The greatest threat to your health today is likely a result of what you are eating. Food is more than a source of energy: it is a crucial factor in mental and physical wellbeing. Today, the leading killers in the United States are heart attacks, strokes and cancer. It is estimated that at least 90% of first heart attacks are preventable. The American Cancer Society reports that diet alone is responsible for at least one-third of all cancers. A U.S. Surgeon General report concluded, “Imbalances or excesses of fats are involved in 70% or more of all US deaths.”Take our quiz to determine how much you know about nutrition and healthy eating habits.
True or False
1 - “95% fat-free” means only 5% of the calories come from fat. 2- Carbohydrates are bad and cause weight gain. 3 - Items bought in health food stores are better for me. 4 - Honey is a healthier sweetener than white sugar. 5 – It’s not possible to consume too much protein. If you said “false” to all of these statements, then you Aced the quiz! 1 – “95% fat-free” means that 5% of the total weight of the product is from fat. So the calories from fat can range from 30%-60%. For instance, an advertisement says that a common processed meat product is 95% fat free. The label says that each slice of meat contains 100 calories and 6 grams of fat. Each gram of fat contains 9 calories, so 54 of the 100 calories are from fat or, in other words, 54% of the calories are from fat. 2 – The body actually converts carbohyrdates into energy, so eliminating carbohydrate consumption can lead to lethargy. Further, eating carbohydrates in moderation does not directly cause weight gain. 3 – Just because it’s from Whole Foods doesn’t mean that it’s healthy for you. Certain terms like “all natural’ have absolutely no legal meaning. Food producers can put this label on just about anything. 4 – It is a commonly held belief that honey is a healthy alternative to sugar, but in fact, they are essentially chemically indistinguishable. They contain almost equal amounts of fructose and glucose and the body cannot distinguish between the two. Raw honey is better than both pasteurized honey and refined sugar. Studies have shown that raw honey enhances your body’s ability to process glucose and alleviates allergies. Of course, removing sweeteners from your diet is optimal but of all the sweeteners available, raw honey is the healthiest choice. 5 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Recommended Daily Allowance of protein is 0.7 grams per kilogram bodyweight for adults older than 19 years of age. This means 47 grams of protein per day is enough for the average 130-pound female. A man that weighs 180 pounds needs just 57 grams of protein a day. Many people get 20-30% of their calories from protein, which, on a 1,800-calorie diet, equals 90 to 135 grams of protein. Imagine what this means for diets of more than 1,800 calories per day! Studies have correlated excess protein to increased risk for chronic disease and it is a well-established fact in the medical community that excess protein strains the kidneys.
General Nutrition Tips •
Establish your diet on whole, minimally processed foods • Go Organic whenever possible • Consume raw, steamed, or stir-fried food • Graze: eat regularly throughout the day (5-6 meals) • Eat before you get hungry • Eat slowly so your brain can catch up to your stomach and communicate when your body has eaten enough • Choose seasonal, local produce • Think “healthy” at the grocery store: shop along the store perimeter • Choose “extra virgin” olive oil; cook with coconut oil only. • Use discretion when buying “fat-free” products - they are usually loaded with sugars • Limit caffeine to 2 cups per day • Eat 25-50 grams of fiber per day • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating • Go with vinegar based salad dressings to reduce the amount of E. coli bacteria colonies on vegetables. • Select baked over fried • Cook at low temperatures • Add lemon to your water instead of drinking juice • Snack on Seeds