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LIVESTRONG.COM - Health, Fitness, Lifestyle. The Guide: Nutrition. How do we return to the notion that meat, fish, poultry, cheese, and dairy should be designated as occasional treats, not staples?

The Guide: Nutrition

A routine physical turns into a wake-up call for lots of people. Six years ago it was my turn. The numbers were in, and they were bad. Weight, cholesterol, and glucose were all up, and there were other symptoms—apnea, bad knees, and a couple of things I won’t talk about—that were equally discouraging. But my doctor opted for something more radical than pills: he told me to become a vegan. No way, I thought. That’s how VB6—or Vegan Before 6:00, the title of my upcoming book—began. But the solution is more complicated. Because that’s how you should think of them, and there are two imposing reasons for that. Besides which, I’ve chosen an approach that is easy to adopt.

I hesitate to call VB6 a diet, but that’s exactly what it is: a regimen that fosters good eating habits that will help you lose or maintain your weight and give you more energy. Still not sold? Glycemic Index. ND's Fullness Factor™ is an alternative to the Glycemic Index...

Glycemic Index

What is the Glycemic Index? The Glycemic Index is a numerical Index that ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of glycemic response (i.e. their conversion to glucose within the human body). Glycemic Index uses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar. Pure glucose serves as a reference point, and is given a Glycemic Index (GI) of 100. Glycemic Index values are determined experimentally by feeding human test subjects a fixed portion of the food (after an overnight fast), and subsequently extracting and measuring samples of their blood at specific intervals of time.

The Glycemic Index Yields Some SurprisesNutritionists used to believe that all simple sugars digested quickly and caused a rapid rise in blood sugar, and that the opposite was true for "complex carbohydrates". Why is the Glycemic Index Important? Should All High-GI Foods be Avoided? Is Low-Carb the Answer? The World's Healthiest Foods. 100 foods that can serve as the basis of your Healthiest Way of Eating.

The World's Healthiest Foods

Links to the articles about these foods can be found below. In addition to questions about our foods, we often get asked about beverages and sweeteners. In the beverage category, water and green tea have been especially popular topics, and in the sweetener category, so have blackstrap molasses, honey and maple syrup. Of course, there are many other nutritious foods other than those that we have included on our list that we feel are wonderful, health-promoting foods; if there are other whole foods - such as fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, whole grains, etc - that you like, by all means enjoy them. Just because a food is not on our list doesn't mean that we don't think that it can be included in a diet geared towards the Healthiest Way of Eating as long as it is a whole, natural, nutrient-rich food.