Healthy Diet – THE NO-DIET DIEThealthy diet
Guide to Eating Better
by Lynn Hinderliter CN, LDN

The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs concluded in the 1978 report Diet and Killer Diseases: “The average American diet is responsible for the development of chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, stroke, etc.” healthy diet

As long ago as the ’30s, Dr. Francis M. Pottenger’s nutritional studies showed that a regular diet of cooked or canned foods caused the development of chronic degenerative diseases, reproductive problems, less healthy offspring and premature mortality in our pets. healthy diet

Not too much has changed! healthy diet

  • The World Health Organization warned in 2004 of the connection between processed foods and degenerative health problems. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2814253.stm
  • The Journal of the American medical Association published an article acknowledging the connection in 2002. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/410677?src=search

And another thought-provoking squib:

J. Willis Hurst, MD

[Medscape Cardiology, 2001. © 2001 Medscape, Inc.]

I am hearing bits and pieces of talk questioning the value of a low-fat diet in the prevention of atherosclerosis. Once again there are those who point out that many individuals on a low-fat diet gain weight (and become obese) by eating more carbohydrates. healthy diet

Some scientists point out that atherosclerosis is less common in countries where people do not decrease their dietary fat — but eat more vegetables — than it is in countries where people have decreased the amount of fat in their diet but eat more carbohydrates and fewer vegetables. healthy diet

Thus far, the question that has been raised is, How valuable is a low-fat diet for the reduction of atherosclerosis? But perhaps the question should be posed another way: How harmful is it not to eat a large quantity of vegetables and fruit daily? (Lynn: my emphasis) healthy diet

Change can happen, however – and some “change” is thousands of years old. healthy diet

Over 40 years ago a researcher named Ancel Keys, who died at the age of 100, did his famous Seven Countries Study (see RESOURCES at right)  He found that villagers on the Greek island of Crete had 90 % less heart disease than Americans. In addition, obesity was rare. Their diet, unchanged for hundreds of years, consisted of olive oil, beans, nuts, vegetables,  fruits, and small servings of cheese. They ate fish once a week, and small amounts of meat about twice a month. But their diet was not particularly low in fat: 40% of their calories came from olive oil. healthy diet

From this study come the following diet recommendations healthy diet

Consider increasing raw foods in your diet to offset the damaging effect of a diet that consists mostly of cooked foods – http://ahha.org/articles/appleton2.htm. Enzymes are the difference between raw and cooked foods. Enzymes are powerful biochemical catalysts. They speed burning or building reactions in the body according to need, but enzymes are destroyed by temperatures as low as 105 degrees, the equivalent of light steaming. While our body can manufacture enzymes, according to Dr. Edward Howell in his book Enzyme Nutrition: “the more you use your enzyme potential, the faster it is going to run out.” Only raw food has functional “live” enzymes, so plan to add more raw foods to your diet, particularly in the warmer months of the year. healthy diet

Keep reading for suggestions on how to do this! healthy diet

I have eliminated  Canola oil from my kitchen.  This is because the rapeseed oil it is made from is actually a genetically engineered crop, and there are some questions about the health effects of Canola ( or rather, the erucic acid it contains).  For an extensive report on what I am talking about, see RESOURCES.  An alternative I like, and am using increasingly, is the Macadamia Nut Oil:  it is expensive at the moment, but Oh! so good.  See RESOURCES for more info and to order. Olive oil is the other choice, and as more and more research is done on it, including it in your diet becomes more and more of a no-brainer.  Studies have found for example, that Extra Virgin olive oil (the good stuff) contains an ibuprofen-like molecule called oleocanthal,  which may have many of the benefits of that compound without the risk. healthy diet

It is finally being generally accepted  that high cholesterol levels may be related to a fatty acid deficiency or imbalance, and that taking moderate amounts of “good fats” helps lower cholesterol.  The oils usually mentioned are flax, olive and fish oil, but it looks as though we need to add macadamia nut oil to the list: healthy diet

 Macadamia Nuts Lower Cholesterol in Men…Macadamia nut consumption may help reduce cholesterol levels in men, according to a study published in a recent Journal of Nutrition (2003, vol.133:1060-1063). In the study, 17 men with high cholesterol incorporated macadamia nuts into their diets for four weeks. The amount of nuts eaten was between 1.5 and three ounces per day, which equaled roughly 15 percent of the men’s total daily calories. Total cholesterol levels decreased by three percent and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was 5.3 percent lower by the end of the trial than at the beginning. Researchers also observed that high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol rose eight percent. healthy diet

Coconut oil has gone from being perceived as unhealthy to having its virtues recognized.  Here is more information about its benefits at http://www.gardenoflife.com/detail_coconut_oil.shtml, which include a positive effect on cholesterol levels. healthy diet

This is my list of super-foods, some of which should be on your menu every day:

yoghurt or kefir
broccoli
blueberries
beans and lentils
tomatoes
parsley
oats
spinach
carrots
salmon
turkey
onions
pears or apples
walnuts
green tea
eggs (free range)
garlic
olive/macadamia/coconut oil

I do not recommend replacing olive oil entirely with Macadamia nut Oil: I use it when a milder oil is needed.  I say this because there are substances in the olive oil which may protect our health in ways previously unimagined.  For example, Dr. Menendez, doing research at Northwestern University Scholl of medicine (Chisago) has discovered that Oleic Acid, one of the main ingredients in olive oil, actually seems to suppress HER-2/neu, the most active oncogene in breast cancer (it is found in more than one fifth of breast cancer patients, and associated with the most aggressive tumors.) healthy diet

During the summer months, when vegetables stun us with their profusion and color, I make use of my blender for a very delicious and European purpose: cold soups.

The principle is simple:

  • start with good stock, whether vegetable or chicken, well chilled. Water at a pinch!
  • add your chopped ingredients, having chosen the main flavor.  Favorites are cucumber, avocado or tomato.
  • decide whether your soup needs thickening.  Choose tahini, almond butter, peanut butter, chickpeas or other cold cooked pulses, yoghurt, cream
  • choose your fresh herbs – parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, a little cayenne
  • add chopped garlic
  • add seasonings
  • add lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
  • add a tablespoon of “friendly fat” – olive or macadamia oil
  • add some ice
  • blend and serve

You will find a selection of more precise recipes for many more cold soups at http://allrecipes.com/advice/coll/all/articles/61P1.asp healthy diet

And voila! You have delighted your palate with a tasty dish that includes raw foods with their accompanying enzymes, nutrients galore, phytochemicals beyond number – and you haven’t even heated up your kitchen. healthy diet

Obviously, a few caveats need to be attached to this for people with specific health problems – but for the many of you who ask me what I eat and whether I am a vegetarian – this is your answer, in detail. It is a healthy diet, a high fiber,  energy-producing, weight maintaining diet, and it tastes good. Where possible, buy organic foods, add a good selection of supplements, both a daily choice of necessities like a multi and calcium,( who has time to eat perfectly every day!) and, where indicated, specific nutrients selected with your particular situation in mind, and living like this should positively support all the systems of your body for many years of healthy living. healthy diet

I would add that I find certain of Dr. d’Adamo’s theories spot on: people with blood type O do need to increase  the balance of protein,  they are the ones who benefit most spectacularly from the limiting of carbohydrates. There can be  no doubt that everyone is metabolically unique:  perfectly healthy foods for one individual can provoke reactions in another.  There is a new book on this subject that I recommend highly, by Wolcott and Fahey, which enables you to identify your type, and modify the balance of your diet to a template that suits you.  Go to http://www.mercola.com/forms/mtt_table.htm for an example of the lists they use. 

Some of my clients have found that, while limiting carbohydrates to the point where they lose weight proved very difficult, separating protein from carbohydrates ( in other words, not eating them at the same meal) proved not only easier to do, but extremely effective at promoting weight loss.  These were, of course, complex carbs, not just sugar and white flour!! healthy diet

For many suffering from many years of faulty diet, consider digestive enzymes and a detoxification/cleansing  program.

I append a recent very interesting report: healthy diet

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Nov 22 – Diets low in saturated fat and high in (complex) carbohydrates and fiber increase sensitivity to insulin and lower the risk of coronary heart disease, thus offering the best health benefits, according to a multicenter group of researchers. High-fat diets promote short-term weight loss, they add, but increase the risk of atherosclerosis progression. healthy diet

Dr. James W. Anderson, of the VA Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, and colleagues compared several popular weight-loss diets and examined their potential long-term effects. Eight diets, including Atkins, Protein Power, Sugar Busters, Zone, ADA Exchange, High-Fiber Fitness, Pritikin, and Ornish, were “non-clinically analyzed by means of a computer to predict their relative benefits/potential harm.” healthy diet

The researchers developed a summary description, menu plan, and recommended snacks for each diet, according to their report in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The diets were then compared using computer software to determine the nutrient composition and calculate Food Pyramid Scores. Coronary heart disease risk factors were estimated by applying several formulas. healthy diet

“The Atkins and Protein Power diets are very high in total and saturated fat compared to current dietary guidelines,” the authors write. They add that significant increases in serum cholesterol and risk of coronary heart disease may result from the long-term use of these diets. healthy diet

The team found that diets that restrict sugar intake, such as the Sugar Busters and Zone diets, would lower serum cholesterol levels and would probably reduce the risk for coronary heart disease. healthy diet

“The healthiest diets for weight loss, weight maintenance, and general health maintenance are ones that are rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grain cereals and breads,” Dr. Anderson commented to Reuters Health. “Healthy eating at the bottom of the food guide pyramid plus exercise are the healthiest ways to lose weight.”

J Am Coll Nutr 2000;19:578-590. 

As you can see, I am not an advocate of this diet versus that diet, but of commonsense and self-control. 

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2005, vol. 293, pp.43–53) came to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter which diet you follow, if you become health conscious and improve your food choices, you WILL loose weight.  healthy diet

The study followed participants assigned to 1 of the 4 currently popular diets, Ornish, Atkins, Zone and Weight Watchers. 

Dr. Robert Griffith MD, commenting on the study said ” This study shows that there is little difference between four different types of diet – low-carb, balanced carb-protein-fat, low-calorie, and low-fat. All four had a high (over 50%) drop-out rate, and produced only moderate weight loss and cardiac risk reduction. healthy diet

It’s obvious that sticking with a diet will achieve a better result in both weight reduction and lessened cardiac risk factors. No single diet was better than another in these respects, or more effective than another. So, forget the latest fad diet. Instead of spending time and money trying to determine which diet is the right one, you should start one that you believe you can stick to – and then stick to it!

I realize that there are individuals for whom this is not enough, and they require specialized treatment.  What I offer here is a guide to healthy eating which should, if followed, ensure a healthy weight, a healthy heart and a healthy lifestyle.

Bon Appetit!

The Vitamin Lady®

Find the recommended supplements here

QUICK LINKSA Vegetarian Diet – http://www.veggie123.comBest and Closest Organic Food – http://www.localharvest.org/The Vitamin Lady’s yogurt recipe 

Veggie Venture – a charming blog with daily recipes that are easy, quick and tasty –

http://aveggieventuresrecipebox.blogspot.com/2005/03/alphabet-of-vegetables_6295.htmlRaw Food recipes –

http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/recipes.htmlRecipes for cold soups –

http://allrecipes.com/advice/coll/all/articles/61P1.aspBest and Worst Fish to eat – http://www.oceansalive.org/eat.cfm?subnav=bestandworstFor more information about another fermented food  excellent for health  KEFIR,

http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefir-faq.html

Bring your sense of humor – this gentleman is an original!

What did you eat today? Handy Nutrition Calculator – http://www.naturesplus.com/nutritionCalculator/

A new and FREE Government resource that analyzes the content of your food – http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin/nut_search.pl
Find out calorie, fat, fiber etc. content of the food you eat.

Ancel Keys’ Seven Countries Study. http://www.epi.umn.edu/about/7countries/index.shtm

Related articles you may find interesting:

 

The Sustainable Table’s EAT WELL guide – http://www.eatwellguide.org/