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Old 08-24-2003, 07:08 PM   #1
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What, really, is health food?

Cut through all the hype, and the bias of those selling "health" foods, as well as those having been suckered in by those folk, and you wonder what is health food, really?

For many years my doctor, widely regarded as among the best of the best, insisted that, by eating a reasonably well balanced diet, supplements and vitamins were unnecesssary. (Excepting for those whose illness dictated them).

Last week, as I volunteered for a clinical study, a reknown doctor retierated the same point: well balanced diet, no supplements needed. And, of course, I've heard it quietlly stated many other times by people who should know.

Vegetarians insist on no animal products. But it is a proven fact that mammals - of which we are one type - require some animal proteins ( which differ from plant proteins) for optimal health.

Somebody, referring to a quite different situation, said "Variety is the spice of life". How true that is! If one eats as wide a variety of foods as are available, it is most llikelly he - or she - will receive all the necessary nutrients needed for good health.

"Organically" grown foodstuffs are fine - except that, in fact, there's no other kind! But I agree that hormone injections, etc., in food animals is probably not a great idea! Still, I've seen no documented evidence it has a deleterious effect on us. "Chemical" fertilizers actually simply are concentrated forms of the same chemicals that the plants obtain from the breakdown of organic matter in the soil: a slower and more iffy soource. Oh, recycling organic matter for use as a nutrient source for plants is the best way to go, certainly - but not the most economical. It's the best mostly because it keeps all that organic material from winding up in landfills where it accomplishes little that is beneficial.

A nice thing about the modern food distribution system is that we obtain foods from a wide variety of locations, tending to ensure that, while some may be deficient in needed minerals, etc., on average we get what our bodies need.

I strongly suspect our nutritional deficiencies have more to do with individual appetites and preferences than with a lack of nutrients in the available foodstuffs.

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Old 08-25-2003, 08:11 AM   #2
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well, i agree with you on a number of points.
about supplements. well, its also proven that many foods are not as rich in vitamins and minerals is they used to be, because of a depletion in soil quality. also, if someone is a bit intolerant to a certain food, which is more common that we think, they may need some extra boosts.
for example, i used to get coldsores. so i went on a muli vitamin and the zinc in it helped and i havnt gotten once since.
anyway, so when they say that variety is the spice of life, they dont really mean health. its more like, its just makes life exciting and interesting, you know?
when you are talking about health food, like, products that you buy, it usually means that its less processed. so many regular processed food contains chemicals, preservaties, sugar, bad oil and stuff. when you choose to eat organic and health food, you are lessening your chemical intake.
i think that when you eat healthy, balance is so important. but you also want the best quality food for your body. that means eating good, unrefined whole grains, lean proteins which are low in saturated fat, lots of fresh greens and vegetables, minimal amounts of processed foods, as little sugar as possible, only good oils, no chemicals (sweeteners, msg etc), no caffeine, alchohol and all that sort of thing.
if i was living at home now, i would make everything. im fine with doing it all my self. i know what im putting into my body. it makes much more sense, but its so hard to find the time.
instead of cereal, its so easy to make your own granola/muesli, just by take rolled oats, some different nuts and seeds, some honey and toasting it and then adding some dried fruit. instead of processed breads, used whole grains; buckwheat, brown rice etc. i really love it that way. it feels good to eat good wholesome food especially when you make it yourself.
oh, and about vegans. soy really is an excellent source of protein. its actually the only legume which is a complete protein and is a great substitute for animal products.
also, its so versatile, soy beans, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, soy flour... there is so much to do with it.
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Old 08-25-2003, 01:02 PM   #3
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WHAT? No caddeine or alcohol? Bite your tongue, Esther! It is all very well to devoour healthful stuff like granola, etc., but let's remember there's more to life than simple good health: it's called enjoying life!

My coffee and wine-tequila-bourbon-beer are essential to my enjoyment of life. Not to excess, mind you! And studies have indicated caffeine is, if anything, beneficial. So with alcohol in moderation.

Same goes for refined sugar and salt. Sugar (sucrose) is easily metabolized to blood sugar (glucose), the energy source for our cells. Any excess is stored as fat. And all salt, hving accumulated in lakes and seas, is "sea salt". Both sugar and salt are refined by washing with water to remove impurities. If you don't like "refined" sugar and salt, then use the unrefined stuff (raw sugar and sea salt) contain God-only-knows what imppurities and junk.

And dietary animal fat has been found essential to normal brain function
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Old 08-26-2003, 07:31 AM   #4
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okay, okay, i admit it, im a bit extreme. im sure little bits of those things wont do you much harm, but they dont do too much good either. true, sea salt is good, we get lots of minerals from it. and i know that if i dont have a lot of salt, then i get low blood pressure.
im not a big coffee drinker, so its not hard for me not to have any caffeine, but caffeine isnt good for you. apparently its especially bad for women. seriously, look it up. there have been some finding which prove some of its benefits, but they are far outweighed by its negative aspect.
alchohol too- drink what you want, i would never tell anybody what to do, but apparently that should be avoided too. out bodies really dont need that much sugar. and what we need, we get from fruit and vegetables and milk (fructose, lacatose etc)
any, i dont dissaprove of what other ppl do. and i agree on enjoying life, its okay to indulge everynow and then. but we should kid ourselves, we are better off without. dont you think?
youd be suprised how much you can enjoy life by substituting natural and healthful products for other not such good stuff. you can do a alot with it. i was at someones place, and they had pankakes and chocolate syrup for breakfast, except that it was all make from spelt, soy milk, carob powder, almond butter, tahini and honey... amazing. i swear, youd never know the difference.
take care
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Old 08-27-2003, 05:36 PM   #5
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Ok, ok, you convinced me esther - no alcohol here, more fruits but I want my grapes fermented!!!!! :? :roll:
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Old 08-28-2003, 04:20 AM   #6
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I agree with you oldcoot!
Fermented hops, grains, and grapes, taken in moderation, can be beneficial to your health! :)
And if God had meant me to eat soy, he would have made it taste good!
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Old 08-28-2003, 10:11 AM   #7
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like many things, soy tastes good only when cooked properly. anyway, lots of ppl are anti- soy... maybe just fear of the unknown?
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Old 08-28-2003, 02:58 PM   #8
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:D
Fear of the unknown is something I've NEVER been accused of! LOL!
Actually, SOY SAUCE is one of my favorite condiments/spices/marinades.
And soy can be used in SO many ways....that are good. BUT, soy itself, while nutrious, is :
bland, boring and tasteless. Hummmm, reminds me of an ex-husband!
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Old 08-28-2003, 04:35 PM   #9
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Hmmmm, indeed, Norma: are you saying the person who married you had no taste???? :D

As for soy sauce, it goes well in oriental dishes, but beyond that I want no part of it. Otherwise, soy is, as you imply, something God didn't want us to eat. Like parsnips!

Our dear young friend, Esther, obviously is working with immature taste buds.:)
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Old 08-28-2003, 04:58 PM   #10
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Mmmmmm.......... I would have to say that my tastebuds are QUITE mature! LOL I love parsnips, turnips, soy sauce, tofu cooked properly which I have now had at a great vegetarian restaurant - tofu is nothing more than the much needed protein in a vegetarian diet and the carrier of whatever flavors you are cooking with. I absolutely love soy sauce, lime, garlic chili sauce and cilantro together as many Vietnamese dishes have in their ingredients.

While esther is but a babe in the woods I find her to be extremely open to everthing culinary and quite refreshing from her piers who think bigmacfrenchfriesandacoke is truly one word.

oldcoot - you can only pick on carnivore
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