Healthy Eating for the Family by: Peter Young

Click on Photo to go to the green living ideas website for more information.

Click on Photo to go to the Green Living Ideas website for more information.


 

There are a lot of things you can do to keep your children and family healthy, safe, and happy but none are likely to have a greater impact on a daily basis than the careful selection of the food they eat. While it remains bizarre how it became common place to consume processed, chemical laden foods with a list of ingredients that reads like a high school chemistry test, it takes little more than common sense to decide that they may not be the best choice when it comes to eating healthy foods.
 
Informed Shoppers Are Healthier Shoppers

Choosing to eat and live in a healthier more natural way is as simple as learning to read labels and see past advertising hype to get to the truth. If there was an accurate description of the way foods were grown, processed, and delivered to the grocery store or your table. There is little doubt most would choose the natural and organic methods automatically. Unfortunately, after years of overlooking labelling requirements people have learnt to not ask questions about foods. Now we simply consume them without thought. Healthier living starts with learning to ask questions again.

It is interesting that the average shopper is more interested in the details of the history of a used car than in the history of the food they will be giving their children to consume. When shopping for a used car we always ask: who owned it last, was it ever in an accident, do you have maintenance records to verity that all was as it was supposed to be before, and even check 3rd party sites for history reports. Yet many people pick up a can of baby formula with a label that reads –

Water, Non-fat Milk, Lactose, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Soy Oil, Coconut Oil, Galactooligosaccharides, Whey Protein Concentrate. Less than 0.5% of the Following: C. Cohnii Oil, M. Alpina Oil, Beta-Carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Monoglycerides, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Ferrous Sulfate, Magnesium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate, Taurine, m-Inositol, Calcium Phosphate, Zinc Sulfate, Potassium Phosphate, d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Palmitate, Cupric Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, Phylloquinone, Biotin, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin, Salt, Potassium Hydroxide, and Nucleotides (Adenosine 5’-Monophosphate, Cytidine 5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine 5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine 5’-Monophosphate).

(Similac advance nutrition formula)

Without as much as a question of why this formula contains so many ingredients and what exactly they are.

There are two things everybody can do to make healthier choices. Begin to read the labels and ask why is that in my food? If you do not have time to read every label every time then to consider shopping at places that do that for you and only carry organic food products. The immediate argument you will hear is that the quantities are so small that the ingredient does not matter (as the label points out less than .5% or ½ of 1%. So yes, it is a small amount, however in this case the label lists 42 separate ingredients in that area so in total even though it is a small amount of each by labelling, it could legally be over 20% in total.

Choosing to ask questions and shopping in places that ask questions for you is the key to finding healthier food products for your family. If stores that specialize in organic and natural food products are rare in your area then the internet is an excellent place to shop for organic and natural foods.

Another excellent resource for healthier safer foods are the locally produced organic farmers markets that are common in some areas. To decide whether to purchase local produce, look for certified organic producers. Simply choosing to buy fresh fruits and vegetables locally is not an indication of whether pesticides or chemical fertilizers were used unless they are certified as an organic grower.

About the Author:

Peter Young graduated from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) with a degree in journalism and has made sustainability and eco-conscious living mainstays of both his professional and personal life. It was during his time at PLU that he began his journey with sustainability and it’s what has led him to writing for Green Living Ideas. He currently resides in Honolulu and works for Pono Home, an energy efficiency company focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting a healthier, greener lifestyle.

Foods That Are GMO’s by: Michael Edwards

Click on Photo to enlarge chart

Click on Photo to enlarge chart


 
It’s really awesome to see a growing concern over genetically modified foods. People seem to be waking up to this issue. They don’t want genetically modified foods in their diets. And for good reason!
 
 
Are GMOs Safe?
 
While many studies claim no correlation to any health issues with GMO consumption, there are a number of studies that do show frightening correlations including multi-organ damage and reproductive disruption. The serious health risks are becoming harder to dismiss.
 
 
How to Avoid GMOs

It’s not easy. It is estimated that 60 to 70 percent of processed food contains a GMO ingredient, according to the Colorado State University Extension.

As for produce, buying organic is one very good way to avoid GMOs. There are times when organic crops have been contaminated, but for the most part, buying organic keeps you free of genetically modified foods. We prefer to purchase most of our food from local farmer’s markets where we can get to know the farmers. Besides growing it yourself, local farmer’s markets are typically the best way to get the freshest, healthiest produce. And buy heirloom produce as much as possible! It’s funny looking, but much healthier and much tastier!

Another way to avoid GMOs is to avoid the foods that are most often genetically modified.
 
What Foods are Genetically Modified?
 
The foods most likely to be GMO are corn, soybeans, cotton (for oil), canola (also a source of oil), squash, papaya, and sugar beets, which are refined into sugar. There’s also GMO alfalfa, but that is used for animal feed, not for sprouts that people eat. That leaves quite a lot of your garden untouched.

 
 
For the full article by Michael Edwards visit: http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/foods-that-are-gmo
Michael-Edwards
About the Author:

Michael Edwards is the founder, owner, editor-in-chief, and janitor for Organic Lifestyle Magazine. At age 17, Michael weighed more than 360 pounds. He suffered from allergies, frequent bouts of illness, and chronic, debilitating insomnia.

Conventional medicine wasn’t working. While he restored his health through alternative medicine he studied natural health and became immersed in it.

Macronutrients: Protein, Carbs and Fats, the Basic Facts for Fitness

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Click on image to go to the Mckinley Health Center Website for more information.

Every day we shift around these essential nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fats in our diets. Some of us do it mindlessly, while others count every kilocalorie derived from these macronutrients. For those of us who are on a weight loss program, into body-building, or who simply want to pursue a healthy lifestyle, pay a little more attention to the ratio of these nutrients in the diet.

To be clear on what macronutrients are, these are substances obtained from 3 primary sources:

Carbohydrate (carbs)

Protein

Fats

We consume these three compounds in large quantities to provide us with total energy to move around. We need these nutrients in the diet to build and repair tissues, to regulate body processes, and to fuel our bodies by means of metabolism.

Each of these nutrients provides calories in varying amounts:
Carbs – 4 kilocalories per gram
Protein – 4 kilocalories per gram
Fats – 9 kilocalories per gram

Let’s say that you looked at the Nutrition Label of a regular jar of peanut butter, which happens to supply 8 grams of protein per serving and you wanted to calculate how many calories 1 serving will provide. This would be:
8 grams of peanut butter x 4 calories per gram of protein = 32 calories from proteins

If, based on health recommendations, your body needs 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. If you weigh 120 pounds, this equals 120 grams of protein needed daily in your diet.

The peanut butter example would have supplied you with 8 grams of protein and now you need to obtain the remaining 112 grams of protein, either from more peanut butter or with other protein from animal and plant sources, to fulfill your full requirement.

What is the Acceptable Distribution of Macronutrients in the Body?
Who decides on how much of any nutrient must be taken into the body to promote health and prevent deficiencies such as kwashiorkor and anemia? Since 1941 the scientific community has been making recommendations on what constitutes a balanced distribution of essential nutrients for the average individual.

The National Science of Academy periodically gathers a large group of experts to review the latest science. The recommendations are called the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs), but have also been termed Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI).

The per cent of calories coming from protein, carbs, and fats is a key component of the recommendations. How macronutrients are distributed in the diet will either put you on a path to health and fitness or conversely, create a state of ill health and disease. The Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for adults, as a percentage of calories is:
Protein: 10% to 35%
Carbs: 45% to 65%
Fats: 20% to 35%

This range is reportedly the most beneficial in preventing disease risks and deficiencies while providing essential nutrients to increase health and maintain weight.

Why are Carbs, Protein, and Fats Essential to Long-term Health?
We all need these macronutrients in the diet, along with vitamins, minerals and water to survive. These essential nutrients provide remarkable, sometimes incomprehensible functions in our bodies that if deprived of adequate proportions in our diet, we risk abnormalities and death. Here are just a few of their important functions:

Carbohydrates:
They supply the largest percentage needed in the diet according to the DRI.
They are the main source of fuel
They are found mainly in starchy foods, fruits, vegetables and yogurt, and are important in intestinal health and waste elimination
Carbs are readily used by the body for energy; all tissues and cells use it

Proteins
Did you know that protein is the second most abundant substance in the body, besides water?
We need protein:
To build and repair tissues – found in meats, fish, dairy, meat substitutes, legumes, grains and nuts, and to lesser extent vegetables and fruit. Fruit contains about 2 per cent protein.
To create enzymes and hormones to regulate body functions
To provide energy when carbs are not provided

Fats
Fats are essential for survival; it is the most concentrated source of energy. We need them for:
Maintaining cell membranes
Normal growth and development
Absorbing vitamins (such as A D E K, and carotenoids)
Moderate inflammatory actions
Important for healthy skin
Hormone balance
Moderates cholesterol
The best fats for our diets are essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). These can be found in fish and fish oil, nuts, seeds, legumes and organic vegetable oils.

How can I Achieve Weight Loss through Calorie Counting?
In order to lose weight we need to either:
Eat fewer calories than our body needs
Increase the calories burned in physical activity
Or do a combination of both

The smart way to lose weight without depriving your body of essential nutrients is to reduce the calories from food in a way that still meets overall nutritional needs, plus 30-60 minutes of exercise, three times per week. The acceptable distribution of macronutrients outlined earlier provides room for adjustment. Fats for example are recommended between 20% – 35%, therefore adjustments can be made closer to the lower end for weight loss.

Start by calculating how many calories are needed in your diet to promote weight loss. Then consume the required total amount of carbs, protein, and fats from high quality sources. Combine your favorite workout (dancing, kickboxing, Pilates, karate, weight lifting, Zumba, jogging or other) and watch the pounds fall off.

In calorie counting your dietitian or fitness expert can help you determine how many calories you will need. There are also useful online calculators from credible sources that allow you to plug in the needed statistics to provide you with an estimated calorie amount.

To achieve weight loss of one pound a week, for example, an individual will require a reduction of 500 kilocalories per day for 7 days. As a rule of thumb, 1 pound (0.5 kg) of body fat contains 3,500 kilocalories.

If you choose to lose 20 pounds (9 kg), for example, using this rule, you will achieve your weight loss goal in approximately 20 weeks or 5 months.

The fundamental principles remain the same if we manipulate the macronutrients in our diet. An example would be substituting more protein for less carbohydrate into our diet. We would provide equivalent calories while staying inside our bodies optimum requirement for carbohydrates, which makes sure that we are not consume excess amounts which turn into fat. Understanding the macronutrients, while staying within the recommended range, we can promote weight loss, build muscles, and maintain a fit, well-balanced lifestyle.

Teen Boys: The Eating Machines

Click on Photo to go to the Healthy Children Website for more information.

Click on Photo to go to the Healthy Children Website for more information.


Teen Boys are eating machines.  They can eat 2000 calories for lunch and not gain an ounce of fat.  Teen boys use the calories for height and muscle mass and may seem like bottomless pits.  They need a well balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, calcium, and protein for strong bones and muscles. Fruits and veggies are the two groups that would be lacking most in a teen’s diet.  Snacks are important to the teen’s diet and make up a quarter of the kcals for the typical teen.
Teens boys need to consume 10 ounces of whole grain, 4 cups of vegetable, 2½ cups fruit, 3 cups low/fat free milk, and 7 ounces of meat and beans everyday.

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