People claim that one decent-sized meal a day is bad for the human digestive system.

Civilized food has made us much bigger but also fatter and without the physical exercise to counteract this added weight, heart failure has become a worldwide killer.

One big meal a day (certainly not two or three) is all you really need.

Onions

No problem, even when lightly fried – again, as standard procedure, use plenty of greaseproof paper or paper toweling to sop up all possible excess fat.

Orange juice

Swigging orange juice during a nightly visit to the refrigerator put more weight on than downing a whole bottle of milk. Treat all sweet fruits and their juices as Adam should have treated that damned apple – forget it.

Pastry

Avoid it at all cost except on that monthly breakout. The pastry is a villain. Good clean living types with weight to lose should keep right away from it.

Polyunsaturated

Some medical experts are convinced that certain animal fats (butter, meat, cream and cheese) increase the risk of heart attack by raising the level of a substance called cholesterol in the blood.

Other experts say sugar is the real culprit with smoking and lack of exercise following closely on its heels. So perhaps it’s really a combination of all four.

Play safe, particularly if you are an armchair spectator type of sportsperson. Replace animal fats with vegetable oils and polyunsaturated margarine, mayonnaise, etc.

Potato Chips

Leave them to the kids.

Protein

This is what life is all about. Protein intake is absolutely essential because it is the material the body relies on to repair muscle and other body tissue. Vital protein foods in order of merit are:

  • white meats
  • all kinds of seafood
  • ham and bacon
  • steak and other meats
  • cheese and all milk products
  • eggs

Way down on the list but still providing a degree of protein are bread and potatoes.

How important are proteins? Judge for yourself. They make up 80 percent of the dry weight of muscle, 70 percent of the dry weight of skin and 90 percent of the dry weight of blood.

For mankind and all animals, protein is essential. Without it death is inevitable.

Restaurants

Get to know the restaurant of your choice and help train the chef to produce what you really want. You are paying for it. Avoid rip-offs like the seafood cocktail consisting of four prawns and a piece of lettuce. You want quantity as well as quality.

You want quantity in respect of beef, steak, chicken, fish (like a large flounder but no chips). You do not need more bread rolls or butter. You do not want your fish served with chips plus every form of odd vegetable known to man with perhaps a side salad to boot!

Starch

Starch belongs to the same group of carbohydrates in which are included the sugars, therefore the natural starch content of various foods has to be watched just as carefully as the natural sugar content of fruits and vegetables.

Study this chart. It won’t take too much imagination to calculate the effect on the already overweight of such supposedly health-giving items as barley sugar and the morning cereal.

Starch content

  • Rice: 70 to 79 percent
  • Maize: 55 to 65 percent
  • Wheat: 54 to 58 percent
  • Rye: 44 to 46 percent
  • Barley: 40 to 46 percent
  • Peas: 39 to 40 percent
  • Oats: 35 to 38 percent
  • Potato: 18 to 20 percent

This chart does much to reduce the past abuse heaped on the humble potato provided we cook it correctly.

Rice

Rice is akin to milk virtually a complete food in its own right, so unless you replace your main food for the day with rice, watch its intake as carefully as you watch the milk and the majority of vegetables.

Salads

An ugly word synonymous with diet! But an imaginative salad can easily replace the problem of cooking small portions of hot vegetables. French or Italian dressing – or any dressing so long as it does not taste sweet – helps to improve the taste. Top that lettuce with slices of egg, beetroot, cucumber and lean ham.

Salt

Far too many diets treat salt as a villain. It’s certainly possible to show weight loss by cutting down on salt because salt assists in fluid retention. But less fluid in the body reflects a false weight loss. You might as well reduce your body weight by giving away a liter of blood each day.

Unless you are under special medical orders, forget about salt being bad for you. Food without salt is pretty grim.

Sausages

Fine, provided that before grilling you get all that extra fat out of them. Bring sausages slowly to the boil in a saucepan half full of cold water. Once on the boil, remove, pierce and grill as usual.

Or, if you haven’t time to boil sausages, puncture them well while gelling the grill very hot. Before popping them under the grill sprinkle them with water. Both these systems remove an awful lot of excess fat and provide a very economical meal.

Seafood

Fish, prawns, lobster, oysters all magnificent. As usual, watch out how your seafood is cooked. Forget the batter. Grill rather than fry. No fried chips.

Snacks

You can nibble cheese, cocktail sausages (boiled), eggs, ham, shrimps or prawns, all white and red meats. Bad for you are almonds, cashew nuts, green olives, peanuts, potato crisps.

Shepherd’s Pie

Apart from handling the winter cold, a very economical main meal. Minced meat with onions, covered with a thin layer of mashed potato baked in the oven.

Soups

Go ahead with the clear, light kind. If you’re a thick or creamed soup lover, one bowl replaces your lunch or the main course of your evening meal. Two bowls replace your main meal for the day.

Sugar

Sugar is claimed to be an energy food. So it is. But if you regularly enjoy any type of meat and/or milk all the sugar (carbohydrates) you require for maximum energy is already part of your food scene.

The beauty of nature’s natural carbohydrates is that the balance of the meat/vegetables/dairy products contains vitamins, proteins and minerals – sugar is just 100 percent carbohydrates.

So if your body doesn’t need added sugar in the first place, there is no prize in guessing where that excess sugar is going – mostly around the tail end of you! It will spread from the bottom to the hips and stomach then up and down from head to toe.

Sugar is a “no-no” in any weight loss program. Put it in the same category as the white pointer shark – snow white and deadly.

Tomatoes

One vegetable you don’t have to watch in volume. Baked, grilled or natural, they provide the vitamin C intake we all need.

Treacle

In the same category as sugar. Deadly.

Vegetables

If you are a big meat eater, watch those vegetables. You don’t need quantities of both. If you are going to combine the two and your preference is meat, go easy, especially with peas. Sprouts, cauliflower, runner beans, and carrots do not contain such large amounts of natural carbohydrate (sugar).

Vitamins

There are only four major groups A. B, C, and D. These are the prime non-exotic sources of the four groups:

  • Vitamin A: Milk, butter, cheese, carrots.
  • Vitamin B complex: Meal, bread, bacon, liver, kidney.
  • Vitamin C: Grapefruit, lemons, green vegetables, tomatoes, cucumber, celery.
  • Vitamin D: Same as Vitamin A plus liver and green vegetables.

Vitamin Pills

Check with your doctor. They should not be necessary except in certain circumstances like alter an illness or in pregnancy.

Water

Water is scientifically classed as a mineral and in most countries contains iodine – one of the essential minerals for good health. The American style of pre-meal glass or two could be a habit worthy of adoption.

Wine

Unless you are regularly digging ditches or similar violent exercise, wine alone is for you not beer and wine. If half a bottle of dry white (particularly in summer) hardly touches the sides, add soda water up to a 50/50 basis.

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