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A Different View of Food and Diets
Written By : Bruce Kaler, MD 
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Everybody has to eat. Let's face it...you can't give it up or swear, I'll never do that again. Dieting or maintaining a reasonable diet is a challenge for everyone. Consistency is the key, not perfection. Eating a wide variety of foods is helpful in order to be healthy or manage weight. The area in which most people stray is portion control. Seductive foods are around every corner. Every well intentioned co-worker brings in some sweet or savory delicacy that you have to taste or risk insulting someone's feelings. Striving for moderation and consistency will keep you successful in reaching your goals. Some foods have gotten a bad reputation. Let's take a look at several foods in detail to see how they are actually quite acceptable.

Eggs

Recent research tells us that eggs are not only acceptable but a healthy choice. Few foods have generated so much controversy about being a part of a healthy diet. Eggs are loaded with protein and are a nutritious part of a reasonable breakfast meal. Proteins are metabolized in a way that creates a longer period of satisfaction, curbing hunger, while providing a nutritious source of energy. When included with breakfast only a few times per week this can actually help maintain weight or keep you on track with weight loss goals. Moderation and not depriving yourself severely, leads to greater success. This is clear from years of research and experience with any type of diet.

Beef

Eating less red meat has been the mantra for many years. As with much of our understanding of nutrition we are learning it is not so simple. Lean cuts of red meat are actually fine as long as portion size is controlled. Lean cuts of beef have about the same amount of saturated fat (the bad fat) as a skinless chicken breast. Red meat is also a famously good source of protein. So mix things up in your diet while being mindful about moderation. The variety will help keep you motivated, while satisfying your personal taste in foods.

Pork

The prize for worst undeserved bad reputation goes to pork. Common usage of the word cleverly describes a variety of excess in diet, life, and even politics. Who hasn't heard thatpork fat rules? When it comes to flavor that may be true. Between evolving efforts of pork production and the kind of popular cuts we use today, pork is considerably leaner than it was in the past. Pork can be another great protein source if used in moderation as an integral part of a sensible diet.

Pasta

Although we generally consume too much of our diet in carbohydrates, pasta can still be an enjoyable component especially if you include whole wheat pastas. If more whole grains are included in meals, while being attentive to portion size, then pasta is not off limits. Rather than avoiding pasta when you're dieting, make the switch to whole grain. Clearly research shows that whole grains and complex carbohydratesare metabolized in a different way than more highly refined foods and have a lot more nutritional value.

Nuts

Small amounts of this favorite food can control hunger without causing weight gain. Nuts are high in fat, but it is the good kind of fat. They are also high in protein and fiber. These natural foods can go a long way to curb hunger and stabilize your blood sugar. That provides energy and satisfaction. Again portion control is important. Nonetheless a handful once a day can be a fantastic treat and very satisfying. In the end you'll consume fewer calories than binging on some highly processed junk food of little nutritional value. These little beauties are some of the original snack foods known to humankind and in their very own natural packaging!

Cheese

Yet another food that gets a bad rap for high caloric content. Often people restrict calcium rich dairy foods. Some evidence suggests there may be a connection between facilitating weight loss and calcium rich foods. No doubt it's probably is not that simple. With so many low fat and reduced fat highly nutritional options for dairy products, there really is no reason to forego yogurt, milk and cheese unless one is lactose intolerant. One of the best sources for calcium, in moderation and reasonable portions, it can provide excellent nutritional value.

There really are no good or bad foods. Sensible approach to food in moderation and paying particular attention to portion control is the only way to go. Depriving yourself of a particular food leads to craving and resentment. It is a recipe for disaster. Any approach to food must be sustainable and sensible. Even having some things like chocolate typically one of the forbidden fruits, can fit into a sensible diet of moderation and variety. Remember variety is the spice of life when it comes to food.

 
 
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