7 Steps Back to a Balanced Diet
By Jo Ann LeQuang
Right now, the big culprit in the grocery store is wheat, which is now blamed for everything from big bellies to dementia. After years of being told to eat more healthy whole grains, we now learn that wheat is killing us. Americans have a love-hate affair with food, in that we love to hate foods. Actually, we have is a tendency to see food in black-and-white categories. Is coffee good or bad? Is fat good or bad? Is sugar good or bad? The problem is that food is highly complex. Most foods—even simple foods—contain numerous nutrients. Coffee is a great example. This bean-based beverage contains small amounts of magnesium and chromium, which can be beneficial for the heart. It is also acidic, which can worsen acid reflux. And it contains caffeine, which may help reduce one’s risk for Parkinson’s disease but can be toxic at high doses.
Coffee is a mixed bag of good things and bad things. And if you add milk, cream, artificial sweetener, sugar, syrup, or other things to coffee, you change the drink entirely. How many calories are in a cup of coffee? It can be anywhere between 0 and 700, depending on how you serve it. Americans tend to think of each food in isolation. Apples are good for us but if you ate nothing but apples for a month, you would not be well. (Remember that guy who ate nothing but fast food for 30 days? Same principle would work for apples, I think.) Demonizing foods causes us to eat a tilted diet—too much of a certain thing and not enough of others. It can also cause us to worry excessively about our diet and more worry is the last thing most of us need. Here are seven fast tips to balance out your diet.