In these times, when people in the medical profession give advice on staying healthy, the dominant mantra is “diet and exercise.” We are constantly hearing about diet issues in the news regarding diet sodas, E. Coli contamination of foods, and organic vs. non-organic foods. There is a lot of truth but there is also a lot of confusion and misinformation. When you are dealing with things you actually put in your mouth, it is best to know the facts.
When it comes to your diet, what should you be concerned with? I have listed what I think are the most important concerns:
1. Macro-nutrients: We need to know how much carbohydrate, fat, and protein we need to have a perfect balance so that we can build muscle or at least not lose muscle. We need enough of the proper carbohydrates to provide energy, and we need certain fats that are essential in the many chemical processes in our bodies.
2. Micro-nutrients such at vitamins and minerals that are also required for the chemical processes our bodies require. It is important to know which are essential in these processes. Without certain chemicals, the process won’t work, and injury or death can result. Probably most people are familiar of the need for iron used to create hemoglobin that, in turn, is needed to carry oxygen to our cells. Without the proper amount of iron, we can become anemic with not enough oxygen going to our cells with us becoming tired and exhausted or worse. On the other hand, too much iron can cause liver disease, heart disease, and many other diseases.
3. Anti-oxidants are needed to neutralize free radicals, discussed in the page on Supplementation. Anti-oxidants are easy to come by and do an amazing job of keeping us healthy with less of a propensity for disease.
4. Pollution of my kinds in food can cause many serious problems. This pollution can be in the form of poisons such as pesticides, other poisons such as heavy metals that are dumped in rivers, anti-biotics force-fed on feedlots, and contaminants such as e.coli.
5. Normal foods that can be dangerous in excess.
6. Normal foods that are just plain dangerous.
7. Substances that look like food but aren’t (think mushrooms and toadstools).
8. What supplementation may you need to approach optimum health?
Being a veg-head, I’ve been able to avoid the majority of the contamination since a lot of it has to do with beef (e, coli) and chicken (salmonella). But there have been strawberries and lettuce that have also been contaminated with e. coli. I wasn’t totally immune from the danger: Ice cream and cheese pizza! There are problems I discovered with these other than the extremely high calories in these products. I have since become a vegan but I will try to be as objective as possible since there are some meats that are always on the list of foods that are toxic for your health and there are others that are just bad for you. I will provide references for you so you can form your own decisions. But I will be completely truthful. I am doing this research for myself and all vegetarians and vegans also. You will note when I find something that is difficult to find in the vegetarian or vegan diet. There are a handful of supplements I must take to get everything I need.
In this page and associated linked pages, I will cover
- Basic Nutritional Needs (what you need and what you should avoid)
- How to Diet (counting calorie intake and usage)
- Supplementation (whether to take supplements or not. Which are phony and which are not).
- Facts and Myths (sometimes difficult to find the facts)
- Healthy Recipes (and some not-so-healthy but good for a treat)
- Wild Grub (I can’t help the play on my name. This will include foraging recipes)
Remember that diet goes hand-in-hand with exercise. Just diet or exercise alone doesn’t do the trick of having a healthy body. We need to pay attention to both.