COLUMN: Let’s talk about healthy food

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 5, 2024

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By Chris A. Quilpa
Your Turn

Since its opening on May 4 this season, I have been going to Suffolk Farmers Market on Saturdays to buy fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. This encourages me to eat clean.

You know, I’m guilty of having eaten junk and processed foods. Admittedly, it’s difficult to avoid processed foods altogether. 

“You are what you eat.” What does that mean? Literally? Biblically?

It’s important to eat good food to be healthy and fit. The foods you consume or put into your body are what make up your body. The nutrients, toxins, and substances from the food you eat are absorbed in the small intestine and stored or used by the body.

The biblical interpretation of the expression, “You are what you eat,” is from Proverbs 23:7, which states, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” meaning what you and I read and view have a determining effect on us. Applying to our children, what our children are taking into their minds will determine what they become. That can be true. If our kids are exposed to violence on TV, we may assume they, too, become violent. 

Food of different kinds, varieties, preparations, and methods of cooking and eating is everywhere: fresh-produced, home-grown, boiled, broiled, cooked, dried, fried, grilled, toast salad, steamed, boxed, canned, pickled, packed, processed.

You may want to trade in those processed foods for whole foods and start eating clean, suggests Dr. Jonathan V. Wright, MD, a Harvard and University of Michigan graduate and a pioneer in natural medicine, who wrote the book, “Eating Clean for Dummies” (2011) with Linda Johnson Larsen, a home economist, journalist and author of several cookbooks. 

“Think of eating clean as cleaning up your life,” wrote Wright. “Just as you’d like to live in a house free of clutter, you need to remove clutter from your diet. That means throwing out the junk foods, refined sugars, additives, preservatives, trans fats, white flour, artificial flavors, and toxins that can be so prevalent in processed foods.”

Here are just suggestions to help you eat clean and healthy:

-Eat natural foods (fresh fruits, vegetables), not by man (processed).

-Avoid (or cut down) processed foods, i.e., anything in a box with a label.

-Use healthy cooking methods, like steaming or baking, instead of deep frying.

-Eat before you become super hungry.

-Cut back on sugars and sodium or salt.

-Stop eating when you’re satisfied, not stuffed.

-Don’t count your calories, fat grams, or points.

-Enjoy and appreciate its flavor, that is, eat thoroughly and not gobble up)

-Drink (enough) water daily.

“Eating clean is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle,” Wright said. ” It does not include a complicated regimen that restricts entire categories of food. With fewer calories to deal with, your body becomes better able to concentrate on keeping you healthy.”