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As the Saying Goes, We Are What We Eat Next month, Fred Kummerow, nutrition expert and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, will celebrate his 101st birthday. As I pointed out in June, Kummerow has a long and distinguished history as a leader in the fight to ban trans fats. …Read more. Changing How We Eat Is an Idea Worth Chewing On -- Slowly While I was cruising down the Internet freeway of ideas and news the other day, looking for useful nuggets of information related to heath, the title of a new book jumped off the page. I had to pull over and take a closer look. It is called "How to …Read more. Coca-Cola Has a Scientific Word or Two for You in Defense of Sugary Beverages Last week, I bemoaned the seemingly infinite amount of conflicting information that exists in this new "information age" and is making it hard for people to find advice they badly need. In thinking about it, I probably should have added a few more …Read more. Finding Our Way Through Clean Labeling and the Cluttered World of Health Advice Around the time we were taking our little walk down memory lane with Kellogg's and its sugary cereals of the past, the packaged-foods giant was announcing its own accelerated "clean labeling" plans. The president of Kellogg North America announced …Read more.
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Pillar No. 3: Eat Living Foods


Q: Chuck, did you hear about the nutritionist who recently lost 27 pounds by eating nothing but Twinkies? What do you think about that? — Trevor W., Jacksonville, Fla.

A: It's true. It was reported this past week how a health professor at Kansas State University lost 27 pounds in two months by living on his so-called Twinkie diet.

As appealing as that may be for some, however, I'm sure I don't need to convince most that just because one loses weight on a diet of junk consumptives doesn't mean that it's good for one's body. If that's the case, I'm going to write a book on the pine cone diet!

Ever read the ingredients in a Twinkie? It's probably best that you don't.

In previous articles, I have started detailing the essentials of a better you. The basic but building principles come from a great nutritional source, Dr. Don Colbert's "The Seven Pillars of Health." I already have addressed the first two pillars, water and sleep. Now it's time for No. 3: eating living foods.

You may be getting full from food daily, but if you're like most Americans, your body is deprived of the nutrients it needs to be healthy. Foods with the vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients you need are what Colbert and others call "live foods," which are fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts. He says that we all generally have two shelves in our pantries, one for living foods and one for dead foods. You'll know them by their "fruit," or what they produce.

"Dead foods" make you more disease-prone; cause degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis; and make you gain weight. They also make you fatigued and prone to hypertension and high cholesterol.

"Living foods" protect your body from cancer, heart disease, all degenerative diseases and obesity, and they sharpen your mind, energize you and enliven you.

It is important that you eat a variety of foods from the five basic food groups. The American Heart Association's website offers a grocery list of more than 800 foods from those five groups that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Similarly, the American Academy of Family Physicians' website offers some excellent tips for a heart-healthy diet.

It often has been said you'll know the living foods in your grocery because they are along the outside parameters inside the store. Most of the processed, salt- and sugar-filled products are on the inside shelves.

Once upon a time, long before the world of fast-food restaurants, live foods were not always fresh and sometimes scarce; they were the only foods most cultures consumed. For example, as far back as Jesus' day, daily bread was good bread. At the two meals each day, bread was the main food back then. The light breakfasts — often flatbread, olives and cheese (from goats or sheep) — were carried to work and eaten at midmorning. Dinners were more substantial, consisting of vegetable (lentil) stew, bread (barley for the poor, wheat for the rich), fruit, eggs and/or cheese. Fish was a common staple, but red meat was reserved for special occasions. Locusts were a delicacy and reportedly taste like shrimp. (Bet you thought I was going to say chicken!) Of course, Jews then wouldn't have known they tasted like shrimp, because shrimp and all other crustaceans were "unclean."

Bottom line: If you want to live optimally, you need to consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products daily. Walnuts and almonds are the king and queen of the nuts. And try to eat fish twice a week, especially salmon. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which lower the risk of coronary artery disease. Reduce your consumption of foods and beverages that are high in calories, salt, sugars, trans fats and saturated fats. Stop to read the labels. If you can't even pronounce the ingredients going into your body, then why are you putting them in there?

Put succinctly, we would be very wise to follow the ancient wisdom of Hippocrates: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."

And I can absolutely assure you that when Hippocrates prescribed that, he didn't have a Twinkie in mind.

Write to Chuck Norris ( with your questions about health and fitness. To find out more about Chuck Norris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at




1 Comments | Post Comment
Thanks, Chuck. When the Lord said "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" Matthew 4:4 and "It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" Luke 4:4, He was likening bread to the most precious commodity available, "the scripture of truth" Daniel 10:21. It makes sense that bread made from unrefined flour should be part of one's staple diet, Psalm 104:15. The Lord also appreciated fish and honey, Luke 24:42.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Alan O'Reilly
Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:03 AM
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