A Simple Health and Fitness Plan for
A successful program to improve health and fitness must become each individual’s responsibility as well as every household’s, school’s, university’s, nursing home’s, hospital’s, restaurant’s, etc.
Diet and exercise are the
cornerstones to rebuilding
To do this we must first agree what is a healthful diet. I believe the following constitutes a generally healthful diet:
1) Primarily fresh foods, locally-grown if possible to avoid unnecessary waste of fuel and shipping cost over long distances. Locally-grown foods offer higher nutritive values over produce shipped from a distance. Non-local foods must be picked before they can reach full nutritive value to avoid spoilage en route.
2) Mostly high-fiber foods. These foods lower cholesterol, absorb fat, maintain digestive tract health and reduce weight when consumed on a daily basis.
3) Whole grains contain the most concentrated carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fiber. They should be the primary choice, around which each meal is built.
4) Vegetables and legumes (beans, peas, seeds) should accompany whole-grain-based meals, since they contain abundant protein, good carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
5) Fish, fowl, seeds and nuts, salads and locally-grown fruits, can round out meals to provide a full spectrum of nutritive values required for a healthy lifestyle.
High-cholesterol foods like fatty meats, eggs and dairy products can be gradually reduced to avoid detrimental effects on health that consuming these foods regularly can cause.
High-glycemic foods such as refined grains and flour products, especially bleached flour products, refined sugar and salt, processed foods and beverages containing artificial oils, flavors, sweeteners, dyes, preservatives and other additives, should be avoided.
The general idea is to keep what you consume as natural (i.e. as close to its unadulterated, original form) as possible. The less your food is processed, the better. The more the food is processed, the more nutritive value is lost during processing.
If such meals were made available to school students, nursing home patients and others under medical supervision, as well as to families receiving food stamps, WIC Program assistance, etc., health care would become simpler and less expensive, saving US taxpayers and insurance companies billions of dollars every year.
A law should be passed to ban soft drink and candy machines from public schools, offering instead bottled waters, herb teas, fruit juices, packets of nuts, seeds, and fresh/dried fruits.
If such simple changes were implemented, the quality of life would change dramatically for millions of people, medical expenses would be greatly reduced and taxpayers relieved of one more burden they now shoulder.