Sunday, March 13, 2011

Simple Nutrition Rules

Exercise is important to a healthy life but so is good nutrition. Too many times people decide to join a gym or start working out to get in shape but fail to improve their nutrition.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know you can't out-train a bad diet.

Unfortunately, we're bombarded with cheap fast food and "convenience" foods. The more packaged foods you eat, the easier it is to pile on excess pounds.

In his book, "The End of Overeating", David Kessler, M.D., former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner shows how the food industry has made it a priority to create high-calorie foods with the most addictive possible combination of intense flavor and "mouthfeel".

As Caroline Apovian, M.D., director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center points out, "A century ago, to consume 400 calories, you had to go buy the meat, vegetables, and rice, and come home and cook it. Now you can consume the same amount of calories just by downing a bag of Cheetos."

And it's not just calories. How many chemicals are we consuming so that foods can remain edible for months or even years? Does anybody think that's good for us?

So how do you go about improving your nutrition?

Michael Pollan, an award winning food and agriculture writer, sums up his nutrition advice in 7 words: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

"Edible food-like substance"
When Pollan says eat food, he means real food such as vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grains, and some meat (if you so desire). He has labeled much of what passes for food nowadays as "edible food-like substances."

If all this seems overwhelming, start with small changes. Increase the number of fresh vegetables and fruits you eat daily. Choose only packaged foods that contain 5 or fewer ingredients. Limit snacks to fresh fruit or raw nuts.


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