Most of us understand the importance of a balanced diet - one low in saturated and partially hydrogenated oils, salt, sugar and processed foods. But how many of us realize that drinking just one soft drink a day during childhood can increase a child's chances of becoming obese by 60%? (See www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=news&dbid=22.) Facts like this make healthy eating much more complicated than it used to be.
Balanced eating used to be easier: You ate what your mother and grandmothers cooked, usually food common to your ethnicity. These nutritious, homemade foods were prepared with fresh ingredients and eaten in "real food" portions - much smaller than Americans are used to these days.
Add to the larger portions a "gotta go, get more, and get it faster" lifestyle, and you have a recipe for nutritional disaster. People need to move slowly to plan a meal, then cook it and consume it at a healthy pace. If we allow ourselves to add junk food (meaning processed foods and fast food) to our diets, we complicate the formula with empty calories and dangerous chemicals.
Unfortunately, we don't live at the same relaxed pace as our ancestors did. But we can still make careful, informed choices. We can vote with our dollars in the market. And we can feed ourselves well. There is almost nothing more important for good health than fueling up with nutritious foods. The following links will help to guide you on your way.