The subject of nutrition is always controversial. It seems like every week there is a new study or diet in the news. 

Yet despite diet controversies, there are many accepted principles of good nutrition where most experts agree. Most people who follow those principles as part of their lifestyle usually do just fine. If they add a practical exercise program to their life, healthy body weight and good physical fitness will result. 

Here are eight basic dietary principles 

1. You can’t out-exercise a poor diet. It is almost a cliche in the fitness field. But it is true. At some point too many over-sized portions of fast foods will show up on your waistline and in your coronary arteries, no matter how many push-ups you do. 

2. Sugar, sugary foods, and sugary drinks are bad for you. Of course, someone will say, “But a little sugar’s okay, in moderation.” Well, sure. But look, the nation is getting fatter with each generation, and filling up on all those empty calories is a big part of it. Sugar also sends your insulin soaring, which is not good. A slice of birthday cake at a party isn’t the end of the world. But don’t kid yourself. Sugar is added to processed foods in ways you aren’t even aware of, unless you read every label. Getting as much sugar as possible out of your diet is a huge plus. 

3. Highly processed foods aren’t such a good idea either. In addition to processing out most of the valuable nutrients, the manufacturers of processed foods often add sugars of some sort and/or hydrogenated oils. Read the labels. Often claims of “Low fat” printed on the package mean added sugar. It’s a marketing gimmick. 

4. Don’t eat any product containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. They are Trans fats and are dangerous to your wellbeing. 

5. Cold water fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and trout is good for you. It’s that omega-3 oil that is so valuable. Don’t like fish? Ask your doctor about a fish oil supplement. 

6. Keep animal fats to a minimum. Eat lean meat and low-fat or non-fat dairy products. Consider a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle and eliminate meat altogether. 

7. Get your carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables (mix the colours for a healthy variety) and legumes and whole grains. 

8. Establish a portion control eating method that makes sense to you. Portion control is the single most important factor in maintaining a healthy body weight and body-fat percentage. Personally, I like the hand measurement method. Basically, it means dividing meal plates into thirds: 1/3 protein; 1/3 vegetables; and 1/3 fruit or whole grain of some sort or legumes . . . plus a little healthful fat. Each component third is roughly the size and thickness of the palm of your hand, and no larger than your clinched fist. However, if the vegetable portion is a loosely composed salad, be a bit more generous. 

This article is courtesy of Logan Franklin. Logan has been an advocate of good health for us over 50’s for decades. 

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.