Find a Friend in Food

We are what we eat.  The age old adage is slightly overused, but the truth in it is undeniable.  Our diet shapes who we are, it defines where we come from and who we are striving to be.  Food is a touchy subject for many people;  asking people to change their diet often results in a great deal of resistance and difficulty.  Often times food is a source of comfort for people, and taking certain items away creates a feeling of instability and sadness.  However, it is possible to change.  One of the major elements that is lacking in our society is dietary education.  Many people simply do not know how to eat in a healthy manner, and as a result develop behaviors that are detrimental to their health.  Sometimes all it takes is a change in diet for as little as 2 weeks for people to feel the positive difference in their energy and the resulting improvement in their lives.

For many years, we as a society were taught that the picture below was the definition of a healthy diet:


Notice the base of the pyramid is made up of breads, starches, grains (6-11 servings), and the very top is made up of fats and oils that we are told to use sparingly.   The common thread was that fats are bad for you, carbohydrates are not.  How do you think this is being reflected in our society today?  Heart disease, obesity, and many other lifestyle and diet associated diseases are on the rise and are becoming a major health concern.  The associated conditions with these diseases pain, joint problems, inability to work, fatigue, and many more, continue to pile up in our health care system and are just being treated symptomatically.

We need to change the way we eat.  It doesn’t have to happen all at once, it is a process in which not only does our health improve, but we learn what it feels like to be healthy.  Take a look at this revised pyramid below:

Notice the differences?  Exercise and weight control are the foundation of a healthy diet, not carbohydrates.  Keep looking upward on the pyramid and you can see how the areas are more specifically defined.  Whole grains, healthy fats and oils, fruts and vegetables are all a vital part of the diet.  All the way up at the peak, to use sparingly, sugar, processed foods, salt, dairy.  Does this give a better picture of a healthy diet to you?

Again, this is all about education.  It can be a frightening process for some people, to alter their diet when they are unsure what exactly is healthy.  The resources are out there for help.  Research food online, visit your local acupuncturist and nutritionist, listen lectures, learn how to cook a new dish.  Try something new, but change one thing at a time.  Just like life, health is a journey and an evolutionary process.  Find what inspires you to change.

So next time you reach for a glass of milk for calcium, try some kale instead.  Who knows, you just might like it…

~ by qidrop on July 28, 2011.

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