Nutrition

The Knowledge you need to gain a PHD in Nutrition

Fluids!

If you are thirsty ……… Drink Water!

If you want a drink ….drink something that is healthy!

Solids!

If you can eat it raw……….. .eat lots of it!

If you can’t eat it raw….don’t eat very much of it!

Congratulations !!

You now have a Nutrition Degree.

There is no doubt that the more knowledge we have on nutrition the better.  The only problem is that there are so many theories, books, articles in magazines each week that you tend to become confused and not sure if you are doing the right thing.  Also we tend to learn our eating habits from our parents and habits as we all know, are hard to change.

Still we should all be striving to become committed consumers, ie, think about what we eat and drink on a regular daily basis.  That does not mean every decision we make will be a good one but hopefully the majority of decisions concerning our diet will enhance our quest for good health.

It is a funny thing but once you have been making so called ‘good decisions’ for about twelve months, it really becomes very easy and enjoyable to eat right.  You generally no longer crave for junk’ food that is full of fat, salt and sugar.  You see it for what it really is! I guess it is a little like a romantic relationship that has gone sour and you split up.  At first you really miss it but as time passes you wonder how you ever coped with the situation and no longer miss it.  These days if I bite into a cake, chocolate or ice-cream, because I feel I have missed this ‘sweet’ part of my early life the first bite quickly reminds me I am missing nothing.  TRUE STORY — but you need about one year to get to that stage! Try biting into a fresh peach, strawberry or mango — FANTASTIC.

Good nutrition is simply about eating foods that are going to free your body up and not clog it up.  If you are happy about the decisions you are making and you genuinely appreciate why you are making those decisions than you will develop sensible lifelong nutritional habits.

I remember taking the Australian Schoolboys Rugby League team to France and England.  After four weeks in France back in 1979 the boys were astounded that in the country areas of the South of France there was absolutely NO take-away food available.  “I’ll starve” was the general consensus.  The boys had to survive on a light breakfast, bread rolls for lunch and a wholesome home cooked meal for dinner.  They lost a deal of body fat but generally were feeling and looking absolutely terrific.

We arrived in Paris and I met a group of the players in the Champs Elysees who were very excited “What is it?” – “Lloydy we’ve found McDonalds”.  One of the team members had just finished his sixth Big Mac – Oh well! Back to the good old Australian diet – What a shame!

Parents really do have a great responsibility in this regard.  Research shows that our  natural instincts are not to like ‘sweet’ things! We are taught to like it and sweets becomes a reward system.  Have a taste of mother’s milk one day — not sweet at all.

In fact children who are not exposed to lollies, etc, and are encouraged to eat fruit, nuts, vegetable sticks, cannot stand sweets even at a very young age.  In Western society we really are our own worst enemies.

A statement that may surprise many of you is just how strongly I feel about having a good diet.  Diet by the way is what you decide to eat and drink and should not be

confused with limited food intake for the purpose of losing weight.  Everybody is on a diet.  Hopefully your diet and life-style is generating both good health and correct body weight.  Your diet is a very personal thing and in many ways does reflect your personality and mood level.  As I have said before “Use your brain, not your taste buds to select your diet”.

If for some reason I had to make a choice between aerobic activity, daily exercise and good diet and only one could stay and the other two had to go.  What a difficult decision! Right now the good diet would stay and aerobics and exercise would go.  That is how important your diet is to your body and health.  Mind you, That won’t happen and the combination of the three activities is a very harmonious one.

If you have been eating poorly for a number of years, don’t try and change overnight.  One approach I have found that works is to get people, especially teenagers, to make 2 good decisions a day.  This can be to have a salad sandwich instead of a meat pie, a glass of water instead of a can of soft drink, a piece of fruit instead of a chocolate bar, a plain biscuit instead of a sweet biscuit, and the list goes on.  What I have discovered is that a person who makes 2 good decisions generally does not then make numerous bad decisions.

These two simple decisions start to grow until the majority of decisions become good.  They develop pride in their eating habits.  Once you develop pride you will increase your self-esteem and be willing to stick at it.  Are you proud of your diet? Are you proud of what your children eat? Do you know that in a survey in Melbourne, 40% of the children interviewed had not eaten fresh fruit and vegetables in the previous seven days? Would you believe that the average Australian obtains half their daily calories from fat and consumes a kilogram of sugar per week? The typical Australian diet contributes to:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Tooth Decay
  • Diabetes
  • Gall Stones
  • Constipation

NOT A PRETTY PICTURE…

And they call this the “Lucky Country”!

You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that the Australian government has recommended nine guidelines for all Australians to follow.

Politicians you say! What is their angle?

Well if we eat right we stay healthy, go to work we save the government billions of dollars.  Pretty smart! The guidelines are as follows:

  1. Eat a variety of foods each day.
  2. Prevent and control obesity.
  3. Eat less FAT.
  4. Eat less SUGAR.
  5. Limit alcohol.
  6. Eat more fruit, vegetables, breads and cereals.
  7. Eat less SALT.
  8. Enjoy water.
  9. Encourage breast feeding.

This book is not designed to give you all the answers about food nutrition.  In fact I do not really want to even attempt that enormous task.  I mean if you become really interested there are any number of good books on the market.  What do I want?  I want you to think “Why am I eating or drinking this?” I honestly believe that there is no one perfect diet for everyone.  Our genetic structure and digestive systems do vary but if you just sit back and eat the average Australian diet, you will regret it.  if you stick pretty closely to the Australian Dietary Guidelines you will not be making many mistakes.

I have a feeling ‘mother nature’ has the answer.  Mother’s milk, which is such a fantastic food source for babies when they are growing so rapidly, contains 83% complex carbohydrates, 10% fat and 7% protein.  The creator is a lot smarter than most of us so if your diet was relatively close to the above formula you would have a superb diet.  I have heard it said that your diet is the exercise for the inside of our bodies.  So why not start with a couple of good decisions tomorrow.

Certainly food for thought…

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