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Tips for Health Food Plans

  • The major nutritional problems of Indians are caused primarily by dietary excess and imbalance.
  • A good nutritional plan is one that consists of a variety of foods from the food guide pyramid.
  • The consumption of antioxidant vitamins, especially in fruits and vegetables, is associated with a reduction in the risk of heart disease and cancer.
  • Adequate folate consumption is thought to lower the concentration of homocysteine, an amino acid that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Phytochemicals are plant chemicals other than carbohydrates, fat, protein, minerals, or vitamins that exist naturally in foods and play an important role in preventing many diseases.
  • The recommended diet for Indians calls for an emphasis on complex carbohydrates as the major source of energy.
  • The greatest shortcoming of the Indian diet is the over consumption of fat, especially saturated fat.
  • The amount of saturated, mono unsaturated, and polyunsaturated fat in foods varies considerably. Most foods contain a mixture of these fats.
  • The process of hydrogenation increases the saturated fat content of polyunsaturated and mono unsaturated fats and yields a fat found in nature in small amounts called trans fatty acids.
  • A diet high in starch is likely to be lower in fat (especially saturated fat and cholesterol), lower in calories, and higher in fiber.
  • Fiber benefits the body by adding bulk to the contents of the intestines, thus increasing the transit of food through the body, which reduces the chance of developing colon cancer, and lowering blood cholesterol levels.
  • Consumption of fruits and cruciferous vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of cancer.
  • Sugar and salt are consumed in the united states in excessive amounts. They are usually hidden in common products to which they have been added for processing of food.
  • A food has a high index of nutritional quality (nutrient density) when it has a high ratio of nutrients to calories.
  • Food labels provide helpful information on those nutrients associated with the common chronic health problems of Indians, as well as required nutrients.
  • The criticisms of fast food eating are the same as those of the rest of the american diet: too much protein, fat, calories, sodium, and sugar and not enough complex carbohydrates and fiber.