Many people are confused with what foods are good for them. I recently had a client who told that she was researching and found out so much information about all times of diets that she ended confused. And I understand her because there is so much information about food that people ended eating the diet of the “moment.” However, what I have learned is that a healthy diet includes the calories needed by the body and eating the necessary nutrients that we can acquire by eating vegetables, fruits, grains and limited meats, everything should be in the most natural stage, and ultra-processed foods should be avoid. A sedentary lifestyle should be changes to an active lifestyle. An active lifestyle includes, at least, one hour of exercise per day. However, it is very easy to say, but we humans like to make things more complex than they are.
According to America Council on Exercise, one of the largest and most trusted organizations in this field, “Overweight involves a complex interaction of many factors involving psychological, environmental, evolutionary, biological and genetic causes.” After 4 years of working with different people, I found out that this statement is true. People who are overweight are affected by several of these factors. This is the reason why it is not so simple to eat right and exercise and get the healthy body desired. Here is an example, a person who is concentrating at work (environmental) and stress (psychological), stops and eats at a fast food restaurant (evolutionary and biological) comes tired to home (psychological) and starts watching television (evolutionary and environmental) not exercising the body at all. Later, this person passed the lifestyle and, therefore, a predisposition to his or hers offspring to become overweight (genetic). And the chain starts over again.
Each single area of this overweight epidemic should be approached in order to optimize a weight loss program. Here I will address some of the environmental factors that many of us don’t have the knowledge or we have not taken it seriously.
Our society is used to eating high density foods such as all the junk foods. Simply, if the goal is to lose weight, these foods are not going to help. According to a study, “The main cause of obesity is an increase in consumption of energy-dense foods combined with a sedentary lifestyle” (Michelle Jorna). Vegetables and fruits are better choices. Evidence shows that having a high intake of fruits and vegetables is protective against obesity (Michelle Jorna). The reason is simple since fruits and vegetables are high in water and ﬁber content, low in calories and energy density, and nutrient rich. They are an important part of a healthy diet and have the potential to reduce long-term risk for obesity and unhealthy weight gain if substituted for energy-dense nutrient-poor foods (eg, foods high in fat, added sugars, and calories) (Laura K. Kann). It is clear that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is the key to beat the overweight epidemic.
Diet is very important for weight loss. It is the base of any healthy weight loss approach. Without a good diet, mostly likely people are predicted to fail for a long term weight loss. But with all types of information that people are getting from many resources, they are getting more confused than knowledgeable. Michael Pollan, an American author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, advises not to buy foods that are advertised. The reason is for industrialized food companies are only trying to sell their product. Industrialized food may have added sugar, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, genetic modified products or many other health threating products that may contributing to obesity. Once the problem has been discovered with industrialized foods, corporations find ways to give wrong information to the public, so the public will ending buying the food yet advertised. This can be a contribution to the variety of information given to the public. However, there are many organizations that are willing to help the community. Here is a list of products that should be avoided:
Good chance it contains Genetic Modified Organism:
Vitamins : E, A, C, B2, B6, B12, D, K
Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash
Animal products such as milk, meat, eggs, honey, etc. because of contamination in feed.
Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”)
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
High fructose corn syrup
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils
White (refined) flour
White (refined) sugar
Table salt (sodium chloride)
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Also, I’m including a diet which it reflex an idea about a healthy diet.
The WELL (weight loss, exercise, lower blood pressure and longevity) diet was based on the DASH diet4 and had an additional focus of weight loss. Subjects were required to consume at least four serves of vegetables (one serving = 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables, one cup of raw leafy vegetables or salad, or one medium potato), at least four serves of fruit (one serving = one medium piece of fruit (100 g), 1/2 cup of chopped fresh fruit or 200 mL fruit juice), at least three serves of dairy (one serving = one glass of milk (200 mL), one tub of yoghurt (200 mL) or two slices of cheese (40 g) ) and a maximum of four serves (four teaspoons) of fats (mono or polyunsaturated only) per day. They were also required to consume four serves of unsalted nuts (one serving = 1/3 cup) and seeds (one serving = 1/4 cup), at least three serves of ﬁsh (one serving = 120 g cooked), one serve of legumes (one serving = one cup cooked) and a maximum of two serves of red meat (one serving = 90 g cooked) per week. Subjects could freely consume rice, pasta, wholegrain breads and lower-salt cereals as long as they were consuming the required amounts of the other food groups (Michelle Jorna).
People who care about their health and weight are taking new alternative to get the write information and they started making changes in their lives. There is a good amount of good information from credible sources. Always pay attention where the information is coming from. Remember that natural food will always be the best choice for your health.
Michelle Jorna, et al. “Dietary Approaches For Weight Loss With Increased Intakes Of Fruit, Vegetables And Dairy Products.” Nutrition & Dietetics 65.2 (2008): 115-120. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Mar. 2013.
Laura K. Kann, et al. “Weight Management And Fruit And Vegetable Intake Among US High School Students.” Journal Of School Health 78.8 (2008): 417-424. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Mar. 2013.