Sunday, July 12, 2009

Nutritional "No-How" Part Two

In the last article we discussed the importance of several nutrients, particularly focusing on fruits and vegetables. With summer here, it is so easy to eat healthfully. Colorful, fresh food is so much more available, and more affordable. It's great time to encourage your children to eat smart, too.
Fruit and vegetables, and even milk (lactose), are part of a food group called "simple"carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are essential for energy and health. They are considered to be the body's best source of energy. "Simple" sugar also comes in the form of cake, cookies, bakery items, white bread, processed foods... very low nutrient, very high calorie.
Other important forms of carbohydrates are considered "complex" carbohydrates. These would be in the form of breads, rice and potatoes. These foods, if they are "whole foods"/ not processed, are also excellent forms of natural fiber and other key vitamins. Once again, the key is "whole foods."
"Whole foods" are high in nutrients and fiber.( They tend to be more filling, also!) These type of foods have an impact on many of the cardiovascular diseases now prevalent in society. Populations that consume more dietary fiber have a lower risk for chronic disease. Fiber also has many favorable effects on risk factors for disease. These diseases include, and are not limited to, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and coronary heart disease( CHD).
Dietary fiber helps protect against cardiovascular disease by improving blood lipid profiles, lowering blood pressure and reducing indicators of inflammation (American Dietetic Association (ADA))
In a documented study, Pereira and colleagues conducted an analysis on the effects of total fiber and types of fiber on the risk of developing heart disease. They analyzed the consumption of dietary fiber from whole grain cereals (not highly processed) and fruit. They discovered that for "every 10 grams per day increase in total fiber, there was a reduction of 14 percent in coronary events and 27 percent in coronary deaths.(Arch Internal Medicine. cohort study)
Several other well documented studies also showed a direct impact from whole grain foods and coronary complications and death.
Some noted foods for the reduction of LDL cholesterol ( the "bad" one), are apples, barley, beans ( and other legumes), fresh fruit ( bananas, blackberries, peaches, nectarines, pears, plums ,prunes and citrus fruit) and vegetables, ( such as broccoli, carrots, brusel spouts, and cabbage) oatmeal, oat bran, whole oat flour (Nutrition Dimensions online)
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after reviewing 42 clinical trials, in 1977 they approved the first food specific health claim. "Soluble fiber from foods such as oat bran, rolled oats, or oatmeal, and whole oat flour, as part of a low in saturated fat and cholesterol diet, may reduce the risk of heart disease."
While you may not have been eating this way, and it is a distinct change, it is recommended that you work this into your diet. Start small. Your tastes will change. It is so important that you eat this way, AND teach your children. They may resist at first, that's normal. Help them learn young and avoid disease and sickness. You will be glad you did!!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Wen! Good job! Thanks!
    There's one thing that I had to question though. You put some of the garbage food in with the "Simple" calories. Did you mean to do that, or are they the same kind of calories that we get from the nutritious food?