Losing weight is probably on the minds of most of us these days. We hear so much about healthy eating and it is astounding how much information is available. Recently I read a great deal about this. It is incredible what I learned.

What I read

I read about salt, calories, dairy, soy, grains, organic food, coffee and caffeine, protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, unhealthy fats (hydrogenated fats, and trans fat), artificial sweeteners, sugar, and supplements. I’ll just highlight some of the information.

Salt

When it comes to salt, the recommendation I read is to eat unrefined sea salt. The refined white table salt we usually eat is dramatically different than unrefined sea salt.

Organic food

Purchasing organic foods is an investment in your health. Every year the Environmental Working Group provides two very helpful lists when purchasing organic fruits and vegetables.

The “Clean 15” is a list of food that does not need to be purchased as organic. The foods on this list are shown to have low pesticide levels. Avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, sweet peas (frozen), onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwi, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe (domestic), cauliflower, and broccoli are the 15 foods on the “Clean 15.”

Alternatively, the “Dirty Dozen Plus” lists food with the highest pesticide levels. Apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell pepper, nectarines (imported), cucumbers, tomatoes, snap peas (imported), potatoes, cherries, and pears are on the “Dirty Dozen Plus” list. These are foods you should definitely buy organic.

Hot peppers, and blueberries (domestic) may contain organophosphate insecticides, which the Environmental Working Group characterizes as “highly toxic” and of particular concern.

Sugar

For all of us, sugar is on the “not so good for you” list. Found to be a major contributor to several diseases, too much sugar can be considered poison because of all the havoc it wreaks on our health. Excess sugar has been linked to atherosclerosis, attention deficit disorder/hyperactivity disorder, behavior problems, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, colon cancer, coronary heart disease, food intolerance, kidney disease, liver disease, malnutrition, osteoporosis, overgrowth of yeast (especially Candida albicans), and tooth decay.

It is good to be in the habit of reading labels. In so doing, you will see words like sucrose, maltose, dextrose, glucose. Any word ending in -ose is a sugar. Many times this is the greatest source of our calories.

Supplements

Good, healthy food can deliver the optimum nutrition we all need. However, getting the wide variety of quality foods we need, on a daily basis, is a challenge. That’s where supplements can be exceedingly helpful. I take Omega-3, Turmeric, and Collagen powder every day.

I recommend Omega-3 because, among the many benefits of this supplement, it may aid in weight loss, increase energy, lower risk of heart disease, and decrease the risk of diabetes. Turmeric may calm chronic inflammation, protect the liver and aid in the breakdown of fat. Collagen powder is said to help decrease bone loss, decrease joint pain, and improve hair, skin and nails.

Do your own research

I strongly believe that we should do our own research on whatever health program we are considering and decide for ourselves what will probably work best for us.

Losing weight is at the top of my list of priorities and I have put a well-designed health plan into action to lose weight. The plan is working and I am optimistic that I will reach my goal because of my attitude. I am grateful for my good health and so, with a spirit of joy, I am in the process of working toward my weight loss goal. I consistently make small, sustainable changes every day. I know I’m on a journey and I intend to enjoy the ride.

For those of you who are working on losing weight, I wish you all the best on your journey! Here’s to a much healthier you!

Native Roman Pam Walker is a paralegal, a writer, avid cyclist, history enthusiast and ardent reader of Southern fiction. She is the author of the new book, “People, Places, and Memories of Rome.” Readers may email her at pamterrellwalker@gmail.com.

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