If you are planning to follow a raw food diet, you won’t be spending a great deal of time cooking. Raw food advocates believe that cooking not only destroys nutrients, it can actually make foods toxic.
If you are planning to adopt a raw food diet, it may be because you’ve read that it can help with memory, boost immunity, and give relief to arthritis sufferers. Eating raw foods exclusively is also believed to help with headaches. Other people choose to eat raw foods as a means of losing weight.
Most of what you eat on a raw food diet will be high in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. However, you may find that you’re not getting enough iron, protein and calcium so you might want to consider taking a daily multivitamin.
On a raw food diet, you can eat raw vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, and raw fruits. Some raw diet adherents will also consume unpasteurized dairy products, while others forego dairy. In most areas, it’s actually illegal to sell unpasteurized dairy products. Raw food adherents may or may not consume raw meat, fish and eggs.
If you’re planning on adopting a raw food diet, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen, even though you won’t be cooking. Preparation of raw foods can be very time consuming. You’ll also have to spend a lot more time shopping, since most of the foods you can consume will be organic. Foods can be blended or hydrated, and you can also sprout seeds and germinate nuts. Be careful doing this, though, because there can be a risk of contamination.
Another thing to be concerned about with a raw food diet is foodborne illnesses that can occur with unpasteurized and uncooked foods. You’re going to have to be very careful with cleanliness when it comes to food preparation, and make sure that you’re choosing only the freshest ingredients. Wash your food very carefully, and give extra attention to green onions, lettuce, and raspberries. These are foods that are particularly prone to contamination.
Because of the increased risk of food poisoning, raw food diets are not recommended for people who have weak immune systems or chronic medical problems, such as kidney disease. Raw food diets are also not recommended for seniors, young children, or pregnant women.
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The two types of dietary fiber are soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps the body eliminate toxins and waste, and encourages helpful intestinal bacteria. It also slows the digestive process so that you feel full for a longer time after eating, and it helps to regulate the blood sugar.
If you’re considering following a high fiber diet, it’s probably because you want to be healthier. Perhaps you’re troubled by diverticular disease, constipation or hemorrhoids. Low fiber is also connected to excess weight and heart problems.
When increasing your consumption of fiber, you should also make sure to drink more water as well – this aids in the digestion and helps you to avoid stomach discomfort. There are no foods prohibited on a high fiber diet, but there are several that you’re encouraged to eat.
Apples are inexpensive, and readily available. They’re a great source of fiber. Ideally, you should eat apples with the skin on to maximize your intake of fiber. Pears are also a great fruit – with their coarse texture, you can practically feel the benefit!
Most vegetables provide high amounts of fiber. For maximum benefit, don’t overcook your vegetables – steam or stir fry instead of boiling. Broccoli is high in fiber and also provides a number of other nutrients. In the green family, Brussels sprouts are also desirable, but admittedly not to everyone’s liking. You might try cooking them in a cheese sauce, or roasting them in olive oil.
Carrots are best consumed raw, as cooking destroys some of the fiber. If you’re fond of carrots, you might also try parsnips – they look like carrots, except that they’re white and have a much stronger taste. They’re an even better source of fiber, packing twice the content of carrots.
When considering fiber, you almost certainly think of grains, but note that they have to be in their whole form – when grains are processed, the bran is removed, and that dramatically reduces the fiber.
Seeds, especially flax or chia, are excellent sources of fiber.
Don’t overlook legumes – they not only provide fiber, they’re a great source of protein, so if you’re upping your fiber intake while also following a vegetarian or vegan diet, you’re getting double the benefit. Lentils are a common ingredient in several global cuisines, and they lend themselves well to various methods of cooking.
A high fiber diet is easy to follow because you don’t have to take anything away – you just have to add more fiber to your diet, and if you’re fond of the foods listed above, it should be easy!
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If you are planning on following a Paleo diet, the idea is that you’re going to have to eat like a caveman. This means not eating any processed foods.
If you’re considering a Paleo diet, you’re probably doing so because you’ve heard or read that it’s a great way to lose weight. The theory is that cavemen weren’t fat, and the evidence gained from examining fossilized skeletons would seem to indicate that this is true. However, whether cavemen weren’t fat because of their diet, or because they expended so many calories hunting, gathering, and generally trying to stay alive is up for debate. It may also be worth mentioning that most cavemen died by about age 30.
Proponents of the Paleo diet also claim that it can reduce blood pressure and lower triglycerides, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease, and that it can control or prevent diabetes. The research really isn’t conclusive on this.
If you’re planning to follow a Paleo diet, you won’t be able to eat grains or dairy. This means that you’ll be missing out on a lot of essential nutrients, so you may want to supplement your diet with a daily multivitamin.
On the Paleo diet, you can eat significant quantities of lean meats, fish, eggs, seeds and nuts, vegetables, fruits, and healthy oils like olive or coconut. You won’t be able to have any refined sugar, potatoes or salt. If your goal is weight loss, you won’t have to count calories, and you’ll find that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables will fill you up quite nicely.
All the foods you eat are going to have to be prepared from scratch, so you should plan on spending a fair bit of time in the kitchen. You won’t be able to use any foods that are processed, and convenience foods are strictly prohibited. Basically, if the type of food you want to eat (other than the healthy oils) wasn’t available in the Paleolithic era, you’re not going to be able to eat it.
The Paleo diet won’t work for you if you plan to combine it with a vegan or vegetarian diet, because the diet is very heavy on animal protein. On the other hand, the Paleo diet is a great combined with a low sodium diet since, of course, salt was not available to our cave-dwelling predecessors. This means that you have to eliminate various other seasonings as well – soy sauce, steak sauce, etc.
If you’re committed to following a Paleo diet, be prepared to eliminate all convenience foods from your diet and consume mostly foods that you prepare yourself from ingredients that our caveman ancestors would have eaten. If your goal is weight loss, it will probably work for you, but most people find it difficult to follow. If you want to try it and need support, there are several online sources that offer recipes, tips and also encouragement.
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Amines are chemicals that occur naturally in several foods. They give food its flavor by fermentation, or through breaking down the proteins in the food. Foods that are very intense in flavor are usually higher in amines. Ripened fruits and aged meats, for example, are high in amines.
If you’re thinking the name sounds familiar, you’re probably thinking of histamines, and antihistamines. When you have an allergic reaction, it’s because of histamines, and taking antihistamines eases the symptoms. When you eat foods that are high in amines, a substance called histidine is metabolized, absorbed, and in people who are amine sensitive, tissues become inflamed and swelling occurs – in other words, you have an allergic reaction.
High histamine foods include alcoholic beverages, smoked fish, chocolate, tomatoes, avocadoes, bananas, and processed meats. Most foods that, in their natural form, are histamine-free, become extremely high in histamine and other amines when they’re processed. Generally speaking, if it’s fresh, you shouldn’t have much of a problem. Make sure that your meats and your fish are as fresh as possible, and as previously stated, avoid smoked products.
Vegetables in general are very low in amines. The exceptions are tomatoes, spinach and eggplant. Spinach, for example, has a whopping 30-60 milligrams of amines per kilogram of product. You also want to make sure that your vegetables are very fresh – remember, the older the food, the higher the amine level.
The rule for vegetables is the same as it is for meat and fish – processing is going to ratchet up the amine level. Plain cabbage, for example, is very low in amines, but if you make sauerkraut, that jacks up the amine level to nearly 229 milligrams per kilogram of product! So, if you’ve heard people say that they’re allergic to sauerkraut, maybe it’s not just that they don’t like it – they really could be experiencing an adverse reaction from eating it.
You can safely consume uncultured dairy products, but avoid ripened cheeses and yogurt.
It probably isn’t realistic to think that you’re ever going to be able to remove all histamines and other amines from your diet, since their production is a natural occurrence in virtually every type of food. But if you make sure your foods are as fresh as possible, and avoid processed foods, you can keep the consumption of amines to a minimum.
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Eliminating preservatives from your diet can be difficult. They’re present in virtually every type of processed food. The purpose of preservatives is, obviously, to prevent food from spoiling and to reduce the risk of illness due to spoilage. As a secondary benefit, they allow food to retain its flavor for longer.
You may be thinking of following a preservatives free diet because you’ve developed a sensitivity to sulfites, or you could be concerned about recent studies that suggest that some preservatives, like sodium benzoate, may aggravate hyperactivity in children.
By law, preservatives have to be listed on food labels, so your best protection against preservatives is to become a good label reader. Phrases to watch out for are any that include the word “nitrate.” Also watch for sodium ascorbate, ascorbic acid, sorbates or sorbic acid, tocepherols, sulfites and sulfur dioxide. Acronyms are a red flag as well – BHT, BHA, EDTA, etc.
If you buy organic food, that’s one way to avoid preservatives. Also, anything that’s fresh will be preservative-free. Fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, and meats that aren’t processed are all preservative-free. Virtually any convenience foods will contain preservatives, so if you’ve gotten out of the habit of making meals from scratch, think about starting again.
Not all ways of preserving foods require chemical preservatives. If you enjoy working with food, you can make preserved foods at home that don’t contain anything harmful. You can, for example, pickle almost any vegetable – it’s not just cucumbers. Some recipes require salt, but if you’re concerned about consuming too much sodium, there are other recipes that rely on just a solution of vinegar, water, and spices. You can find recipes in books or online.
If you love beef jerky, but you worry about preservatives in the store-bought kind, you can make your own. All you need is a food dehydrator. You’re not limited to beef, either – try turkey!
A food dehydrator can also be great for drying vegetables, and you’ll find that when you reconstitute them in a delicious stew, they’ll have the same flavor as fresh. Some veggies require blanching, but others, like tomatoes and mushrooms, can just be sliced up or even dried whole.
Following a preservative free diet offers many health benefits. If you’re willing to forego processed foods, you can easily eliminate preservatives from your diet.
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Our Food and Wheat
From the basic pasta and bread to salad dressings, sauces, soups and even spices, wheat forms the base ingredient or at least one of the many ingredients in a majority of products you might pick up.
To replace an ingredient that is so common and which acts as a base for a countless number of commercial and homemade food products is quite a gigantic task. Nevertheless, owing to the widespread incidence of wheat intolerance, the substitutes to wheat are becoming increasingly available.
For example, if you are looking for a substitute for wheat in your baked products, you can use oat flour as the base, which will produce moist but heavy baked products.
In the following section, we will give you a detailed list of the top wheat alternatives you can use along with
a few examples of how you can use some of them.
Table Top Wheat Alternatives
Below gives a list of some of the most common alternatives to wheat.
Amaranth (cereal) – Rice (flour) – Hazelnut (meal and flour) – Rye (flour) – Tapioca (starch flour)- Quinoa (flour) – Kamut (grains, flakes and flour) – Flaxseed (meal) – Soy (flour) – Water chestnut (flour) – Buckwheat (cereal, flour) – Sorghum (flour) – Cassava (flour) – Pearled millet (flour) – Teff (flour) – Kuzu (starch) – Barley (flour) – Chickpea (flour) – Spelt (flour) – True yam (flour) – Malanga (flour) – Millet (whole grain/ flour) – Chestnut (flour) – Poi (dehydrated starch/flour) – Lotus (flour)
The Top 10 Wheat-Free Foods
This section gives you a clearer insight into the optimum usage of the top 10 wheat-free foods that can be imbibed into your daily dietary habits.
Rice – This is the most common alternative to wheat, jasmine and basmati rice are probably the most common and easy to access in the shops. Being a good thickener, in the form of flour, it can easily be used to make breads and muffins.
Quinoa – This grain is very easy to digest and has high levels of calcium, phosphorous, iron, fibre, complex carbohydrates and proteins. It is considered to be an ideal additive for enhancing the nutritional value of many food items.
Sorghum – This grain is high in carbohydrates, fibre, potassium and proteins and works best when blended with other flours.
Millet – This is a butter-coloured grain and tastes best when combined with cinnamon or sugar.
Amaranth – This is a grain with thick consistency and is considered ideal for making stews and puddings, in addition to its used in cereals, pastas and baked goods. Tapioca starch – Having no flavour of its own, it can add a lot of chewiness to rice flour and can be a good substitute for potato starch.
Soy flour – It adds moistness to the dough even when used in smaller quantities. Mixed with rice flour in the right proportion (1/3rd part soy flour and 2/3rd part rice flour), it works as an ideal wheat alternative even for the strongest symptoms of wheat allergy.
Oat flour – This form of flour carries gluten but can work well as a wheat substitute in muffins and quick
Buckwheat – Though not a form of wheat, yet it works well as a healthy wheat substitute.
Rye flour – This form of flour also carries gluten but can work well as a wheat substitute.
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