Personal Web Site of Zachary J. Fink, Ph.D.

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Watching Diet


I try to do my best to stay healthy through a combination of diet and vigorous walking. Currently I have two large meals a day (with desserts) and a swig of orange juice for breakfast.

Carefully watching fat/sat fat, sodium (table salt), cholesterol, caffeine, and sugars is an excellent start in your diet. Staying below the MDR (Minimum Daily Requirement, a government food standard) for fat and cholesterol levels is fairly easy for a vegetarian.

Sodium, and sugar are another story, as they are used just about in all foods to add taste, including vegetarian. Therefore, I read the labels in the food stores carefully and often eat small portions when necessary to keep these percentages down. I also drink diet soda, tea, and coffee, all three with low or no caffeine in them either.

There are many low-fat products and several low-sugar products on the market, but rarely can you find a combination of low fat, low sugar, and low sodium in a single food product to help you stay below the MDR for all three. This difficulty is encountered in so-called healthy foods such as weight-conscious frozen entrees and even in vegetarian food products.

My daily calorie consumption, at 1190, is on the low side, while consuming nuts, beans, and vegetable oils containing fat in them instead of unhealthy fat from meat, poultry, and dairy products.

Exercise - until recently, my daily exercising included using a NordicTrack cross-country ski, a rowing machine, and an exercise bike.  On occasion, I have done some Yoga and have used all the computerized muscle exercise machines, the stationary bike, and the treadmill followed by the whirlpool, sauna bath, and steam room at the gym.  However, I no longer feel up to doing these, along with tennis and skiing.

I still like to take long walks (mentioned above) practically every day.  Most often, I go to the Holyoke Mall, climate controlled for the entire year, and to the two local reservoirs nearby generally on Sundays, weather permitting.

For better or worse, Americans have been deluged with genetically modified foods, and the rest of the world is catching up. I believe that our foods should be labeled as such so that people have a choice in this matter, but this hasn't happened. Positive reasons for using genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to create plants include that they can be made more disease resistant, more drought or cold resistant, with certain added insect and blight resistances, and more shelf life in the food stores.

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