An Optimal Healthy Diet Plan



There are a myriad of healthy diet plans available on the internet, most of them simply switch white bread for whole wheat, white rice for brown rice and decrease the fat content in desserts. This is certainly an improvement over the typical American diet, but is it enough?

A Healthy Diet Plan should not only promote weight loss, it should also promote optimal health. When we review all the current scientific literature on health and nutrition it becomes crystal clear that merely switching to whole grains and decreasing red meat consumption is not enough and is in reality NOT a healthy diet plan at all.

This Healthy Diet Plan goes beyond standard diet recommendations.

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Nutrition guidelines in the U.S. are determined by our agricultural assets and financial interests more than actual health promotion. This unfortunate reality has led us into rampant obesity and disease. The government also recognizes that most Americans are not willing to make significant changes in their diet and so the watered down recommendations of lowering fat intake, increasing whole grains and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption are made without actually exposing the real dangers in the American diet.

The Healthy Diet Plan that will result in healthy weight loss as well as optimal health is one that focuses on whole foods. Most Americans have heard about a whole foods diet and some even strive to eat this way based on their own understanding of what a whole foods diet is.

#1 Key to A Healthy Diet Plan
Eat Foods as Nature Provides them:

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Eat grains whole instead of ground into flour, whole grain cereals are NOT whole foods.
Brown rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, cracked wheat, pearled barley, steel cut oats

#2 Key to a Healthy Diet Plan Consume 1-2 c. of Legumes daily

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Legumes are high in protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, iron and many other nutrients. They contain antioxidants and health promoting nutrients and yet they do not contain cholesterol, high amounts of saturated fat, excess protein, uric acid, hormones or other health damaging constituents that other sources of protein contain.

Legumes have Potent antioxidant activity that can prevent the oxidation of fats and subsequent damage to the body.

Pharmaceutical Biology 2001, Vol. 39, No. 4, Pages 300-304 Evaluation of the Antioxidant Activity of Legumes Chun-Ching Lin, Sue-Jing Wu, Juei-Shen Wang, Jenq-Jer Yang and Cheng-Hsiung Chang

Legumes also reduce sugar cravings and are extremely satiating aiding in optimal weight loss.

Nutrition Profile of Legumes

Lentils

1 cup serving size
Calories..........................229
Fat................................3/4g
Fiber..............................15.6g.....63% of daily value!
Protein...........................17g.....40% of daily value for the average woman!!

Vit. A............................1%
Folate..........................90%
B1................................30%
B2.................................13%
B3.................................15%
B5.................................25%
B6.................................27%
Vit. C..............................4%
Vit. E..............................1%
Vit. K..............................4%

Calcium..........................4%
Copper...........................55%
Iron.................................37%
Magnesium....................22%
Manganese....................54%
Potassium.......................16%
Selenium.......................10%
Zinc................................31%
Omega 3's......................7%

Garbanzo Beans 1 c............................14g protein
Black Beans 1c....................................15.2g. protein
Pinto Beans 1c.....................................11g. protein
Kidney beans 1c...................................16.8g. protein
White beans 1c.....................................19g. protein
Edamame 1c.........................................33g protein
Navy beans 1c.......................................20g protein

#3 Key to a Healthy Diet Plan, Consume 2 c. of sauteed greens or 1 c. raw an 1 c. cooked greens.

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Nutrition Profile of Leafy Greens

1 c. sauteed Spinach [no oil]

Calories.............41
Protein................5.5g
Fat........................1/2g
Vit. A...................809%
Folate...................66%
B1.........................16%
B2.........................39%
B3...........................6%
B5...........................6%
B6.........................34%
Vit. C....................24%
Vit. E....................25%
Vit. K..................987%

Calcium...............24%
Copper................35%
Iron......................36%
Magnesium..........49%
Manganese..........94%
Potassium............18%
Selenium...............5%
Zinc.....................17%
Omega 3's..........15%
Sauteed spinach has the same amount of calcium per cup as milk!
No other food provides this much nutrition in merely 1 cup!
Only 41 calories, your stomach will feel full but you cannot consume excess calories from green leafy vegetables. They are a weight loss MUST!

#4 Key to a Healthy Diet Plan, Consume 3-5 fresh fruits every day.

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Fruit contains the highest amount of antioxidants to protect against free radical damage in the body. Fruit contains high fiber, simple carbohydrates for optimal energy and it is a quick easy snack.

If you need more information about fruit, please see the fruit nutrition facts page

#5 Key to a Healthy Diet Plan, No more than 12% of your calories should come from animal based foods.

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How Much Meat or Dairy Should be Consumed Regularly

This is an interesting question and can have many answers depending on your personal preferences. However, strictly speaking in terms of an optimal healthy diet plan, no more than 12% of your calories should be from any animal based food. How much is 12% of your daily calories
If you are on a 2000 calorie diet that would be about 200 calories

You could select from ONE of the following in a day:

2 eggs
2 oz. cheddar cheese
3.5 oz. roasted chicken
1.5 c. 1% milk
3.5 oz. fish

You could select ONE of these per day and reach about 10-12% of your calories.

Why should I limit my consumption of animal based foods?

Study finds that saturated fatty acids play a role in obesity and type 2 diabetes. The study found that saturated fatty acids decreased insulin induced glycogen synthesis, glucose oxidation, impaired mitochondrial function and lactate production. The results indicate that consumption of saturated fatty acids may be a contributor to type 2 diabetes.

J Cell Physiol. 2010 Jan;222(1):187-94. Saturated fatty acid-induced insulin resistance is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction in skeletal muscle cells. Hirabara SM, Curi R, Maechler P.

Arachidonic acid and Palmitic acid are pro-inflammatory fatty acids found in all animal based foods. For optimal health consumption of meat and dairy products should remain under 12% of your calorie intake

Hegested DM. “Calcium and osteoporosis.” J. Nutr. 116 (1986): 2316-2319.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons- They are mutagenic, carcinogenic and is found in cooked meat, including fish.

Heterocyclic Amines- mutagenic, carcinogenic and is found in all cooked meat including fish.

Maillard reaction products- anti-nutrient, risks for kidneys and cardiovascular system found in all high protein foods that are cooked.

"Scientists have produced new evidence suggesting eating lots of red and processed meat damages health. "

"Meat is a major source of saturated fat, which has been associated with breast and colorectal cancer. In addition, lower meat intake has been linked to a reduction in risk factors for heart disease, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The latest study adds to a growing body of research linking high red and processed meat consumption to an increased risk of ill health."

"The need is for a major reduction in total meat intake"
Dr Barry Popkin
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7959128.stm accessed 6/09/10

"Over 10 years, eating the equivalent of a quarter-pound hamburger daily gave men in the study a 22 percent higher risk of dying of cancer and a 27 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease. That's compared to those who ate the least red meat, just 5 ounces per week.

Women who ate large amounts of red meat had a 20 percent higher risk of dying of cancer and a 50 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease than women who ate less."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/23/health/main4886238.shtml accessed: 8/17/10

An optimal Healthy Diet Plan would consist of

Breakfast Choices:

1 c. oatmeal with 1 tsp. flaxmeal, 1/2 c. blueberries and your choice of almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk or skim milk
Buckwheat pancakes- buckwheat, cashews, flaxmeal, banana, dates, vanilla [in recipe collections] topped with berries and 1 Tb. maple syrup

1 c. brown rice, 1 tsp. flaxmeal, 1 banana sliced, your choice of milk
Baked yam with pineapple, 1 Tb. coconut

Lunch Choices:
Wrap in ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla, hummus, green leaf lettuce, tomato, sprouts, grated carrot, cucumber.

LARGE salad with oil free dressing

Sandwich on ezekiel sprouted grain bread, cucumber, tomato, avocado and green leaf lettuce

Baked potato with homemade cashew or tofu sour cream
Baked Yam

Brown rice and Black bean salad with corn tortillas

Dinner Choices:

Sauteed spinach

Baked potato with homemade cashew or tofu sour cream

Lasagne with whole wheat noodles, zucchini, spinach, carrot, sunburgers, homemade dairy free cheese sauce and ricotta

Vegetable Burritos with sunburgers

Thai Tempeh Salad with Poppy seed dressing

The possibilities are endless, you can eat nearly any 'comfort' food of your choice on a healthy diet plan. The key is learning HOW to turn your favorite recipes