A Little Medical & Nutrition Talk
You probably bought this book because you want to look better. You’re definitely going to get that from it. The mirror is going to love the new you. Hopefully, what you’ve read has caused you to become a little more interested in living a healthy lifestyle. Vigor, vitality, stamina, and optimism flow from a healthy body. Prior to publishing this book, we gave a few hundred advance copies to readers and asked them to submit any questions they might have. Here’s what we got.
So, what’s the big fuss about trans fat? I get confused sometimes. There’s polyunsaturated fat and trans fat. What’s the difference?
A: Trans fats are detrimental to health because they increase your “bad” cholesterol and lower “good” cholesterol levels in your body. Trans fats promote blockage of your arteries, thus increasing your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other vascular diseases. Trans fat is called “partially hydrogenated oil” or “shortening” in the ingredient list. Polyunsaturated fat, on the other hand, is healthy and helps prevent blood vessel disease. Vegetable oils are an excellent source of these beneficial fats, provided they’ve not been hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.
What about artificial sweeteners?
A: There’s conflicting research regarding the effects of artificial sweeteners. As of this writing, it is our opinion that natural sweeteners are a better choice, and the use of artificial sweeteners should be limited until conclusive research is available.
Why should I care about sodium? Is it the same as salt?
A: Most Americans consume at least twice the daily maximum recommended amount of sodium, which is 10 to 20 times the amount necessary to sustain life. Most of this sodium is from salt which is added to processed foods. Sodium raises blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness.
Do I need to continue taking supplements like B-6, omegas, and minerals if I’m eating lots of fiber?
A: One of the beautiful things about fiber-rich foods is that they’re also packed with vitamins, essential fatty acids, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Most supplements are unnecessary when you eat The Full Plate Diet unless you’re taking special supplements under the guidance of your physician.
I’ve noticed several new products that advertise high fiber. Are these for real, or have they just processed food in disguise?
A: The best way to increase dietary fiber is to eat whole-plant foods as unprocessed as possible. Some manufacturers are adding fiber to their processed foods but it’s not yet clear if this added fiber is as beneficial as naturally occurring fiber. If a product is essentially unhealthy, it will still be unhealthy if you add fiber. Fiber isn’t magic, it’s merely a marker for foods that contain vitamins, essential fatty acids, minerals, antioxidants, and hundreds of important phytochemicals that can be obtained no other way.
How can I use The Full Plate Diet to help control my diabetes?
A: Fiber is a great way to help control blood sugar, and losing weight is also critical. This diet will help you do both. If you want to stop, and possibly reverse, type 2 diabetes, you need to count carbs, limit high glycemic foods, get regular physical activity, check your blood sugar routinely, eat meals at a consistent time every day, manage stress, and get adequate rest.