Friday, December 16, 2005

What's a Healthy Diet Anyway? Part III

Last week, I wrapped up my part II article with, That said, there is a right way to eat controlled-carb and a wrong way. If you do not follow a controlled-carb plan correctly, you're still leaving yourself without your required nutrients. So, tomorrow I'll provide insights into doing a controlled-carb diet correctly and what pitfalls to avoid.

Today, this article is going to be short and sweet - it's not difficult to eat a nutrient-dense diet that is healthy, so no need to be wordy about it.

A "healthy diet" is one that meets or exceeds your nutrient requirements daily. Foods to eat are those that are nutrient-dense and whole. In my experience, for weight loss this means eating:
  • 5-9 servings or more of non-starchy vegetables & salad greens each day
  • Whatever meat, fish, poultry and game you would like with few (if any) processed meats
  • Eggs as you would like
  • Whole dairy products - cheese, cream, yogurt - up to 4-ounces per day
  • Nuts & Seeds - up to 2-ounces per day (peanuts are not nuts)
  • Fruits - up to 1-cup of berries, canteloupe, honeydew, tomatoes, pumpkin, squash, or avocado each day
  • Any natural fat or oil you want for cooking or salad dressing

When maintaining weight, as long as these foods do not cause weight gain, you can also include:

  • Up to 1-cup of whole grain foods each day (steel cut oatmeal, brown/wild rice, whole grain pasta, corn, etc.)
  • Up to 1-cup legumes each day (beans, peas, etc.)
  • A broader range of fruits
  • Up to 1-cup of starchy vegetables
  • Occassional "treats" that are sweet now and then (occassional here is defined as once a month)

The things to absolutely avoid or strictly limit:

  • Added sugars
  • Man-made Trans-fats (partially hydrogenated oils, shortening, margarine)
  • Deep fried foods from restaurants or fast food establishments (damaged fats, trans-fats)
  • Processed meats and items with nitrites
  • Foods with monosodium gluatmate (MSG)
  • Packaged, processed foods with long shelf life
  • Homogenized dairy products
  • Packaged foods that are deep fried or using oils that may be damaged
  • Artifical sweeteners (some trigger hunger and/or stimulate insulin)

If you stick with real, whole foods and limit certain foods while losing weight, you'll be on your way to a normal weight and better health in the long-term.


  1. I would say that whole grain foods in general are great. I think you are over-complicating the issue of weight-loss and maintaining weight. Put the focus back into daily activity and exercise, combined with a simple, healthy diet and you will have success. It's as simple as that.


  2. Today's blog entry address whole grains....I don't necessarily think they're "evil or bad" but do think we're being encouraged to eat too much carbohydrate in our diets - excessive amounts.

  3. The amounts would not be excessive if people would start to exercise. A normal diet of 65% carbs, 20% protein and the rest fat works great. IF people get off their butts and move around.