Considering tomorrow today
Taking responsibility for your own health FOOD!
“We are what we eat!” so they say. Alongside exercise, your choice of what you eat, drink, breathe or absorb in some other way into your body must surely be the easiest contribution you can make to improving your own health. So let’s take a look at day to day eating and drinking – DIET.
To many, the word diet equates with trying to lose weight and certainly being over weight or obese is not good for your health at this very moment. It is also a predictor of a huge range of potential future health problems, from complications with pregnancies to difficult menopause; sports injuries to later life fractures; asthma to Alzheimer’s. It is no surprise, that with an eye to the future, that public health policy has a large focus on reducing obesity, hoping to educate children, through the menu of school dinners, to choose, and enjoy, healthy food options naturally as they grow into adulthood. For those of us grown ups whose reaction to being told it would be a good idea to lose weight is likely to be “But, I can’t live without… chocolate, cheese, chips, my mid-morning croissant, a fried breakfast at the weekend, or a glass of wine.” and so on, it is likely to be harder. One could concentrate on the unpleasant symptoms of diseases and conditions that are more common amongst the overweight, however if you are the optimistic type it might be preferable to find some positive motivations.
In 2004 Glanni Pes and Michel Poulain published the paper from which the concept of Blue Zones developed. Their study in Nuora Province of Sardinia, was exploring an area where there was no gender gap in longevity. Unlike other countries and indeed other parts of Italy, as many men lived to the oldest of ages as women. The area had roughly twice as many centenarians as the Italian average. Not only were people living longer but they were living in active good health far longer than elsewhere. National Geographic journalist Dan Buettner coined the term Blue Zones and added 4 more areas to the list and studied different aspects of life in those zones. At a time when in most of the world the average age of the population is getting older, there is great interest in successful aging and the prize of both a long and a healthy life.
General recommendations for a healthy diet usually mention the Mediterranean diet with lots of vegetables and fruit, protein from fish and plants rather than meat, reduction of free sugar, low salt and with an emphasis on whole foods and reducing processed food. It is often said that your plate should be colourful and that by choosing foods with a variety of natural colours you will be ensuring a balanced diet.
There is a lot of information on the internet, advice on diet and, in particular, on specific foods to help manage particular health conditions, all of which can be very confusing. It can also be contradictory and misleading, so take care where you take your information from. Use well known sources NHS, UK, USA and European Charities, World Health Organisation, Universities, academic journals and databases. Look for confirmation from elsewhere, check references and if an academic paper is cited at least check that it is published and you will normally be able to read a summary, called an abstract, at the beginning to check it out. If it is very scientific and you can’t follow it be careful.
While looking for information on a healthy diet I came across a couple of interesting bits of related information:-
• People who grow their own, eat more fruit and veg than those who just buy them
• An average household in the UK wastes a shocking 68kg of fruit and veg in a year. People who grow their own waste only 3.1 kg.
So read The Village Gardener and get growing for your own health and that of the environment.
• There is Netflix docuseries on all aspects of the Blue Zones https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/ 81214929
• Information on the Blue Zone Diet in more detail https://www.bluezones.com/recipes/foodguidelines/
• World Health Organisation information on a healthy diet. https://www.who.int/news-room/ fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet
New Forum members are always welcome to join e-mail us e-mail gwenfo.
Contact to us on :-Facebook: Gwen Fo @ https://www.facebook.com/gwen.fo.1/
and Wenvoe Forum @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/635369267864402 or
See our Blog site https://wenvoeforum.wordpress.com/