A Diet for the Rest of Your Life
Steven Lance | New Jersey, author of Written Out of Television an | 06/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Andrew Weil, M.D. has done it again. He has taken the complex issues of nutrition, healthy eating, and lifestyle, and teaches us in his authoritative and "favorite uncle" style how we can each alter our diets to live healtier. Not only for today, but for our lifetimes. Dr. Weil dispels myths about fats, eggs and chocolate and explains how food is best utilized by our bodies while offering easy-to-follow guidance for making the best selection for health and pleasurable dining."
Food that is healthy and food that taste good are NOT mutual
Gabriel E. Borlean | Odense, Denmark - birthtown of fairytale-writer H. | 02/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
Dr. Andrew Weil starts the video saying that "I believe I know some of the secrets to good health and longevity" and the rest of the program is him sharing these "secrets". These secrets are from the realms of conventional and alternative medicine, and are about diet, health, food, and nutrition. He gives practical advice, and no illusionary ideas.
Two ideas that stand out and that Dr. Weil emphasizes are:
* "Food that is healthy and food that taste good are not mutually exclusive" ("no opposition between eating for health and eating for pleasure").
* Eating well for Optimum Health (eating is a source of pleasure, of social interaction, source of cultural and individual identity. We have power of our food choices).
Dr. Andrew Weil, a trained botanist (undergrad at Harvard university) and a medical doctor (Harvard Med school), states that he never practice conventional medicine, but instead "integrated medicine", program director of integrated medicine at University of Arizona, and is involved in teaching doctors about nutrition. Interest: food, health, and cooking, and how other cultures have viewed these areas.
Main goals of this program are:
1) Basic Facts of Human Nutrition
2) Dispel Confusion and Myths
3) Importance of Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats
4) How to Read Labels (and be better shoppers)
5) How to Enjoy Preparing Food
6) How to Recognized Unhealthy Diets
7) How to Plan an Optimum Diet
Principles of Eating Well:
a) One has to eat to live (food is fuel for our metabolic bodies).
b) Plants capture solar energy.
c) Plants provide energy for animals.
d) Eating is a major source of pleasure ("food has a tremendous power to change behavior") and "not all of us respond to food the same way" (and can sometimes become a source for addictive behavior - eating immoderately and addictively).
e) Healthy food gives you Pleasure!
f) Eating is important in social interaction (word "companion" in Latin means "bread"; Japanese for "intimate companion" is one who eats rice from the same bowl). How we eat reflects and defines our personal and cultural identity.
g) How we eat is one determinant of health. Eating is not the only determinant of health. Eating is important because one has total control over it.
h) Nutritional medicine
a. Designing an Optimum Diet.
b. Treating specific diseases with dietary change.
Seven key areas of lifestyle that Dr. Weil thinks are important:
i) Know what Foods to Eat
ii) Dietary Supplements and their use
iii) How to Relax (what one does to neutralize and reduce stress) ... Breathing technique, Meditation
iv) Exercise and Physical Activity (intense isolated workouts not the most useful form of activity but rather the sum total activity throughout a day)
v) "Connectedness" ("believes that living in isolation promotes illness")
vi) Enjoy Work and Play (and attitudes toward work)
vii) Adequate Rest (sleep of adequate amount and quality)
GOALS 4 & 5:
Therapeutic Cooking - a section on how he enjoys cooking and how relaxing this activity is. Be creating and imaginative. Believes cooking together in a kitchen is a good test of compatibility. Cook pasta al dente.
Read Labels! Basic principles: if label list is so long it barely fits on product he skips it, compare what is in the product and compare how he would make it at home, check total calories (make sure the serving size is really what you would eat), check serving size, check total fat, listing of micronutrients (check saturated fat, sodium amount), avoid hydrogenated anything.
Different cooking methods: microwaving may not be the healthiest long term cooking, always use only ceramic or glass. Be an "alchemist in the kitchen." Use foods that promote longevity and happiness.
GOALS 1 & 3:
Macronutrients: Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats.
Carbohydrates - glucose is the preferred food of the brain (needs a steady supply of glucose). Do not think about carbs as complex and simple, but rather think of their Glycemic Index (how fast different carbs are converted to blood sugar). High Glycemic Index = fast Conversion to Blood Sugar. Interestingly table sugar has moderate glycemic index, while a rice cake has a high glycemic index rate. Eating a lot of foods with high glycemic index foods Seems to correlate obesity, hypertensions, early adult onset of diabetes, and insulin-resistance. Avoid with High Fructose Corn Syrup. 50-60% of diet should be made up of carbs.
Fats - We need fats in our diet (concentrated source of caloric energy, body convert and burn fat). Kinds of fat that we eat are just as important as the quantity of fat. Saturated fat is very bad for health (fats that are solid at room temperature; palm, coconut oil, animal fats, milk fat). Avoid saturated fat. Some cultural diets are high in fat (Creteans have diet with 40% fat and are very healthy). Need for Essential Fatty Acids. Healthy to eat nuts (sources of: vitamin E, fiber, minerals, essential fatty acids). Kinds of fat to eat: mono-unsaturated fats such as, olive oil, avocado, nuts. Avoid poly-unsaturated vegetable oils, such as, safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, sesame oil. Sources of Omega-3 essential fatty acids (cold water fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring) and vegetable (flax, hemp seeds, walnuts). Recommends a diet of 30% fat.
Proteins - (elasticity of skin, contractility of muscles, burns enzymes, constitute receptors). Due to excess protein in a fad diet .. protein is not a clean burning fuel. Recommend 10-20% of calories from protein. Kinds of protein to eat: toxin-free meat in moderation (not dense portions), limit dairy products (fat in milk is the most concentrated source of saturated fat), cheese in modest amounts.
GOAL 6 & 7:
One needs Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins for an Optimum Diet (in the right proportions, right kinds, and right amounts). Processed foods in moderation. Eat chewy, dense breads, moderately cooked pasta. Mix raw and cooked foods. Debunks the Paleolithic diet, the Raw foods diet, the Vegan diet (B12 deficiency). Interesting diet: "traditional" Japanese diet (low % fat, rice is main ingredient, fish as major source of protesin, soy, vegetable, fruit, sea vegetables, green tea), which is not very transportable and very labor intensive. Great principles: variety of vegetables, artful presentation, very little sweet stuff. Mediterranean diet (including island of Crete): good fat, vegetables, fruits, fish, little meat, yogurt, cheeses, whole grain breads, and regular physical activity, strong social connections.
Principles of healthy eating are the same, but one should adapt the diet according to one's prefferance. Possible to create an international diet, no one right way to eat, we are all different. Eat the right kinds of carbohydrates, right kinds of fats, proteins and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, fiber, plant compounds). One can construct diet that is interesting and is satisfying.
Weight and Weight Loss:
Americans are fat because: we eat too much, we eat the wrong kinds of foods, and do not get enough activity. Secret to losing weight: eat less and increase activity. Avoid snack foods. Interesting to look at countries where obesity is rare. Good things from the French: smaller portions, healthy snacking, and more activity. It is important for parents to help children develop good habits of eating.
Vitamins (fat-soluble and water-soluble).
Water-soluble (B &C): recommends B-complex supplement (folic acid). Vitamin C supplement is harmless and useful. Fruits and vegetables are good source of Vitamin C.
Fat-soluble (A, D, E, & K): Eat lots of dark-leafy greens, colored fruits and vegetables (source of A). Not a bad idea to take supplemental D (400 I units, taken with food). Vitamin E is very powerful at protecting cell damage, cardiovascular health - recommends a min.400 IU. Selenium is recommended, of 200mg. Worth taking an anti-oxidant formula incorporating these vitamins.
Fiber (not a source of calories, or vitamins, but necessary for optimum functioning): soluble and insoluble. Insoluble: wheat, whole grains, vegetable, fruit. Soluble: oats (traps cholesterol in intestinal tract). Recommended 40gms of fiber.
Protective phyto-chemicals, is an area that Dr. Weil wants to focus on. Found in soy (isoflavonoids). Green tea has some of the most powerful antioxidants in it.
Lycopene is found in tomatoes. Broccoli and grapes have individual components that are unique and great for one's health. Dr. Weil is a proponent of organic agriculture (less pesticide, less toxicity).
The Worst Diet in the World
(goals: maximum chance of undermining health, shortening life and increasing common diseases of age):
1) load up on calories
2) lots of high-glycimic index carbs (high fructose corn syrup, white flour)
3) too much fat (saturated fat, poly-unsaturated vegetable oil, deficient in essential fatty acids)
4) too much protein (especially from animal sources)
5) micronutrients (deficient in fiber, protective compounds, minerals and vitamins)
Exercise to do go to a fast food and see how much the food compares to your Worst Diet in the World.
"Food that is healthy and food that taste good are not mutually exclusive" and
"Eating is a source of pleasure, of social interaction, source of cultural and individual identity. We have power of our food choices.""
sleeping thru the nite | Sacramento, USA | 06/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dr Weil is an an eloquent and very credible speaker. He reaches out to the viewer by explaining that food is not just eaten to provide nourishment but also to provide enjoyment and pleasure. He explains and shows how healthy food can also be pleasurable to eat. Highly recommended viewing!"
Clear and Informative on natural good health.
Cheryl B | Minnesota | 03/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Andrew explains clearly many natural and easy changes to make in your life."