Healthy eating and its influence on spine and joints, How eating habits affect our general health
Our Holistic views on Eating and its influence on your spine, joints and general health are underlined below.
The aim of this page is to provide you with simple truths about diet to enable you to achieve optimal spinal health more quickly.
First of all good nutrition will aid good function and repair in the spine and help to prevent inflammation.
Good diet will also help you to lose weight thereby lessening pressure on your spine and other joints, minimising wear and tear and preventing injury and pain.
Although these “simple truths” are very obvious to some, for many of you these can be life changing facts, helping you to get healthier more quickly!
Three main food mistakes according to Dr William Howard Hay MD (New Health Era, published 1935) are:
1. Eating too much protein
2. Eating too much starch/sugar
3. Wrong combination of foods (combining starch and protein)
This is not a recipe for weight loss, but a secret of healthy eating, to provide and ensure the perfect health.
When body is well norished and free from poisons created by above food errors, there is nothing, which can disturb the perfect health.
Dr Hay believed that avoiding three mistakes, we mentioned above, a person can maintain not only the perfect health, but the perfect weight too. He witnessed that the skinny people gained weight and obese people have lost some weight, bringing both groups to the optimum health.
Below are some of our views on healthy diet
Replace bad foods with good foods:
You don’t need to be on a diet to lose weight and get healthy! All you need to do is replace wrong foods with better ones slowly, read all the facts below and follow the advice and you will achieve optimum weight naturally with all the health benefits attached.
Advice: Make a list of foods you have eaten during the week or follow your shopping list, Decide which foods have to go and which are going to take their place. Do not shock your system by giving up all carbs, proteins or fats, your body needs them all, just go for QUALITY, gradually and naturally losing quantity.
Diets don’t work without exercise. Losing weight using one of the FAD and “crash” diets, like the Atkins, Southern Beach, Thompson etc will work if you stick to it, but do you want to be on a diet forever? Most likely when you feel “fed up” and when you have lost some weight, you feel like eating normally and will start gaining weight again. That’s what happened in the past isn’t it?
Advise: Combine diet with exercise to speed up and sustain the results of your weight loss. This will also improve your fitness and expand your cardio-vascular and metabolic capacity.
Carbohydrates and starches are evil:
Carbohydrates are sugars. Don’t laugh if you know this, you will be surprised at how many people don’t! It has often happened, when my patients were on a “low sugar diet” which admitedly included white bread, white pasta, white rice, potatoes and processed “quick” porridge – all high carbohydrate contents foods. Your body can only store up small amount of sugar and the rest has to be converted to fat unless you burn it there and then.
Advice: Eat more crunchy and colourful non-starchy vegetables, salad leaves and fresh herbs instead of white processed carbohydrates. If your vegetables do not crunch they are overcooked and turn into starch and also lose their vitamins. Don’t ruin the beauty of veg by overcooking them! Eat wholegrain and brown carbohydrates only (bread, pasta, cereal and rice), those are more complex and nutritious and require more energy to be digested.
Good vegetables and bad vegetables:
Potatoes are not vegetables. Well, they are vegetables of course, extremely starchy, containing high potassium levels and very small vitamins – therefore they head for your hips very quickly even faster when fried. Potatoes should NOT be one of your 5 a day if you are going to lose weight. As a part of balanced and well combined diet potatoes are acceptable and have good nutritional value, because of the aminoacid contents, which can be quite high in organic and young sorts.
Advice: Eat more crunchy and colourful non-starchy vegetables, salad leaves and fresh herbs instead of potatoes. Have fries and chips as a treat, if you like them so much. Potatoes can also be replaced by raw or steamed, courgettes, broccoli, coliflower, kolrhabi, fresh beans and peas etc.etc.etc. Pasta and bread are similarly highly starchy and have low nutrient value. They are fattening and have low nutritional value.
Sugar-free and fat-free:
“Sugar-free” foods may cause obesity and “low-fat” foods may cause stroke and dementia (Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia, A Prospective Cohort Study, Matthew P. Pase, Jayandra J. Himali, Alexa S. Beiser, Hugo J. Aparicio, Claudia L. Satizabal, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Sudha Seshadri, and Paul F. Jacques). Sweeteners taste sweet but have no glucose in them, so the body never gets satisfied and you will always have more, either a sugar-free soft drinks or sugar-free foods. This will lead to consuming more calories and therefore you will get bigger.
Fatty foods are not good for you when consumed in big amounts, at the same time, eating only fat-free will deprive your system of “good” fats, like Omega 3, 6 and 9, which are extremely important for the correct functioning of your nervous system and other systems of your body.
Advice: Eat smaller amounts of good quality sugars and fats instead of larger quantities of sugar and fat-free stuff. Sugar-free is designed for diabetics only! Highly nutritious foods aid better weight loss, because they satisfy the nutrient, vitamin and mineral requirements more quickly. Eating foods with lowered nutritious value will never satisfy your system and will leave you craving for more “empty foods”.
Eating slowly will help you lose weight. Eating is a very important ritual and when you eat slowly and chew well, you will get far more nutrients because food starts digesting in your mouth when mixed with saliva and broken into smaller pieces by chewing. This pre-digesting with saliva is a part of the further digestion in the stomach and the gut. If chewing if missed, the food will just rot in your gut because it is unprepared for a good digestion process. Getting more nutrients from a portion of food will teach your body to eat less.
Advice: Enjoy eating, put some time aside for it, an extra 10 minutes at the table will provide you with better digestion and lower weight.
Processed foods are the best for fattening-up! All foods with “quick”, “easy”, “simple”, “ready”, “fast” attached to their name are processed foods which are basically cooked and pre-digested for you. They are basically stripped of complex parts during processing and left with simple and easy digestable nutrients, like starch and sugar. These foods digest very fast causing “spikes” of sugar in your system This sugar influx causes exessive insulin production which eventually leads to diabetes. Fast release of nutrients has to be utilised and the body stores this as fat. Processed foods are full of preservatives and flavourings and “bad” fats with a number of side-effects attached.
Advice: Try to cook at home – it is fast and easy. Do not overcook. Use low heat frying and the correct oils for frying. Most importantly, replace white pasta, bread, cereal and rice with brown wholegrain alternatives. Wholegrains have all the best parts of seeds or plants in them, giving you more nutrients, vitamins and minerals. They digest slowly and release sugars slowly, minimising the risk of diabetes. Foods which have to be digested longer use up lots of energy just to “fuel up” the digestion itself!
Drink enough water to aid your digestion and help your kidneys to filter the waste products. During and after meal drink warm drinks only! Check this article to see why!
Advice: Drink enough water to keep your urine transparent and odourless. This will help your kidneys, liver, heart and lungs as well as reduce body odour, soften your skin and increase vitality.
A vegetarian diet is good if it is varied, containing wholegrains and unrefined. It is even better with the addition of small amounts of good quality animal proteins. Plant proteins have a vast number of positive effects on your health and are much more nutritious compared to animal proteins.
Advice: Source your nutrients from plant sources. Plant-based foods have no cholesterol and less fat, less protein, less of vitamins B12, D and zinc than animal-based foods, although zinc levels are quite comparable. On the other hand, plant-based foods exclusively have fiber and more of many other vitamins and minerals. Animal based foods have significant amounts of cholesterol and fat and protein – far more than is healthy – and compared to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, they severely lack many of the vitamins and nutrients that have been found to be beneficial to health. It is a double-whammy, so to speak. You get the bad, and you also miss out on the good. Plant-based foods, on the other hand, are exceptionally rich in health-promoting nutrients like fiber and antioxidants, including vitamin C and beta-carotene. Furthermore, with the exception of vitamin B12, there are virtually no essential nutrients that are needed that are not abundantly available in plants. In other words, there is no ‘downside’ to consuming plant-based foods. (Thanks to: The China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project, or China Study, is one of the most acclaimed research investigations of diet, lifestyle, and disease done in the past 100 years).
We feel sorry for vegetarians whose diet is based on bread, potatoes, processed beans, over-cooked carrots and broccoli, cakes, cookies and pies with potato in it. Basically they are vegetarians who “do not eat vegetables”, mostly because they do not like salads, tomatoes, courgettes, fresh herbs and other beauties of the plant world. They deprive themselves of both animal and plant nutrients.
Fruits on empty stomach:
Fruits are very healthy and good for you but NOT when eaten after meal. They will disturb the digestion of the food you have eaten and may also stay in your stomach longer than needed causing fermentation leading to bloating and acid formation.
Advice: Take your fruits as a separate meal or at least 30 minutes before the main dinner. Fruits do not need to stay in the stomach to be digested properly and will move down the gut very soon preparing you for your main meal. Remember also, that different types of fruit need to be eaten separately because they require different digesting time and enzymes. Please refer to the Combining food article and the chart at the end of it.
Digestion itself is a weigt loss process:
The process of digesting will use up energy and good nutrients too, stripping your system of vitamins, minerals and “good” fats. Eating foods with low nutritious value including “processed”, “white”, sugar-free, fat-free you creating a vicious circle of eating more and more “empty” foods depriving your body of important nutrients therefore increasing the cravings for these “good” nutrients, and eating more and more, building up the fat from excess “empty” calories.
Running for weight loss:
We often see people who run to lose weight but can’t lose a pound. When we ask them about their diet, they say – we eat pasta because it is good for running… How much running you need to burn a bowl of pasta? Here is the answer: 580-650 calories in a bowl of spagetti bolognese equals to 29-32 minutes of running at speed of 10 mph (6min per mile) – do you eat enough pasta? Does pasta have all the nutrients you need? Do you eat anything else? Snacks? Calculate your calories if you think you exercise enough to burn what you eat you might be wrong. Try www.myfitnesspal.com to calculate your calories versus your exercise – it’s free!
Combine your foods properly for healthy digestion. For example try not to eat highly starchy foods at the same time with high protein content foods and eat your fruits only on empty stomach. Some foods just do not go with each other and this is determined by your digestive system physiology. Respect your body’s physiology.
TO BE CONTINUED…
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