Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Healthy Eating Principles

Hello All . . . I have just returned from another leg of my book tour for my latest book, "Raw Energy". Last week, I was in Providence & Cranston, Rhode Island at the Whole Foods Markets doing raw food demonstrations and giving talks about the benefits of raw foods. Both events were "sold out" and I was thrilled that so many wanted to discuss nutrient-dense foods and raw foods, in particular.

Whole Foods Market has a wonderful brochure they are now passing around to consumers encouraging a healthier lifestyle through healthy eating, education, and support. The brochure is titled "Health Starts Here . . . Get Started Today" and it includes this real nifty pull-out card that lists the "Aggregate Nutrient Density Index" or ANDI for top 10 foods by departments such as "Produce", "Fruit", "Beans", "Nuts & Seeds", "Whole Grains", "Meat", "Fish", "Cheese", and "Refrigerated Dairy Case". An ANDI score shows the nutrient density of a food on a scale from 1 to 1,000 based on nutrient content. ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including, but not limited to: vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidant capacities. Being the "foodie" that I am (even with a degree in nutrition), I found some of the food rankings to be real eye-openers. The "Green Vegetables" category listed under "Produce" ranks the absolute highest in nutrient density. I've always been a big proponent of eating lots of greens and consuming daily green drinks such as wheatgrass, barleygrass, spirulina, and chlorella. I knew, deep down inside, that greens were fabulous for you!

I encourage those of you who live near a Whole Foods Market to pick up one of these brochures and read it thoroughly - absorbing the information.

Below, I will quote the brochure's "Healthy Eating Principles" section. Some of it you've read before or heard in the media, but it stands to be re-iterated. What you eat becomes your beauty, energy, long-term youthfulness, and total body health! Never forget that!

"Whole Foods Market - Healthy Eating Principles"

At Whole Foods Market, we believe that focusing on these 4 criteria offers the greatest health benefits, no matter what dietary path you follow.

Plant-Based
- Emphasize fresh vegetables, both raw and cooked; fruits; legumes/beans; nuts; seeds; and whole grains.
- Eat a colorful variety of plants to ensure you're getting the best nutrients for your body, which leads to feeling satiated.

Whole-Foods
- Choose foods that are real, fresh, natural, organic, local, seasonal, and unprocessed.
- Eliminate the consumption of refined, highly processed foods and foods void of nutrients, such as artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats.

Low Fat
- Get your healthy fats from plant sources, such as nuts and avocados.
- Minimize extracted oils and processed fats.
- Reduce or eliminate consumption of animal products; choose leaner meats and seafood, and low-fat dairy.

Nutrient Dense
- Choose foods that are rich in nutrients when compared to their total caloric content; also known as foods with a high nutrient density.
- Build your menus around plant-based foods to ensure highly nutrient-dense meals.
- Choose foods with a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
- Look for the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) scoring system to guide you on healthier choices.

NOTE: The above article was written by Stephanie Tourles and was adapted from the Whole Foods Market brochure, "Health Starts Here - Get Started Today", copyright 2010 Whole Foods Market, IP, L.P. It is for educational purposes only.

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