Food 
By Walter Sorochan

Posted April 20, 2016  Disclaimer

We all eat food and talk about food as though we are expert nutritionists. Thats because we have been brain-washed from early childhood to develop a taste for food.  But really ... we seldom have expertise when we eat food.  The internet is littered with experts citing their version of good and bad foods.  Who are you going to believe?  This article clarifies good and bad foods. 

Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plants origin, and contains essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.  Wiki: food list 

Of more than 50,000 edible plant species in the world, only a few hundred contribute significantly to human food supplies. Just 15 crop plants provide 90 percent of the world's food energy intake (exclusive of meat), with rice, maize and wheat comprising two-thirds of human food consumption. These three alone are the staples of over 4 billion people.  Wiki: food list

Basis for good foods:  George Mateljan Foundation: Healthy foods 2016 There has to be a scientific way to label foods as good other than just one's opinion or 'heresay'. Scientists use a concept called nutrient density to determine which foods have the highest nutritional value. Nutrient density is a measure of the amount of nutrients a food contains in comparison to the number of calories. A food is more nutrient dense when the level of nutrients is high in relationship to the number of calories the food contains.  However, there are other criteria for identifying good foods.

Healthiest Foods are also whole foods complete with all their rich natural endowment of nutrients. They have not been highly processed nor do they contain synthetic, artificial or irradiated ingredients. Most vegetables and fruits are best eaten raw! 

Healthy foods are affordable and the majority people can easily find at their local market.

Good Foods:  Basic foods include breads, dairy products, eggs, legumes, edible plants, edible mushrooms, meat, edible nuts and seeds, cereals and seafoods.  Healthy foods are whole fresh, organically grown vegetables and fruits, whole grains and legumes.  Whole foods, by their nature, differ from refined foods in that they are not processed with an array of chemical additives.

Bad Foods:  Whole foods can be changed by chemical processes, making them processed foods.  Some or much of the nutrients are removed in order to lengthen food shelf and/or additives are added.  Other foods like sugar cane can be refined into white sugar where the natural minerals and vitamins are removed.  Another example is whole grain flour, light brown in color, being refined into processed white flour. When processed, a whole grain loses its bran, which contains most of its fiber, minerals, and B-vitamins; and its germ, which contains its essential fats and vitamin E compounds called the tocopherols.

Other examples of common processed foods include: breakfast cereals, cheese, tinned vegetables, snacks such as potato chips and cookies, desserts like pies and puddings, appetizers, meat products such as hotdogs and baloney, "convenience foods" such as pizza, microwave meals or ready meals at McDonalds or Jack in the Box, and drinks, such as milk or soft drinks. 

Conclusion: University scientists, federal regulators, and our mothers are all in agreement: Eating fresh, organically grown vegetables and fruits, whole grains and legumes -- results in a lower risk of many types of cancers and chronic diseases, and promotes healthy aging and higher energy levels. Time and again, epidemiological studies .... a type of study in which the diet consumed by individuals is compared to their development of disease over a period of years or decades--show that people who consume healthy foods have a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), arthritis, and cancer than people whose diets are processed, refined un-whole foods. 

There are hundreds of good foods that you can eat. But having a good/bad foods list is not going to make you healthier.  You do not need a list that you can find on the internet.  Instead you do need good 'common sense' to make wise choices when you go grocery shopping, eat out or prepare meals at home. Think what will make you healthy and wise!   Select food not because of taste or convenience but because of the nutrients it has and that it can help you stay well.  As you can surmise, you do need a lot of discipline and desire to be healthy.  Food is your best medicine but only if you make wise choices!! 

For more health information: Go to food menu

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References:

Bruce, B; Spiller, GA; Klevay, LM; Gallagher, SK, "A diet high in whole and unrefined foods favorably alters lipids, antioxidant defenses, and colon function,"  Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2000, 19 (1): 61–7, (PDF).   Bruce: good vs bad foods 2000

George Mateljan Foundation, "The World's Healthiest Foods." 2016.  George Mateljan Foundation: Healthy foods 2016

SNAP, Basic Foods."  SNAP: govt basic foods

Wikipedia, "List of Foods."  Wiki: food list