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How to diet smart

Updated on June 12, 2012

Be very careful with High fiber diets.

They are very good for healthy GI tract. Especially when there is constipation or slow bowel movements.
However, high fiber foods are NOT recommended in acid refluxes; gastritis and ulcer because they scrub mechanically the walls of stomach and bowels.
At spring, people having such conditions need to avoid high fiber and spicy foods, fizzy drinks and smoking.
Some over the counter pills will also worsen the problems with stomach and bowels.

  • Aspirin
  • NSAIDs
  • Effervescent tabs
  • Most diet pills

In general - 2 weeks "fiber only" diets are not as healthy as they claim. You may still use such diets for cleansing the bowels but do not prolong them for more than few days. The fresh fruits will help reduce cholesterol levels and provide enough energy for you to function normally, but you will be deprived of fats and proteins.
Cooking may reduce the irritation from the high fiber food, but it also reduces the health benefits of the raw fruits and vegetables.
Regardless if you are healthy bodybuilder or obese diabetic sufferer, you need to eat healthy balanced menu with carbohydrates, proteins and non-refined natural fats.

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Example: Cherries

Their season is short. 2-3 weeks of June. And we often tend to overeat with them, because they are tasty and pleasant but only available for a month.

They are also healthy and have slight diuretic effect over the body (remove excess fluids).
However, with people having GI problems, overeating with cherries will lead to upset stomach and gas.

They need to moderate the consumption to one cup at a time.

The same is valid for all forest fruits such as strawberries, thorn-berries, raspberries, elderberries. Their small seeds will irritate the stomach. And it happens so, you don't enjoy the healthy fruits but swallow spazmolytics and antacids to get your stomach comfortable instead.

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Vegetarian diets.

Stopping meat and going to vegetables only is a common practice in some societies and human cultures.

Some start it from moral or religious means, others just like the idea of meat-free diet and some expected benefits from this.

In the last 50 years, there are dozens of diet which restrict any kind of food, starting from meat and ending with no animal products at all.

The most common and least restrictive of them is just removing meat, but keeping the fish, sea food, eggs and dairy products.

Why restricting should be healthy?

There is actually no scientific proof that vegetarians are healthier and live longer. But...

Imagine how many antibiotics and hormones are in one big steak.

Imagine you, swallowing few pills every day by eating the common meat sold in groceries from animals bred for food and grown quickly.

You do not benefit that much by restricting the meat but by restricting the poison with which the animal was grown almost forcefully.

Being moderate vegetarian will prolong your life. But you need to be smart and choose abundant natural sources of protein and fat.

How to be "proper" vegetarian?

Healthy food is the diverse one. Going "mono" on vegetarian food that suits your taste is not healthy.

Try eating more raw unrefined foods. They have enough fiber and retain the vitamins destroyed by cooking.

Drink at least 8 glasses tap water throughout the day.

Vitamin D

To get enough vitamin D - Expose bare skin to the sun for at least 10 minutes every day. You don't need a swimsuit for this. Having short sleeves or short pants in summer is good enough. In winter standing half naked behind sunny window for 15 minutes will also be sufficient.

Vitamin B12

Vegetarians need reliable source of vitamin B12. Good source are the dairy products. But If you go full vegan - milk is an animal product and you will exclude it from the menu.

Ask your physician for vitamin B12 pills, so you don't deprive your body from it.

Iron

Iron is potentially deficit element in the vegetarian menu. Mineral iron is found in

  • Spinach,
  • Beans,
  • lentils and
  • full grain bread.

If your menu includes high vitamin C foods, the iron is metabolized better. (Glass of orange juice is just fine)

And last, but not least - carbohydrates tend to provoke overeating so the portions need to be limited and number of meals increased.

Here is what a normal portion looks like:

Food
Quantity
Full grains
Either a slice of full grain bread or half cup boiled brown rice.
Beans
Half cup boiled beans, lentils or soy beans. Or a glass of soy milk.
Vegetables
One cup raw vegetables or half cup boiled or steamed vegetables. (boiling increases carbs and sugars)
Fruits
One large raw fruit or a glass of freshly squeezed juice.
Nuts
6-7 walnuts, 20 almonds or a dozen of cashews.
Fat
No more than a tablespoon, preferably olive oil.
Dairy
1 glass of low fat milk or one ounce of cheese.

Combine two or maximum three of the above in one meal, six times per day and you are a "smart" vegetarian.

On the other hand, if the carbohydrates don't suit you and/or you prefer not to go on vegetables only, there are other alternatives.

It is not recommended to go pure fat or pure protein, because this kind of diets only give short term gains (in weightloss).

The best way to diet if you don't like grazing vegetables all the time, should be balanced and proven to work in long terms.

Mediterranean diet.

Results from some Spanish universities claim that the most healthy diet is the Mediterranean one.

They examined more than ten thousand people from various European countries with different diets.

The conclusion was - Mediterranean way of eating has the least impact on health compared to the other diets. It also helped lower the blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The diet is quite simple:

  • Vegetables,
  • fruits,
  • fish and sea food,
  • nuts and
  • olive oil.

Keeping this diet plan helps the body feel satiated but not full. Raises dopamine levels and even helps avoid some neurological and psychic disorders. Living in the "old" continent, means having more old people and this makes the questions about quality of life and retaining good health longer - a lot more current and important.

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