Healthy Diet (part one)

Fuel for Thought

My car’s check engine light kept coming on and then turning off on its own. What the heck? Is my oil low? Is the engine going to seize and I break down on the highway? Read more

Water – The Fountain of Youth?

Take a guess. What percent of your body is water? Less than 50%? Less than 60%? Maybe 70%? The answer is your body is 65-70% water, but less so if you have more body fat. Water is therefore quite Read more

Be Like Peter Rabbit

There is a bumper crop of wild rabbits in Anchorage this summer. Not a day goes by where I don’t see at least half a dozen scampering about, chowing down on all the weeds and wild flowers, pulling a Read more

Fathers’ Day – Gratitude for a Job Well Done

In 1948, blinded by young love and oblivious to the terror they would cause their parents, two young people, he, a young US Army lieutenant back from the war in Korea, and she, his beautiful college graduate, hometown sweetheart Read more

Allen Chapman, PA-C ,

healthy-eating-portion-control-s2-three-plates1What is a healthy diet? This is a question which can only be answered with caveats. A healthy diet for a person with diabetes, food allergies or celiac sprue is different than for someone without these ailments. The subject of this blog is a healthy diet for someone without a chronic disease which requires special dietary restrictions. This blog also isn’t about losing excess body weight. This information is about what a healthy, calorie balanced, content balanced, weight maintenance diet should contain.

Caloric balance is essential to maintaining a healthy weight. Overeating can lead to becoming overweight or obese. An extra 100 calories per day will cause a ten pound weight gain in a year. Obesity is the most common diet related health issue. Obesity is associated with increased mortality and increased risk for many health problems including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Regular self-monitoring of weight is the best strategy for judging energy balance.

Eat a balanced diet. Your body needs carbohydrates, protein and fat every day. Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for your body and are required for brain function. Every cell in your body contains a layer of fat which is essential for cell function. Proteins form our muscles, are involved in the transportation of hormones, essential nutrients and other substances within our bodies. The recommended balance of macronutrients is: 45-65% carbohydrates, 10-35% protein and 20-35% fat.

We should avoid fad diets which exclude entire categories of healthy food. There are some nutrients, however, that we should try to exclude from our diet. We have no metabolic need for trans fats or sugar added foods, and there is ample evidence that consuming these substances increases risk for chronic diseases which can shorten our lives. Trans fats are contained in many baked goods, margarine and partially hydrogenated oil. Sugar sweetened drinks are the most common sugar added food.

My next post will contain more specific information on healthy food choices for carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Like most things in life our choices matter and actions have consequences.