeopathics), drugs (prescription, over-the-counter and recreational), and pollutants (herbicides, pesticides, hydrocarbons, and petrochemicals).
How do we develop our preferences? When do our preferences become needs? Why do our needs become addictions? Why do some of us become addicted while others can stop on their own? Our personality, upbringing, and our environment influence our personal choice of substances. In exploring these concerns about abuse and the way it affects our health, I have developed a specific orientation and program for initial healing and detoxification. This process has evolved over my twenty-five years as a naturally-based general health practitioner.
My overall understanding of symptoms and disease integrates both Western linear thinking and naturopathic approaches to health and illness. Problems with the body and mind often arise from either deficiency (when we are not acquiring sufficient nutrients to meet our bodily needs) and/or congestion (when our intake is excessive). Congestion involves both reduced eliminative function and an over consumption of food or substances, such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, refined sugar, and chemicals.
People who are deficient may experience problems such as fatigue, coldness, hair loss, or dry skin. They need to be nourished with wholesome foods that aid healing. However, congestive problems are more common in Western, industrialized countries. Many of our acute and chronic diseases result from clogged tissues, suffocated cells, and subsequent loss of vital energy. Frequent colds and flus, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and allergies are all consequences of congestive disorders. These medical problems may be prevented or treated through a process of cleansing, fasting, and detoxification. These represent different degrees of a process which reduces toxin intake and enhances toxin elimination.
So many problems in Western society come from the excessive use of food and drugs. Abuses and addictions touch almost every person's life. I realize that the development of these habits is multi-faceted and as much a part of our social and cultural upbringing as they are our responses to dealing with a stressful family, school, work, and society at large.
Don't feel bad, weak, or inferior if any of these potentially destructive habits applies to you. I know the struggle between light and dark - between picking up that cup of coffee or glass of wine or that pack of cigarettes and the desire to stop or to never have started. I also know that it is an incredible challenge to change anything - particularly to clear any habit/abuse/addiction that we have had years to get used to and rely upon.
But I have seen that it can be donewith greater attentiveness to ourselves; with a gathering of our willpower, and with the support of our loved ones. And I have also seen that it is very difficult without a willingness to deal openly with emotions and other adversaries that may block our way toward healing.
The first principle for improving your health is to eliminate destructive habits. Even if you cannot fathom at this time doing without your substances completely, at least consider an "abuse break." Try a day or week without caffeine, alcohol, or sugar, replacing them with a new habit drinking water, walking, or swimming, for example.
All addictions are ultimately self-destructive (some can hurt others as well, such as alcohol and smoking). When you change that dynamic to self care through both your internal healing process as well as with the lifestyle and nutritional guidelines you will begin to serve your body and life toward its highest potential. As you develop more nurturing and supportive habits, good food, exercising regularly, learning to cope with stress, and developing motivating attitudes I can promise you will experience greater vitality, more positive relationships, and overall improved health.
In my book, "The Detox Diet," I have written specific programs for dealing with sugar, nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine, and chemicals (drugs) - what I call SNACCs. In each program, I discuss the physiologic actions and reactions involved, the hazards and ill effects of each substance, and methods for handling and clearing these adverse habits.
The beginning of the process for healing our abuses requires motivation from within to change unwanted habits. This often requires us to address the underlying emotions that may perpetuate the problem. Then we must create a workable plan and gather our will power to begin. The Detox Diet alkalinizes the body, helps us feel better quickly, and lessens feelings of withdrawal. Water, exercise, and vitamin and mineral supplements also support the detoxification process.
I work with three primary tenets of naturopathy, adapted from Jim Sharp's book, Basic Principles of Total Health-Harmonious Integration of Body, Mind and Spirit:
cause of disease is the accumulation of unnecessary wastes that are not
properly eliminated, resulting in poisonretention
2.Your body is designed to support optimal function. Listen to its signals.
3.Given the proper environment, your body has the power to heal itself and return to its normal healthy state.
I believe that patients and physicians alike should be oriented to live and practice with a common-sense approach that first looks at lifestyle as a place to promote rejuvenation, then to natural therapies, and finally to pharmaceutical drugs and surgery. Lifestyle factors include diet, exercise, stress management, and attitudes. Natural therapies include supplements, herbs, homeopathics, and hands-on healing such as massage, osteopathy, and chiropractic. Pharmaceutical drugs or surgery are appropriate when a situation is acute or severe, or if natural therapies are not working.
Put simply, the key to maintaining metabolic balance is to maximize nutrition and to eliminate toxins. There are also entire programs for detoxification available, such as Dr. Robert Gray's Colon Cleansing program (which includes a book and special supplements) found mainly in health food stores. For a complete body and colon cleansing program, I really like Nature's Pure Body Program available through their toll-free number (800) 952-7873.
My goal is to place your health and that of your family back into your own hands. In fact, so much of your health is up to you. Take the initiative to do what you can to be vital and healthy. It is really worth it!
CHAPEL HILL, N.C., June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- According to an NIH sponsored
study of 16,000 men and women published
in the American Journal of Epidemiology last week, diets rich in anti-oxidants correlate with improved lung function and protect
against pollutants. Leading author of this study and head researcher for BioSignia Inc., Guizhou Hu, PhD, will use the data
from the study (Third National Health and Nutrition Survey) to create a disease forecasting tool focused on COPD conditions
such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. BioSignia has completed the development of profiling tools to predict stroke, type
II diabetes, coronary heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. BioSignia offers its
technology, via an Internet based program called "Know Your Numbers," to healthcare professionals to help identify patients
who are at high risk for disease, but are not yet sick, so they can subsequently plan appropriate preventive measures. The
tool's core synthesis technology combines a range of biomarkers with theworld's leading medical research to provide the user
with a print-out of a disease risk profile that is personalized and evidence-based. "Another advantage the BioSignia's patented synthesis technology offers clients is its ability to incorporate new medical research and genetic coding findings as they become available -- resulting in a disease risk profiling tool that remains evergreen in a field where potentially life-changing discoveries
are made daily," BioSignia Chief Executive Officer Tim Smith said. BioSignia was co-founded in 1993 by T. Nelson Campbell, currently serving as Chairman, and his father Dr. T. Colin Campbell, former director of the China-Oxford Cornell Diet, Lifestyle,
and Mortality Project and the sole science advisor in the development of the World Cancer Research Fund. The mission of
BioSignia is to develop scientific computing technologies for the healthcare community to predict and track disease, reduce
medical expenses, and prevent or delay disease onset. To learn more about BioSignia Inc. visit the Website at http://www.BioSignia.com .
BioSignia works closely with members of its highly-esteemed Scientific Advisory Board to ensure the quality of its technology. Members include:
* Chairman Dr. William Castelli, longtime Director of the NIH Framingham Heart Study
* Dr. Elio Riboli, M.S., Sc.M., MPH, Director, Unit of Nutrition and Cancer at the International Agency on Cancer
* Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. MD, former President, Cleveland Clinic Medical Staff and Faculty and director of a 12-year
longitudinal study on the reversal of coronary heart disease.
* Charles E. McCulloch Ph.D., Chairman of the Department of Statistical Science, Cornell University and Associate Editor
of the Journal of the American Statistical Association
* John Taylor, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology Section at the National Institutes of
Environmental Health Services.
SOURCE BioSignia, Inc.
Web Site: http://www.BioSignia.com
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last edited on 8-6-2000