Dietary Principles and Guidelines

The Do’s 

One of the best things that everyone could do to improve their diets is to increase the amount of fresh (organic) fruits and vegetables that they eat every day. 

Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables have an abundance of vitamins, enzymes and minerals, as well as fiber and also high water content.  If you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, you will get an excellent supply of nutrients (without consuming excess calories), as well as consuming an adequate amount of good roughage, which will prevent constipation. 

bright fruit standA healthy body is 70-80% water.  Many illnesses are a direct result of the body becoming dehydrated.  It is therefore very valuable to have a diet that is made up of about 70% high water content foods, i.e. fruits and vegetables, which is probably the best source of purified water.  You should aim to have at least five servings of fruit or vegetables per day.

Drinking fresh organic juices daily is a fantastic source of nutrients and energy.  Eating fresh fruit in the morning can be very beneficial (Avoid oranges and orange juice if you are living in a country where oranges don’t grow these are picked green and are bad for the stomach and the kidneys).  Fruit is very cleansing and easily digested.  Fresh fruit is better than dried fruit.  Ripe pears and prunes are especially good for constipation.  Avoid eating raw fruit after a meal.  One should always wait for half an hour after eating fruit before eating a different type of food, as this allows the fruit to enter and be digested in the small intestines.  Otherwise it will be held up in the stomach and begin to ferment and putrefy.  Only eat fruit three hours after a starch (carbohydrate) meal and four hours after a protein meal.

Sprouts

Raw foods are “Living Foods” and can greatly improve vitality and energy levels.  Apart from fruit and salads, fresh homegrown sprouts (mung bean, alfalfa, sunflower, buckwheat, radish, etc.) are a great addition to the diet.  They are easy to grow and an excellent fresh, organic nutrient rich food source.  A raw food diet might, however, make you feel worse for a time as it starts to detoxify the body.  It is best to start a raw food diet after a good fast/purification.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of some of our most important mineral, protein and essential fatty acid requirements.  Having raw nuts and seeds (unsalted) on hand for snacks or using with your meals can be very beneficial.  Combining and grinding up pumpkin, sunflower, linseed and sesame seeds, makes a very digestible food seasoning and supplies your daily need of amino acids.  Soaking almonds in water overnight before eating them is also good. 

 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

These are the very important good fats that you need to have in your diet to maintain optimum health.  It is very important to get enough essential fatty acids (EFAs Omega 3 and Omega 6).  The best source of EFAs is hemp oil or linseed oil.  They are also found in olive oil and fish oil, but these are lacking Omega 6.  Oils should be cold pressed and organic.  These unsaturated oils can be added to food after cooking or make into sauces and salad dressings.  Avoid heating or cooking with oils, if possible.  If you do need to use oil for cooking, use olive oil sparingly.  Always store oil in a cool place and out of the light.  (If kept in a fridge they may go cloudy but this is not harmful).  Saturated fats (those fats which go hard at room temperature) are generally very bad for the body and best avoided.  For a spread, butter (in moderate quantities) is much better than margarine.

Whole Grains

Have three or four portions of whole grains throughout your day.  Recommended whole grains to eat include:  Millet, quinoa, buckwheat, oats, rye brown rice, corn and whole meal wheat (if you are ok with wheat products see later).  These provide an excellent source of slow releasing energy, to keep your body’s energy levels stable throughout the day, as well as providing fiber to help your digestion.  Quinoa is a particular useful grain, as it has a very high protein content.

Protein

A very adequate and healthy supply of protein can easily be obtained from grains, lentils, nuts, seeds, vegetables and even fruit.  If you are not a vegetarian, try to eat only organic white meat or unfarmed fish, especially oily fish (mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout, herring, etc.) a couple of times per week, as these are a good source of Omega 3 EFAs too. 

Friendly Bacteria

Your large and small intestines are the home to millions of bacteria.  70% of these should be friendly bacteria, as these help you to digest food and also keep the bad bacteria/organisms in check.  The most useful friendly bacteria are Acidophilus and Bifidus which you can increase by supplement with good quality tablets (80% of acidophilus products on the market were found to be dead) such as those made by Biocare or Solgar, or also, less effectively, by eating live yogurt with these bacteria in them.

Eat Organic

As much as possible, try to eat organic products.  These are free of pesticides, herbicides and hormones which can be toxic and harmful.  Organic food generally has a much higher nutrient and energy content.  In the same way avoid Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). which have not been adequately tested at all and could pose many, as yet unforeseen, health problems in the future.  It is also best to eat locally grown food, where possible, as these will be fresher, have more energy and will have created less pollution in the process of being brought to you, and will support people who live locally. 

Cooking Methods and Utensils

Use cooking methods, which minimize the loss of vitamins, minerals and enzymes from your food.  Steam vegetables lightly so that they are still crunchy, rather than frying, boiling or roasting.  Grill or bake fish or meat rather than frying or roasting.Avoid Microwave cooking.  Food that has been cooked by microwave is dead and causes dangerous chemical reactions in the blood and distorts the molecular structure of the food rendering them carcinogenic and harmful.  Preferably use glassware and enameled pots and pans.  (Do not use aluminum utensils).


The Don’ts
 

Refined Food

Refined foods have been stripped of much of their goodness and their vitamin and mineral content.  They are also often known as empty calories or anti-nutrients, because they use up a lot of the body’s necessary vitamins and minerals, as the body tries to deal with these “foods”.

Sugar

Only 600 years ago, the average person never ate any sugar it was a courtly luxury that only the very rich nobles and royalty could afford!  Today the average person eats his or her own weight in sugar every year!!!  It is not a natural part of the human diet.

 Herbivores and omnivores are naturally attracted to the sweet taste of carbohydrates such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils.  This should be the natural source of sweetness in our diets.  Sugar is a very empty calorie source and is well known for robbing minerals and vitamins from the body.  It also disturbs natural blood sugar levels (continued use can damage the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin and can over time lead to adult onset diabetes), which results in up and down energy levels, mood swings and irritability.  All forms of concentrated sugar (white/brown sugar, honey, syrup, glucose, malt, etc.) are fast releasing, which rapidly raises blood sugar levels.  If this sugar is not needed by the body it is stored as fat.  Sugar is also extremely addictive, which is why it is found in most processed foods its repeat sales are much increased! (Blood sugar levels are also greatly upset by alcohol, coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and cigarettes).

Reduce

Alternatives

Sugar     

Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and whole foods

Honey, malt, glucose and syrup

If you do eat honey, then buy an unheated and untreated form, preferably from a local supplier

Artificial sweeteners (these have been found to be very harmful)

Refined and overcooked foods

Agave nectar, blackstrap molasses, rapadura.

Raw, live and whole foods.

  

  

Bread and Wheat

The gluten in white bread (or white flour based foods) and even brown bread (which is often made from white flour with brown coloring!) irritates and lines the intestines which damages the body’s ability to digest food.  The refining process not only removes the vitamins, minerals and roughage, it also begins turning the wheat into a simple carbohydrate from a complex one.  As a result, it will disturb your blood sugar levels in a similar way to sugar, creating energy highs and lows, mood swings, etc.

Reduce

Alternatives

White flour and bread       

Whole meal flour and bread

White rice           

Brown rice

Sugar, sweet cakes, biscuits

Fruit and dried fruit

Instant processed meals  

Meals made from fresh natural ingredients

Dairy Produce

Milk and cheese are often said to be an important source of calcium.  However, this calcium is very difficult for the human body to absorb and use.  Calcium needs to work in balance with magnesium in the body, but it is very lacking in milk, so relying on milk for calcium could lead to a magnesium deficiency.  Abundant amounts of calcium can be found in green leafy vegetables, almonds, apricots, seeds etc.  Milk products are mucous forming, which inhibits food absorption through the intestinal wall, as well as causing mucous congestion in the nasal passages and lungs.  Many people these days are also allergic to dairy products. Cows milk is meant for calves not humans

Live yogurt, however, can be very beneficial for the friendly bacteria that it contains, if not eaten in excess.  Also butter in moderate quantities does not seem to be a very harmful dairy product.

Reduce                                                                Alternatives

Milk and cheese                                                   Soya (not genetically modified!), oat or rice milk

                                                                           Sheep or goats milk

Salt

High salt intake is linked with high blood pressure and heart disease.  It also impairs mineral utilization.  Constant and regular salt intake also reduces our taste buds’ sensitivity, resulting in us needing to keep having salt to taste properly.  If salt is greatly reduced or removed from the diet, the taste buds will recover and we will regain our natural taste sensitivity.

Reduce                                                                 Alternatives

Added salt                                                            Flavor food with herbs, spices, ground seeds, lemon, mustard, etc
Products containing salt

 

 Meat and fish

If you are not a strict vegetarian, aim to eat only organic meat and unfarmed fish, so as to avoid the harmful hormones, pesticides and dyes that are found in normal meat and fish.  Red meat has been linked to coronary and digestive diseases.  It is hard for the human digestive system to digest and has a high saturated (unhealthy) fat content.  White meat (chicken, turkey etc.) is much healthier.  Fish is a very good source of protein, EFAs and minerals (although perhaps in today’s polluted and over fished seas, it is becoming less of a healthy or sustainable option).  Oily fish are best (mackerel, sardines, herring, etc.).

 Reduce                                                   Alternatives

Red meat                                                 Organic white meat

Non-organic meat                                      Unfarmed fish, especially oily fish.

Farmed fish                                              Quinoa, soya, tofu, nuts, seeds, lentils etc.


Oils & Fats

Use only a good quality non-hydrogenated fats or oils.   Hydrogenated oils can be very harmful to the body.  It is actually much healthier to use butter in moderation than margarine.  Avoid cheap vegetable oils and frying foods.  Preferably, just use olive oil or coconut oil.

Avoid                                                     Alternatives

Margarine                                                Butter

Anything with hydrogenated oil in it            Olive or coconut oil based foods

Frying foods                                             Steaming, grilling, baking foods.

 

Drinks

Tea and coffee are stimulants, which stress your adrenal glands and make your energy level erratic.  Many soft drinks have a similar effect as well as having very high sugar content.  The sweetener Aspartame, used in diet drinks, is very harmful to the body and continued consumption of it can lead to Lupus, Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Multiple Sclerosis!  Soft drinks and cheap juices often also have many artificial additives and colors in them, so are best avoided.  Alcohol is a close relative of sugar and has very high calorie content.  It is also a mild poison and over time can greatly damage the liver.

 

Reduce                                                   Alternatives

Coffee and tea                                          Water, Rooibos Tea, Dandelion root coffee

Hot chocolate, cocoa                                cereal drinks (barley coffee), herb teas

Fizzy drinks, non-organic juices                 (made with just the fresh herbs), carob drink

Diet drinks                                               Fresh, homemade, organic juices

As with most things in life, moderation is best.  Do the best that you can with improving your diet without getting fanatical or being hard on yourself, when you do not choose to eat well.  Go at your own pace, learn about your diet and adopt healthier eating habits, as you are ready to, then take time to acknowledge and appreciate your resultant better health and well-being.  

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