“The one thing more difficult than following a regimen is not imposing it on others“Marcel Proust
People have different needs,goals and preferences. What matter most is your overall way of eating and living. If you indulge yourself one day,you can eat more healthfully the next. Then you are less likely to feel restricted.If you don’t have time to meditate for twenty minutes,you can do it for one minute-Consistency is more important than duration. Studies have shown that the people who eat the most healthfully overall are those who allow themselves some indulgences.
Like most things in life,the longer you do something and the more experience and practice you have,the more successful and skillful you become at doing it.
Offering a spectrum of choices is much more effective; then restrictive diet. Foods are neither good nor bad,but some foods are more healthful for you than others.Based on your own needs and preferences ,you have a spectrum of healthy choices.There’s no point in giving up something you enjoy unless you get something back that’s even better and quickly.More healthful foods make you feel good-light,clear,energetic.
“Feel better,lose weight and gain health with healthy spectrum of choices”
Even more than feeling healthy,most people want to feel free and in control. If I tell people ,”Eat this and don’t eat that” or “Don’t smoke” they immediately want to do the opposite. It’s just human nature.No body wants to feel controlled or treated like a child. Offering a spectrum of choices is much more effective; then ,you feel free. If you see your food and lifestyle choices as a way of living,you are more likely to feel empowered and to be successful.
Awareness is the first step in healing. When we become more aware of how powerfully our choices in diet and lifestyle affect us-for better and for worse -then we can make different and comprehensive lifestyle changes- not just to live longer but also to live better.
Basic principles of a healthy diet:
- Consume some omega 3 fatty acids( good fats) every day
Omega 3 fatty acids may reduce triglycerides ,lower blood pressure,and decrease inflammation.
Warning: Any patient with an advanced state of impaired cardiac function should not be prescribed fish oil fatty acids or be urged to eat fish. For these people ,it may kill them- Dr Leaf, the scientific journal fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology.
2. Eat more “good carbs” and fewer “bad carbs”
Good carbs include fruits,vegetables,whole grains,legumes,nuts and soy products in their natural ,unrefined forms. Because these good carbs are unrefined,they are naturally high in fiber as well. The fiber fills you up before you eat too much. Also, the fiber in good carbs causes your food to be digested and absorbed into your bloodstream more slowly. This helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range.
Glycemic load is a better indicator of how foods will affect your blood sugar than glycemic index is. For example ,a carrot has a high glycemic index but a low glycemic load. Why? Because the carbohydrates in carrots are absorbed very quickly ,but there aren’t many of them.
When you eat a lot of “bad carbs” they are absorbed quickly ,causing your blood sugar to rise too rapidly. This doesn’t mean you should never eat bad carbs. I do, in moderation. When I eat bad carbs,I try to consume them along with good carbs and other high fiber foods.
When it comes to healthy eating,one size may not fit all. An optimal approach may be diet that pays equal attention to the high quality,unprocessed low glycemic carbs and plant based proteins and fats.
3.Energy balance is important than calories count.
When I hear the phrase”portion control”it makes me distasteful. “Eating mindfully” sounds so much better,and it’s much more sustainable. I believe “Eat more,weigh less”. When you change the type of food,you don’t have to be as concerned about the amount of food because the foods are less dense in calories. You can eat whenever you’re hungry and consume an equal or even larger volume of food,yet still lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived.
Body weight is inversely associated with dietary fiber and carbohydrates and is positively associated with protein intake.
4. What you include in your diet is as important as what you exclude
The healthy living is about abundance,not deprivation; feeling better,not just living longer. I want to emphasize eating more foods that are beneficial rather than just eating fewer foods that are unhealthful.
5. Anti-inflammatory lifestyle changes
A number of factors in our diet and lifestyle may play a significant role in inflammation. These include unhealthful dietary choices,lack of exercise,obesity,metabolic syndrome,chronic stress,smoking,environmental toxins, pollution and chronic infections.
By changing the way you eat,how much you exercise,and how well you manage stress ,and by increasing the love and intimacy in your life,you may have a significant impact on the amount of inflammation in your body. Small changes can lead to big improvements over time.
6. Choose foods that are nutrients dense.
7. Chose quality over quantity.
8. Eat less salt
9.Drink more green tea.
10. Avoid trans and partially hydrogenated fats.
How you eat is as important as what you eat. When you eat mindlessly,you have more calories and less pleasure. When you eat mindfully,you have more pleasure with fewer calories. Based on your own needs and preferences,you can make intelligent choices in what you eat and how you live.
First decide the spectrum of foods you tend to eat most of the time. Then,according to your own needs and preferences,decide how far ,and how quickly ,you want to move towards the healthful direction. It’s not all or nothing.
Keep it simple. Make small ,gradual changes or big ,rapid changes to create sustainable transformations in your diet and lifestyle. If it is fun ,it’s sustainable. Discipline can be liberating if it’s freely chosen rather than imposed.
Abundance is sustainable; deprivation is not.Joy is sustainable; repression is not.”It’s good for me”is not sustainable; “it’s fun for me” is.-Dean Ornish
3 thoughts on “Basic Principles Of Healthy Diet”
Wow!! What a treat to read your blog!! It was music to my ears reading Dean Ornish through your hard and succinct work. The opening quote by Marcel Proust hooked my scattered attention in a microsecond. Loved it!
Liked the idea of Glycemic load vs index with an example. The concept is similar to load vs time under tension in the bodybuilding world.
Eating good carbs with bad ones was the topic of a chat yesterday with my colleagues. Same as mixing large muscle workout with handgrip and foot exercises. Most importantly your emphasis on ‘ energy balance is more important than calories count’ resonated well with my wellness philosophy of eating mindfully.
“it’s far more wholesome to eat seemingly unhealthy food mindfully than eating healthy food mindlessly.”
By Rish Sharma 23/12/2014
Finally, the closing quote by Dean Ornish sums it up ” Abundance is sustainable, deprivations is not….”. I believe what is simple is usually sustainable but not always easy. The best diet or exercise for us is the one we can stick to for whole life like brushing our teeth! Which is why we call them lifestyle changes.
An intellectual brain enjoys complexity because it gives us importance, keeps us in job and helps us make others feel that our ideas are too good for a simpleton. The whole health and fitness industry thrives on making things complex, catchy and attractive whereas ustainability brings sameness along with simplicity and occasionally boredom.
Einstein said it well-
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.”
Well done! Have a good day.
Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon and Holistic Health Practitioner
LikeLiked by 1 person
A very valuable piece of information very much required in today’s time
Thanks Gunjan for timely reminding us to be mindful about healthy living
LikeLiked by 1 person
Very insightful, all the examples and quotes are just amazing! This whole blog is self explanatory. Thank you so much Gunjan ma’am for this wholesome piece of information.