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  1. #1
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    What is a healthy diet?

    Everyone agrees to the importance of a healthy diet, but there seems to be a lot of controversy over what exactly a healthy diet is (for example the Atkins thread on this board). By "diet", I mean a consistent, life-long, and sustainable eating plan, and not a crash diet to lose a few pounds.
    Here's my take:
    1) Balance. Carbohydrates 60% (by calories, not grams), protein 20%, fat 20%. This is not an exact ratio. Carbs may decline to 40-45% in more inactive periods.
    2) Food choice carbohydrates. The best carbs are those that are unprocessed: fuits, raw vegetables. The next best are grain based: pasta, cereals, rice, whole wheat breads. The worst are pre-packaged snack foods (chips, cookies, eic.) with high-glycemic carbs and high levels of saturated and trans fats.
    3) Food choice protein. Best choices are skinless chicken breast (baked or broiled), 10% fat ground beef, turkey, etc. Textured vegetable protein can be added to ground beef to reduce the saturated fat. Soy or whey protein isolate can added to the diet if protein supplementation is desired. Most pork cuts have the majority of their calories as saturated fat (bad). Avoid packaged lunch meats.
    4) Food choice fats. There are good fats and you need them! Unsaturated fats from olive oil, raw nuts, avocados should be a part of your diet. Read labels! Avoid all foods with hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils--they're killers! The trans-fatty acids in these foods are the most potent heart disease agents in the Western diet. Eating one bag of chips is like smoking one cigarette: the first one doesn't kill you but 10, 000th will.
    5) Do not go on "diets". If you follow a healthy eating plan, don't smoke, exercise regularly, and drink plenty of water, then you will gradually achieve the optimum weight for your unique metabolism.

  2. #2
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I agree that a health diet work wonders. However your diet would make me fat. Too many carbs. I am a HUGE believer in everyone has different needs when it comes to foods. A diet very similar to the atkins diet gives me more than enough energy, the protein I need to maintain and build muscle and overall makes me feel great. You diet would leave me tired and exhausted all the time.

    There is no one way. Period.

  3. #3
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    However your diet would make me fat. Too many carbs.
    I agree totally! I follow almost the same died, heavy on the protein and light on the carbs. I try to use unrefined sources of carbs when I get them. I also figure the incidental carbs I get are plenty for a normal day. I have an inside job that doesnít use a lot of energy.

    My wife on the other hand has much better luck sticking to a plan that stresses portion control with out limiting any one group of foods.

  4. #4
    hehe...He said "member" ChipRGW's Avatar
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    Not speaking scientifically, of course, but I believe the BEST lifelong diet plan is the one that, while providing the essential nutrients, also provides enjoyment. Most people enjoy eating. Some of us enjoy it a bit TOO much, hence the considerable percentage of overweight people. But, still, very often food becomes a key to celebration. Just think about November and December, and how often food plays an important role in your day.
    I think we all need to find our own mix of "proper" foods to include in our diets. The list MUST include foods we enjoy eating. That is why diets like Atkins, and other extreme diets are predisposed to long term failure. They are VERY difficult to stick to for long periods of time.
    I think that this is also the key to why Weight Watchers is such an effective plan and the key to long term weight loss for so many people. They only give you a basic outline of "how" to eat, not particularly "what" to eat. If they told me that I could not eat "X" or "Y" food and only eat "Z", soon, all I'd be able to think about is "X" or "Y" and how much I HATED "Z". I'd quickly be on the road to failure and weight gain.

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    I don't want to get into a high carb/low carb debate largely because I tend to eat both ways depending on my activity level.My diet on a tour is much different than it is on days I don't cycle or weight train which is different than my diet on days I just weight train .I don't count calories but tend to listen to what my body is craving at the time as opposed to external/environmental cues and tend to focus on nutrient and calorie dense sources of those foods that I have learned over time my body does well on.Most of the time(and I guess you could say on average) this results in small frequent balanced meals but at extremes of the activity scale there are exceptions.Even during the day the macronutrient profile and calorie level of my meals change significantly depending on whether before,during or after an activity.I find this way I enjoy eating while at the same time providing optimal nutrition to my body.I will note that I tend to have a fast metabolism and a high activity level so I tend to tolerate carbs better than someone with a slower metabolism and/or lower activity level.

  6. #6
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    What is a healthy diet? Any diet that includes chocolate and beer



    Happy New Year Everybody!

    :fun: :fun:
    Matthew 6

  7. #7
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    And on a more serious note I agree with poppaspoke. Couldn't of said it better myself.
    Matthew 6

  8. #8
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    It isn't really a secret.

    Variety and moderation.

    A tendency to look at sweets and fats in a negative light. Eat something else instead.

    Exercise at least 30 minutes for each day. It's OK to skip a day and do more another day.

    Variety and moderation.

    Weigh yourself once in a while and see which way you are going.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  9. #9
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ngateguy
    What is a healthy diet? Any diet that includes chocolate and beer



    Happy New Year Everybody!

    :fun: :fun:

  10. #10
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    I tried the Atkins diet about a year ago. I stayed on it for 2 weeks and couldn't believe how fast the weight came off. I also couldn't believe how much I like potatoes, bread, milk, etc. I wish I liked meat more since it worked very well but to me it was brutal. I have found that the more active I am the more I need quality carbs. Like bread. And potatoes. And flapjacks.... Chocolate! yum now I made myself hungry...

  11. #11
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    Iím a big proponent of the Atkins diet but when I ride, I eat carbs. You have to have them to make the fast energy that you need for a hard bike ride.


    I just got back from a 1 and Ĺ hour ride and before I went, I had a big serving of oatmeal. I will eat low carbs tonight and I have always felt great doing this. According to a bike calorie counter, Iím a 1000 calories in the hole. These will have to come from some where else.


    On another note, my wife thinks Iím crazy to go for a ride when I have to work all night. I tell her that the ride actually gives me more energy to work with. My job is usually not very physically demanding. Does anyone else have a spouse that thinks this way?

  12. #12
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by uciflylow
    On another note, my wife thinks Iím crazy to go for a ride when I have to work all night. I tell her that the ride actually gives me more energy to work with. My job is usually not very physically demanding. Does anyone else have a spouse that thinks this way?
    My gf's used to lookat me like I was nuts. I would hit the gym and play ball and then work. They never figured out I just didn't get tired because I was physical. I slowly introduced each of them to the life of jockhood athletics and they never looked back. I still enjoy hauling ass...

    It especially helped when I lived on night shift for 10 years.

  13. #13
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I always do my weight lifting and trainer bit first thing in the morning. Only way i can get it in, then I go to work.

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    I have more than a few friends that follow and "Atkins" diet (or a pared down version) and swear by it. I never tried it, since I do just fine with the 'moderation' diet (a little of everything and don't overeat). I have noticed, however, that the friends that swear by it (all but one) are caucasion.

    I haven't read the Atkins book, but does anybody know if any studies have shown effectiveness of the Atkin's diet breaking down along ethnic lines?

    I am Asian-American, a descendant of a group that has rice and noodles (and other 'poisonous' carbs) as part of their traditional diet, and I don't remember if obesity amongst that group being a problem in the 'old days'. Hey... 5 billion carb lovers can't all be wrong.

    Nowadays, there is a rise of obesity in China, but I don't know what the cause of this is... some say it's McDonalds (more fat and protein)... others say its a more sedentary lifestyle... or my favorite: the one child law giving rise to more 'spoiling' of kids ('little emperors' I've heard some say).

    --
    Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Certain shortcomings in your education and upbringing cause you to read meaning into the relationships among various celestial bodies. (--From "The Onion" horoscope column)

  15. #15
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    If your diet works for you I suggest you stick with it and not get worked up over others dietary choices if something different works for them.There is nothing wrong with carbs in moderation in particular for active cyclists.The cause of the rise in obesity in the U.S. is the increased consumption of highly processed calories in the form of hydrogenated fats and refined sugars combined with a sedentary lifestyle in short they are not eating for their activity level.Many people on the Atkins type diets find the best way for them to get carb cravings under control and lose weight is to drastically cut them but if you are not needing to lose weight or have high activity level or can eat carbs in moderation (ie in line with your activity level) there is really no need for you to consider the diet.I know that ectomorphic bodytypes(slender,hard to gain muscle mass,fast metabolism)tend to tolerate carbs better than endomorphic types that tend to be heavier with slower metabolisms.Assuming Asians tend to have more ecto features than endo this may explain why they have historically done well on a carb based diet.In the U.S. at least its the endo types that tend to favor the Atkins type diets.The problem as Maelstrom has alluded to is the U.S. government in its bureaucratic wisdom trys to promote one diet as being ideal for everyone .
    Last edited by RWTD; 01-05-03 at 06:26 AM.

  16. #16
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RWTD
    If your diet works for you I suggest you stick with it and not get worked up over others dietary choices if something different works for them.There is nothing wrong with carbs in moderation in particular for active cyclists.The cause of the rise in obesity in the U.S. is the increased consumption of highly processed calories in the form of hydrogenated fats and refined sugars combined with a sedentary lifestyle in short they are not eating for their activity level.Many people on the Atkins type diets find the best way for them to get carb cravings under control and lose weight is to drastically cut them but if you are not needing to lose weight or have high activity level or can eat carbs in moderation (ie in line with your activity level) there is really no need for you to consider the diet.I know that ectomorphic bodytypes(slender,hard to gain muscle mass,fast metabolism)tend to tolerate carbs better than endomorphic types that tend to be heavier with slower metabolisms.Assuming Asians tend to have more ecto features than endo this may explain why they have historically done well on a carb based diet.In the U.S. at least its the endo types that tend to favor the Atkins type diets.The problem as Maelstrom has alluded to is the U.S. government in its bureaucratic wisdom trys to promote one diet as being ideal for everyone .
    You explain that so much better than me ...

  17. #17
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    The rise in the weight of Americans can also be linked to the amount of protein or meat that has increased in the american diet over the last 100 years and more importantly the lack of exercise that the americans can get. I spent the New Year with a room full of health professionals. My Aunts family is full of nurses and a couple of doctors they are all active athletic people and they all say that Atkins may work to lose weight but if you really want to loose weight you need to eat a balanced diet and exercise. If you are diabetic you need to watch your carbs. When you cut back on veggies and complex carbs you are taking away a huge source of vitamins as well as beta caratins(sp). And since exercise increases the amount of free radicals in your system you need to increase the amount of beta caratins(sp). So they don't even begin to recommend the Atkins or any low carb diet to any athletic people. So stop eating all those processed carbs stick to a whole grain and vegetable based diet with a little protein and watch out for all those saturated fats that will and do plug up your arteries not to mention all the other high cholesterol items that are allowed on this diet.
    Matthew 6

  18. #18
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    If increased protein/meat in the diet is a cause of rising obesity in the U.S. then why in more recent years when the country has cut back on protein/meat consumption based on the government promoting a high grain diet have obesity rates begun to skyrocket.And why have those on high protein diets been able to rapidly lose weight.I think you will find the natural fats in those diets and protein sources tend to satiate the appetite better than grains leading to less overeating.While I am not familiar with the Atkins rules most of those diets promote eating veges for v&m's,antioxidant's etc. but cutting back grains except for carbup's before particularly intense exercise. While I agree protein/meat sources have become higher in saturated fat over the last 100 years and this is a problem keep in mind this is due to them being artificially fattened on grains and allowed less exercise versus their historical free-roaming grass based diet which resulted in less saturated fat and a more balanced fatty acid profile .Also keep in mind just as excessive grains in animals will promote saturated fat storage so will it in humans so if a high grain diet is leading you to store fat it is mostly in the form of saturated fat .Also recent research is finding there is not a strong link between dietary colesterol and blood colesterol and that in any event it is currently being overrated as a cause of heart disease etc. Having said all that I personally believe it is better long term to only use protein for body repair and maintenence needs(which will vary greatly among individuals),only use carbs for glycogen energy storage(which will vary based on activity levels) and consume any additional calories based on projected energy/activity levels in the form of fats (trying to balance the various types).

  19. #19
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    If increased protein/meat in the diet is a cause of rising obesity in the U.S. then why in more recent years when the country has cut back on protein/meat consumption based on the government promoting a high grain diet have obesity rates begun to skyrocket
    McDonald's
    Popeyes
    Arby's
    Burger King
    Wendy's - except for their salads
    Taco Bell
    KFC
    Carl's
    Jack in the Box
    Etc.

    (All SUPER SIZED and fat and calorie filled)

    And a myriad of other restaurants
    Applebees
    Ruby Tuesday
    Chilis
    Bennigans
    Etc.

    (All specializing in fat and calorie filled foods.)

    If you will take a look at the number of meals folks eat in such restaurants now as compared to the past you will s[ee a direct correlation between the two.

  20. #20
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    I agree with you on the fast food resturants contributing but keep in mind what they are supersizing are the fries,soft drinks,and amount of bread and carb/hydrogenated fat based sauces on the food.If they just ate the meat patties and threw the rest awayI doubt they would be getting obese though they wouldn't be getting healthy either. Like I said before hydrogenated fats and refined sugar are a problem and this is what the F/F resturants specialize in.

  21. #21
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    Thatís right! Fast foot restaurants never up size the meat; it is always the bread and potatoes. Carbs are cheep to push on the public. I want to applaud Wendieís for the salad selection. They are the only FF restaurants you can eat at and get a decent salad. Also, notice that restaurants almost never offer more than one selection of diet drink. Just think a 20 oz. Coke has around 40 grams of carbs, all sugar. Most Americans will drink that and never think twice about the amount of sugar they are drinking. Just think about that 44-oz. SUPER SIZE gut buster they always try to push on you. Itís no wonder there are so many diabetics in this country!

    In another post, I made a point of saying that having grown up farming we fatten animals with all grains. Heck even the deer here are fat due to the corn and bean fields that they eat in from summer to winter.

  22. #22
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RWTD
    I agree with you on the fast food resturants contributing but keep in mind what they are supersizing are the fries,soft drinks,and amount of bread and carb/hydrogenated fat based sauces on the food.If they just ate the meat patties and threw the rest awayI doubt they would be getting obese though they wouldn't be getting healthy either. Like I said before hydrogenated fats and refined sugar are a problem and this is what the F/F resturants specialize in.
    Around here we have triple patty hamburgers. You don't?

    The Zone Diet recommends just that. Eat the meat and throw away the bun, or at least 1/2 of the bun.

    Incidentally, I think the Zone Diet is one of the better more balanced Adkins (not Atkins) - like diets. Also, everything in their basic book (which I bought) is also on their web page for free.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 01-05-03 at 07:09 PM.

  23. #23
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    I don't know about triple patties as I'm no expert on F/F or even resturant crusine .I have seen double stacks but the patties were so small it still doesn't count as one serving lol.I do remember long ago McD's or maybe it was Shoney's used to have a triple decker but even these were largely bread and sauce with stingy sized meat portions(could it be there trying to make a profit).While I don't like to count calories or follow trendy diets I will admit zone probably comes closest to my dietary patterns but keep in mind as we both lift weights we need more protein for maint&repair than others might so I don't really like the one diet fits all approach.

  24. #24
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    but keep in mind as we both lift weights we need more protein for maint&repair than others might so I don't really like the one diet fits all approach.
    Thanks, RWTD. I can always count on you for that friendly "consumer beware" warning.

    Hopefully, I, and most others on this forum, have enough common sense to adjust any thing we might do to our own situation, be it exercise, diet, sleep or whatever.

    I really appreciate your sincerity and willingness to post long, detailed posts where you obviously pour your brains and heart into what you say.

    Thanks and keep it up.

    I hereby nominate you for the "I really care and believe in what I do" award!!

  25. #25
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    Thanks Denver Problem is if it costs more than .99 cents I tend to sacrifice my principles lol. UC If you want to see a small sized drink portion at a F/F resturant just ask for a cup of water and check out the dinky sized cup they give you lol.

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