Food is a basic building block of health and productivity, but some food can be harmful to us. We all know about allergies that can cause certain foods to kill those who are allergic to them. But there are a number of foods that are harmful to our health and while we made not have an immediate allergic reaction, they have the same effect of killing us over a longer period of time. We need to think of ourselves as though we were allergic to them. As much as we enjoy them, we need to know how much we can tolerate safely, and apart from that, treat them as poison.
We at the Food Bank recently adopted a Nutrition Policy because the population we serve is particularly vulnerable to foods that are not good for us. 40% of our recipients are children, and we want to help educate them as to what foods are harmful to their young bodies. We certainly don’t want to provide them with such foods, but rather with healthy food that their families might not otherwise be able to afford. 15% of our recipients are seniors, who also must be extremely careful of what they eat. Foods low in salt, sugar, and fat, are best for us in our older years.
- Avoid foods and beverages in which sugar is the primary ingredient (such as snack cakes, sodas and sugary cereals).
- Consume whole grains for carbohydrate options in breads, cereals and snacks.
- Choose low sodium and low fat foods when ordering processed food items.
- Choose shelf stable protein options that are high in protein while low in saturated fat, including canned chicken and salmon, dried or canned beans and fresh eggs.
Of course, making fresh fruit and vegetables available to our recipients is a high priority, too, as we are now up to 50% fresh produce in our distributions.
A Lesson in Body Chemistry – A message from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s, “Food Facts.”
Many consumers are already aware that it’s a good idea to limit saturated fat and cholesterol in their diet. But trans fat is a less familiar term. When it comes to trans fat and your body, here’s how it works:
- Like saturated fat and cholesterol, trans fat raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol in the blood, which increases the risk of developing coronary hear disease.
- Trans fat also lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol in the blood.
- To reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease, the goal is to decrease your overall level of LDL cholesterol. Reducing the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol in your diet may help decrease your LDL cholesterol level.