Thursday, March 6, 2008

Whole Foods - What's Good for You?

Hundreds of diet books place foods into "good" and "bad" categories. Some foods, such as carrots, are considered bad because of their high glycemic index, a ranking system for carbohydrates according to their effect on blood glucose and insulin levels. Meanwhile, blueberries are considered a "power food" because of their antioxidant properties. These claims may lead to confusion and are not always based on sound scientific evidence. Total diet, or your overall eating pattern of food, is the most important focus of a healthful eating lifestyle, according to the American Dietetic Association. All foods can fit within this pattern if consumed in moderation with appropriate portion size and combined with regular physical activity.

Many Americans have become more conscious of diet and nutrition, in part because of the Internet, the media and food labeling, more than 72 million people are obese. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attributes this contradiction to Americans still looking for the quick fix or magic bullet. With the current American lifestyles and time challenges, physical activity is not always a priority. And in the world of "supersized" servings, we have lost our ability to judge correct portion size. Unfortunately, this trend has also been accompanied by widespread confusion, with complaints that nutrition education is focused on what not to eat, instead of what to eat, according to the American Dietetic Association.