Eating healthy to stay healthy
Today’s topic for National Women’s Health Week is eating healthy. Eating right can help you stay healthy for a long time.
So how do you eat healthy?
Michael Pollan sums it up pretty well:
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to start eating better. They not only have lots of fiber and vitamins but also phytochemicals and possibly many other things in them that have not even been discovered yet that can help us stay healthy.
Canned vegetables tend to have lots of salt added to them and canned fruit, a lot of sugar. Frozen is ok, but fresh is probably the best. Try to avoid boiling vegetables as the vitamins can be lost that way. Steaming is great way to prepare many different vegetables.
Nuts and seeds are also very good choices. Try to find some that are not salted. Its not always easy to find them so I tend to buy the nuts sold for baking. Unsalted sunflower and pumpkin seeds are even more difficult to find, but some health food stores may have them.
The other type of plant food is grains. Good choices are whole grain bread and pasta. And brown or wild rice instead of white. In the winter I eat hot cereal for breakfast – either oats or millet. In the summer I eat the Kashi puffed grains which has no sugar or salt added to it.
Most groups of people who tend to live a long time tend to eat very little if any meat. Not eating as much meat can help the environment too – lots of food has to be grown to feed farm animals, which could instead feed people.
Lots of research continues to show that overeating and obesity can lead to a number of health problems including diabetes and heart disease. Its also best to reduce the amount of salty and sugary foods eaten.
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- Longevity around the world
- Why people don’t eat better
- Eat in a more environmentally sustainable, responsible and healthy manner
2 Responses to 'Eating healthy to stay healthy'
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on May 15th, 2008 at 12:34 pm
I’ve really enjoyed following your posts this week, Trisha. I think it’s great that you’re honoring National Women’s Health Week by encouraging women to think about the different things we can do to become healthy and stay that way. This is such an important issue.
FYI, some of my co-workers here at the National Women’s Law Center have also been doing a series of posts for NWHW. Just wanted to pass that on in case you were interested.
Thanks again for giving us such great reading material!
on May 23rd, 2008 at 10:42 am
I too enjoy your posts, and agree that what we eat plays a huge part in our health. I would like to gently take issue with blanket statements about eating meat. “lots of food has to be grown to feed farm animals” isn’t necessarily true. If you are eating primarily pasture-raised meat, most of that land is better off feeding animals than under cultivation to feed us. We can’t eat grass, but cattle, sheep and goats can convert sunlight into protein and energy by eating it.
I also wonder (and admit I haven’t done the research to find out), if the cultures that live long on mostly vegetarian diets are also those cultures that are under less stress and eat less processed foods. I think those are probably as big or bigger factors than the meat/vegetable ratio.
You touch an a much bigger issue of feeding the world (and the alarming number of under-nutritioned here in the US). We’re working on addressing that at our blog over the next few months.