O2SFoodHlth: Healthful Eating

Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)

Lists the requirement needed to get by everyday. Different nutritional needs are required depending on what life-stage you are in (e.g. pregnant, adolescent, adult, baby etc)

RDI Macronutrients

  • Energy 8700 kj
  • Fat 70 g
  • Saturated Fat 24 g
  • Sugars 90 g
  • Protein 50 g
  • Carbs 310 g (both simple and complex – complex are lower Gi)
  • Fluids approx 2 litres
  • Fibre 30 g

Micro-nutrients RDI


Exercise improves weight loss and fitness as well as lung capacity.

Food Pyramids

A 2000 calorie daily plan


For vegans, the food pyramid looks like this:


Healthful Eating

Nutritional Anthropology is the study of culture and society and how they have evolved with a specialist area of food, diet and nutrition. Their aim is to understand how the physical well being of humans is affected by food.

Kuru is a disease that affected the Papua New Guinea Fore tribe and was fatal. It was caused by prions being found in the brain of deceased people that were eaten by this tribe. Cannibalism and the resultant Kuru disease mainly affected women and children as the men were given the best cuts (rump, or muscles) while the women and children were fed the offal, including the brain.

Mad Cow disease in humans is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rapidly progressive disease that causes deterioration of the brain and dementia. It is one of a group of rare diseases that affects humans and animals.

Food is very emotional. What is one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Food functions and diet can either protect or promote disease.

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean is the area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea: namely, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Crete, Egypt, the Northern African countries and Morocco.

The Cretan diet is quite a healthful diet and promotes long life. It is known to lower chances of some cancers and particularly heart disease.

crete diet mortality

The Cretan diet has

  • high intake of
    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Nut, legumes and cereals
    • Olive oil (not animal fat)
  • a medium intake of
    • Fish and Seafood
    • Dairy, particularly cheese and yoghurt.
  • and a low intake of
    • poultry
    • meat
    • low alcohol red wine (taken regularly)

The Cretan diet is also noted for its many fasting days and few feast days. So the diet promotes a strongly vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.

The Mediterranean Food Pyramid looks like this:



Asian Diet

The Asian diet is derived from the foods eaten in China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia.

It features

  • Low intake of
    • saturated fats
    • cholestrol
    • simple carbs
    • alcohol
  • and has a high intake of
    • fish oils
    • soybean and soy products
    • seasonal vegetables

The Asian diet has been shown to protect against coronary heart disease, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

breast cancer

Soy products seem to play a big part in the reduction of cancers.


Vegetarianism is a common practice is Asia and is a personal choice for people in first-world countries.

It features

  • eating fruit, vegetables and grains
  • not eating animal fats
  • is often religiously based.

Religions that promote Vegetarianism are

  • Asian Religions
    • Jainism
    • Hinduism
    • Buddhism
  • Other Religions
    • Seventh Day Adventists
    • Rastafarians
    • Hare Krishna
    • Ananda Marga

The Vegetarian diet protects against all sorts of disease, especially colong cancer (aka bowel cancer).

colon cancer

Diet is a much bigger factor in the development of colon cancer than in breast cancer. Vegetarianism also protects against all forms of gastrointestinal disease.

It is a high fibre diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables which give anti-oxidants.

Red, Blue and Purple fruit and vegies are best for preventing colon cancer.

Healthful Diet

Pritikin Program

The Pritikin program promotes

  • unprocessed food like fruits and vegetables
  • legumes like black beans, pinto beans etc
  • wholegrains like brown rice
  • starchy vegetables like potatos and yams
  • lean meat and seafood.

Part of the program also includes

  • Regular brisk aerobic exercise 30 minutes a day
  • Plus twice a week doing weight training or swimming.

The Pritikin program is considered fairly healthful.

Macrobiotic Diet

Macro means long, and biotic means life, so the Macrobiotic diet is designed to give long life.

macrobiotic diet

Grains make up half of your daily intake, followed by fresh vegetables.

This diet avoids highly processed foods and animal products.

Food MUST be chewed thoroughly before swallowing.

The Macrobiotic diet has been advocated as an anti-cancer diet and one that protects against cardiovascular disease.

It is considered a healthful diet.

Atkins Diet


The Atkins Diet is a WEIGHT LOSS diet and is not suitable for long term use.

It is a low carbohydrate/sugar diet which invokes ketosis.


Okinawa Diet

This diet is

  1. nutrient rich
  2. calorie rich
  3. veganistic
  4. originated in Japan.

It is a WEIGHT LOSS DIET ONLY and suitable for long term use.

Gerson Therapy

Gerson Therapy is predominantly vegetarian with

  • hourly glasses of organic juice
  • various supplements
  • regular enemas (including coffee grounds enemas)
  • exclusion of all animal fats.

This is an UNHEALTHY diet and not good for you.

Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet is based on a philosophical belief rather than scientific fact.


It is NOT a healthy diet.

Other diets

diets to avoid

Food Allergies and Intolerances

are caused by

  • genetic predisposition
  • family history
  • enzymatic defect (which prevents the normal pathways of the metabolism system)

They display with a variety of symptoms

  • abdominal pain
  • hives and itching
  • rashes
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • Anaphylactic shock which may result in death.

An allergy is an acute response whereas an intolerance is chronic and somewhat milder.

1 in 100 adults and 1 in 20 children suffer an allergy in NSW and 25% of the entire Australian population suffer a food intolerance.

Common foods that cause allergies are

  • 90% of all allergies
    • Peanuts
    • Milk
    • Tree nuts
    • Shellfish
    • Soy
    • Wheat
  • Other foods
    • Gluten
    • Fruit
    • Food additives

Common Food Intolerances include

  • Milk, cheese, yoghurt (lactose)
  • Food additives (sulphite and MSG)
  • Chocolate
  • Eggs, particularly the whites
  • Strawberries
  • Citrus
  • Tomato
  • Red Wine

Hints for a healthy dinner

  • Eat slowly
  • Chew well
  • Have small portions
  • Enjoy water
  • Drink only 1 glass of wine with the main meal
  • Take a brisk walk after dinner.

Healthful Entrée

  • Seasonal salads are a great way to start a meal and the only limit is your imagination as you incorporate whatever fresh vegetables are in season into a healthful and appetising entrée
  • Using olive oil (and optionally fresh lemon juice) as a dressing increases the health benefits
  • Adding chopped nuts can increase the taste appeal and make the salad more tasty
  • Addition of grated/crumbled cheese is also an option (consider low fat cottage cheese/low fat yellow cheese)

Greek Summer Salad

4 large ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 Lebanese cucumbers, washed, not peeled, chopped
1 large capsicum, cut into fine slices
5-6 sprigs of fresh purslane, roughly chopped (Purslane is incredibly good for you)
150 g marinated black olives
150 g Greek Feta cheese cut into small chunks
1 onion cut into rings and then halved
1 tablespoon capers
Dried oregano
Salt to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Healthful Main Course

  • Main courses based on the lowermost tier of the food pyramid establish a good nutritional foundation on which to build up a meal
  • Pulses, legumes, pasta (wholemeal), polenta, couscous, rice or quinoa can all be used as the foundation of the meal
  • Lean meat, fish or mushrooms can add valuable protein and essential vitamins and amino acids to the meal
  • Nuts and vegetables can add interest and further expand the gourmet interest

Bean & Mushroom Quinoa

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups of sliced mushrooms (contains fibre)
1/2 cup diced onions
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cups diced tomatoes – sautéed with olive oil
2 cups white kidney beans (cannellini) – boiled
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups quinoa (Quinoa contains high protein and low carbs)

  1. Place 2 cups of quinoa and 4 cups of cold water in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until water has absorbed. Drain and then rinse with warm water. Reserve quinoa in a warm place.
  2. Rinse, dry and slice the mushrooms.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add the mushrooms, onions, garlic, parsley and cook, stirring often, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Add the tomatoes, beans and spices to the mushroom mixture.
  4. Stir to mix, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until heated through and serve over prepared quinoa.

Healthful Sweets

  • Fresh seasonal fruits and yoghurt can provide a nutritious, light summer dessert
  • Satisfying one’s sweet tooth needn’t result in a guilt trip and sweets can be an important energy source as well as provide for other healthful nutrients
  • Desserts based on dried fruits and nuts sweetened with a little honey can be winter treats
  • Rice, semolina, quinoa or wholemeal flour can be used to make sweets and cakes that are tasty and healthful

Panforte di Siena

150 g unsalted almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped
75 g unsalted hazelnuts, roasted coarsely chopped
75 g unsalted pistachios, roasted coarsely chopped
100 g candied orange peel, chopped
75 g flour
30 g pure cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
Pinch white pepper
100 g sugar
200 g clear honey
35 g butter
Icing sugar

  1. Preheat the oven on 150˚C.
  2. Mix the nuts with the orange peel.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and spices and mix through the nuts.
  4. Gently heat the sugar, honey and butter in a pan till the sugar has dissolved and let it cook on higher heat for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Quickly mix the syrup through the dry mix, scoop in a round tin (covered with baking paper) and press in in with your fingers.
  6. Let it bake in the oven for 40 minutes and cool down in the tin. Remove the paper and dust with icing sugar.
  7. Serve tiny portions. The cutting will need some force!

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