How to Eat?
Written by Gayle
Every once in a while I like to have a little shot in the arm to increase my motivation to eat right. It is so easy to get caught in a trap of eating without thinking, especially in the busy summer when my preference is to do things the lazy way.
But I listened to a TED talk today that helped me to see past the laziness.
Dean Ornish has been researching health for a long time. He is clinical professor at UCSF and the founder of the Preventative Medicine Research Institute. His talk, found here, reminded me of the great health and lifestyle benefits are to be found in simple choices.
Dr. Ornish spoke of the wonder of our bodies, and how they want to heal. He called healing the “ultimate natural wonder,” and said that our bodies will heal “when we stop doing what is causing the problem.” His specialty is heart disease, and he had some pretty amazing statistics stemming from his research that back up his statements. He said that 99% of the patients that adopted lifestyle changes stopped or reversed the progress of their heart disease. Over 80% of patients that were eligible for bypass surgery or angioplasty were able to safely avoid it for at least 3 years through diet and lifestyle changes–saving an average of nearly $30,000 per patient.
But what really struck me is the simplicity of his message. (Is this really a shake-up of Medicine?)
- We should eat a diet that is low in overall fats, but using the good omega-3 fatty acids
- We should limit our consumption of simple carbohydrates (sometimes called the white foods–refined flours, sugars, etc)
- We should eat a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grains)
- We should make sure to consume 3 grams per day of omega-3 fatty acids.
This is his food pyramid. (Found in his book, “The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lost Weight, Gain Health.”)
His talk reminded me that it isn’t hard to eat in a healthy way. It just take a decision. Fill up the shopping cart with fresh vegetables and fruits. Whole grains should dominate. Throw some healthy nuts or a sliced avocado on that salad. Go vegetarian/vegan more often (more than just an occasional “Meatless Monday!”)
Fortunately, delicious and beautiful organic produce is abundant.
So for the sake of hearts and health and happiness, simplify!