HEALTHY EATING

Nutrition

'by janice tiefenhach"
One main cause of unhealthiness in the so-called 'developed' world is the high degree of food processing. Did it ever strike you as strange that there is more stuff in boxes, cans and plastic bags in grocery stores than real food? By real food. I mean. an apple. a pear. a potato. an onion. an actual head of garlic as

Guide to a healthy diet

The first rule to eating well is to get in touch with as many whole foods as possible.

One main cause of unhealthiness in the so-called 'developed' world is the high degree of food processing. Did it ever strike you as strange that there is more stuff in boxes, cans and plastic bags in grocery stores than real food? By real food. I mean. an apple. a pear. a potato. an onion. an actual head of garlic as opposed to a jar of perfectly minced garlic floating in some suspicious liquid. As soon as a food is removed from its naturally existing state. it suddenly requires a whole lot of unnecessary additions and modifications: processing. preserving. packaging. transporting. marketing etc. The food's nutritional value is diminished.

Familiarize yourself with real food. As an experiment. try cooking with only 'natural foods. I put natural in quotations because there are precious few things left these days that haven't been touched by 'artificial' hands: that big round tomato jumping at you off the grocery shop may well have been genetically modified. containing spliced D.N.A. from any number of plants or animals. Most fruits and vegetables. unless labelled organic. arc grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers. In Canada there is a legal limit to how much pesticide can be sprayed on crops. However. this limit is not always observed. Additionally. produce imported from abroad may contain up to lox the levels of pesticides legal in Canada. Pesticides often penetrate the skin or peel of the crops. making them impossible to remove just by washing or peeling.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are present in many processed grains (especially wheat and maize) and oils (especially canola and corn). Unless specifically labelled. expect that at least 60% of all grains that you consume contain GMOs. especially cereals and wheat products. Most soy products are also problematic unless. specifically labelled organic. Soy lecithin is a processed soy product that turns up in a lot of foods. . Read labels if you're concerned and rethink cutting processed foods.

Not everyone can afford to buy fresh organic produce. Organic produce sold at health food stores are generally very expensive. and not the least bit conducive to a student's tight budget. Fortunately. There are ways to improve your diet without buying strictly organic. Buying locally grown fruits and vegetables sold at small independent stores and farmers markets is better than buying whatever is featured at large chain stores.

This enables you to support local farmers and ~mall vendors in your community. By doing this. you are demonstrating that you do not condone the waste of energy and resources required to transport out of season fruits and vegetables from other countries.

Organic grains and legumes are often only slightly more expensive than their non-organic varieties. Buying these products in bulk from health food stores keeps it economical to shop organically.

Another way to actively reduce waste in your community is to engage in the radical and highly rewarding past-time known as dumpster diving! Just sneak around to the backs of local stores and check out what they throw away. Hint: the fancier the store. the higher the quality the waste. Stores that sell to wealthy consumers maintain very high standards. Every apple on their shelf is bound to be perfect. The smallest dent or bruise renders it unfit for sale. and it therefore ends up in the dumpster. Also. try approaching sales persons in grocery stores and inquire about what happens to their second-hand produce, and if you can have it. Most of the time, they are more than glad to have someone take the stuff off their hands.

The next step to ensuring healthy vegan living is to identify the nutrients essential to a well-balanced diet and what foods contain them. Many people suffer from a lack of various nutrients as a result of eating too much processed food. As compensation, they turn to packaged vitamins and supplements in order to make up what they lack.

A healthier and cheaper alternative is to simply cut out the processed food! Stick to eating whole foods which already contain the vitamins and nutrients you need in their natural state.

The following is a breakdown of the main food categories vegans should include in their diets:

Grains

Grains are the staple of a vegan diet, and should be an essential feature of any diet. Contrary to common food myths. grains arc not just starchy carbs suitable for cattle or sick people. Grains arc wonderfully diverse and nutritious complex carbohydrates.

There is a sliding scale of nutritional value and different properties found in each gram. Some of the more common grains such as white rice, white wheat, and more.

Start your healthy diet today and have a happy life!

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