Healthy diets are different than quick weight-loss fad diets. Indulging in a healthy diet menu for one week sets the stage for eating healthy for a lifetime. There are many healthy diet programs that are designed to meet general dietary needs as well as specific requirements. For a healthy and happier life, consider eating a healthy diet menu plan for a week. Creating a healthy menu for a week is simple to do, and the food can be delicious.
A healthy diet is a cornerstone for an active and longer life. The news is full of information about the American diet and its accompanying hazards. With diabetes, heart conditions and obesity on the rise in adults and children, it is impossible to ignore that food determines physical well-being. There has never been a shortage of quick-weight-loss diets. However, overall healthy diets are about the foods one eats every day as part of general health care. When one uses super foods as guidance for meal planning, the results may be surprisingly tempting and fulfilling.
Super foods are high in a variety of nutrients that have been tested and proven to provide an array of health needs. Two proponents of super foods are Dr. Steven Pratt and Dr. Andrew Weil. Each has a different approach to healthy eating and living, but the foods they recommend essentially are the same. Dr. Pratt refers to the "Fabulous 14," some of which include fish, legumes, nuts, fruits, grains, vegetables and beverages. Each food provides essential nutrients that naturally bring the body into a state of physical balance. Dr. Weil's approach is more holistic, but he recommends the same foods. He favors a Mediterranean menu.
A week of healthy eating includes a brightly colored array of foods. There are 14 categories of super foods from which to choose. Some of the stars include the humble bean; any bean will do. Beans lower cholesterol, balance blood sugar, ease hypertension and reduce cancer risk, just to name a few properties of the bean. Eat dark red, blue or purple fruit every day. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which promote healthy immune systems. They also improve vascular health and have anti-aging properties. Broccoli (and other tubers and greens) deserve the title "Super Food." Among its many nutritional properties, broccoli is a formidable foe against cancer and strengthens the immune system. Whole grains and wild salmon find a place on the list. Oats, flax seed and wheat germ are sources of complex carbohydrates, have cholesterol-lowering properties and help stabilize blood sugar. Wild salmon offers omega-3 fatty acids, which is not just good fat, but necessary fat. The absence of omega-3 fatty acids in the American diets is partially credited with the rise in heart disease and cancer. (For a full list of super foods, see "Additional Resources," below.)
A weekly menu for the Super Foods Rx plan might include the following meals: Oatmeal for breakfast with fruit and soy milk; a morning snack of fresh or dried papaya chunks. Lunch can include a salad of spinach, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, almonds and avocados with virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (this makes a great snack anytime) with dried plums or raspberries sprinkled on the salad. Beat the afternoon sugar craving with a small handful of raw almonds, organic vegetable cocktail and a carrot. Dinner will satisfy with filet mignon on wilted greens, mashed sweet potatoes, salad and organic sorbet for dessert. For one week, eat small meals and snacks, making sure to include a cross section of the range of super foods. Eat salmon, canned albacore, clams, sardines or herrings for their omega-3 fatty acids, three times in the week. Include soy in the form of tofu or soy milk. The good news is that it is not necessary to become a vegetarian to eat healthy.
In the book "8 Weeks to Optimum Health," Dr. Weil recommends different menus for each of the eight weeks. Using the same basic foods as Dr. Pratt's SuperFoods Rx, Dr. Weil suggests menus that include grilled salmon cooked in fresh ginger and garlic, with broccoli, seasoned with fresh garlic, extra-virgin olive oil and red pepper. Eat broccoli twice during the week. Salmon is a mainstay for Dr. Weil, and he offers recipes for grilled or poached salmon, or salmon cooked in parchment, which is eaten once in the first week. Dr. Weil eases one into healthy living rather than just healthy eating. He also emphasizes the health effects of Mediterranean eating. Use extra-virgin olive oil and flax-seed oil for cooking and salad dressings. Eat small portions of nuts such as almonds and walnuts and add them to other foods. The most important part of the first week, though, is just before the first day. Dr. Weil tells the reader to go through the cupboards and refrigerator and throw away all foods with preservatives, polyunsaturated and trans fats, simple sugars and simple carbohydrates.
With sound and balanced healthy-eating advice available, beginning to eat foods that may extend and improve life is simpler than ever. Most grocers carry every kind of foods and recipes are readily available. Unlike fad diets, healthy eating menus are designed for a lifetime. In addition to general diets, there are specific diet plans for people with diabetes, hypoglycemia, vascular conditions and every other ailment. There is more hope for health than ever.