You want to reduce your weight safely. At the same time you want to substitute better nutrition than you have ever enjoyed. So this is a two-pronged attack - while you eliminate excess weight you are taking positive steps to add the healthful foods you have neglected in the past.
If you are about to begin reducing and you may not realize that you will require a balanced diet containing essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Although you will cut down on your calories, you will not cut down on your protective foods.
It may seem a contradiction in terms but it is a fact that many obese people are malnourished. Their eating habits have led them to calorie-rich, vitamin-poor foods.
Vegetable oils have no vitamin values. Gravies have very little. Candies, sugar-sweetened drinks, and refined sugars have virtually no vitamin content.
Optimum nutrition, instead of just adequate nutrition, can give you more energy, tougher resistance to infection, and increased mental alertness and reproductive vitality.
The Basic Seven
Let's take a look at each of these key groups of foods, known popularly as The Basic Seven.
1. Leafy Green and Yellow Vegetables
You should have two servings each day. These vegetables are rich in vitamin A, which is important for growth and normal vision. Vitamin A also helps to keep the skin and linings of the nose, mouth, and inner organs in good condition.
Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and greens offer an added bonus of vitamin C which is vital to body tissues. A diet low in this vitamin may result in tender gums, swollen joints, and weakened muscles. Citrus fruits are our principal source of vitamin C, but the greens help, too.
2. Citrus Fruits, Tomatoes, Raw Cabbage
A portion of citrus fruit or tomatoes plus a second fruit each day will cover your vitamin C requirements for strong blood vessels, good teeth, healthy gums, and normal healing of wounds. Cabbage, if eaten raw, also supplies vitamin C.
3. Potatoes, Other Vegetables, and Fruits
One serving of potatoes or sweet potatoes each day provides you with valuable nutrients. White potatoes contain some vitamin C, while yellow sweet potatoes offer vitamin A as well.
4. Milk, Cheese, Ice Cream
Milk and cheese provide top proteins which help to build and renew tissues. Milk is our leading source of calcium and you cannot have a strong skeletal structure without this mineral.
Calcium is not wasted. About ninety-nine per cent of it is utilized in your framework. Three to four cups of milk as a drink or in food each day will provide you with the necessary amount. Skim milk contains the same values as whole milk but slashes your calorie consumption from 165 per cup to 85 per cup.
5. Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Dried Peas and Beans
Two servings each day should include meat, poultry, fish, or eggs. They provide high-quality protein, to say nothing of iron, which is essential for your red blood cells. In addition, they supply thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, the B vitamins which aid your nerves, appetite, digestion, and skin. To top off their values, they offer vitamin A.
As for those dried peas and beans, you should include them once or twice a week for their protein, calcium, iron, and B vitamins.
6. Bread, Flour, Cereals
These must be whole-grain, enriched, or restored so that you do not lose their vitamin values. A daily helping will provide the necessary B vitamins. Foods in this group also help out with protein, provide roughage, and supply calories for vital energy in your reproductive years.
7. Butter and Fortified Margarine
These are rich in vitamin A, which protects your eyes and skin and helps guard against infection. They are also rich in calories. You should have some each day, but not too much.
Each day eat something from all of the seven groups, exercise, and you will be slimmer and healthier.
Skin Body Care