Monday, November 14, 2011

My Diet

Here's a video by Jeff Novick, one of my favorite guys, about reading food labels. Now I know you'd think reading a food label is boring, but I challenge you to watch this and not have your jaw drop.

In my nutritional journey it has taken a lot of zigs and zags. I started thinking about foods that I eat in its relationship to health around my later twenties. Nutrition or what I eat is definitely a fundamental part of my life.

Here's where I'm at presently in my diet. I abstain from alcohol. Also I don't eat any animal products. This means steak, chicken, pork, fish, milk, ice cream, cheese and yogurt. Also I'm avoiding most processed foods--chips, white breads, cookies, candy, white rice, carbonated drinks--you get the idea.

Now I'm learning about the deleterious effects of salt. I've always been borderline hypertensive, at least for the last 30 years. I've pretty much kept it under the 140/90 range of what is then considered high blood pressure. Even though I've read and heard many times about salt's ill effects, I've only now taken it to heart.

Here are some of the facts that I have read: Our recommended intake is about a teaspoon per day, which is 2300-2400 milligrams. Or 2.3 to 2.4 grams. The average American gets 3500 milligrams, and for some it's much higher than that. Our actual requirements for sodium is 350-400 milligrams/day, so says the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Institute of Health. That means we're getting 10Xs the sodium per day that we need.

By watching Jeff Novick and his videos, he recommends that when one is buying a food product, look at the ingredients, and not have the sodium number higher than the calorie number. In other words, if the calorie content per serving is 250 calories, the sodium content should not be over 250 milligrams. If you adopt that as your standard, there will be a lot of food tossed.

I thought being vegan was radical. Try eating a low sodium diet, now that's radical. What I'm finding is that I'm being drawn to eating not only more whole foods, but fresh whole foods. Look at a can of tomato sauce and look at the amount of sodium. And remember, that's only what they call one serving. And listen, I'm not even thinking of going organic. I don't even want to see a movie about that;)

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