Correct Eating Is The Key To Healthy Lifestyle

Why are so many people overweight? Why is diabetes sweeping the Western World? Why has Bowel Cancer now surpassed Heart Disease as the leading cause of death in Australia, yet in poorer countries like India, the death rate from bowel cancer is far less than that of developed regions? The answer is simple - people have been seduced by the fast pace life of the twenty-first century and have forgotten how to eat correctly.

As a Naturopath and Medical Herbalist for the last twenty years, I have taught my patients that Good Health and Happiness do not come from pills but start with correct eating. You cannot undo the damage of continual poor eating by taking a lot of pills.


A bowl of cereal and a piece of toast will not do for breakfast, because most cereals contain cleverly disguised amounts of fats, sugars and salts. If you go off to work or send a child to school on an inadequate breakfast, by 10am the person will be; feeling tired, or concentration will slide, or you might be suffering a dull headache or you might be irritable. These are all signs of a drop in blood sugar. To correct this, most people reach for something like coffee or a sweet biscuit but the upswing is very short lived as insulin is secreted to cope with the sugars. This effect is particularly dramatic with women as oestrogen has an affinity for insulin and quickly magnifies its effect, sometimes by as much as three hundred percent so as blood sugar rapidly changes, so too will your mood. As this procedure is repeated over and over again, day after day, your pancreas begins to suffer and if you're not careful you could end up diabetic. This is very serious as diabetes is an independent marker for Heart Disease.

To eat a good breakfast you need to turn off the television set early at night and go to bed at a respectable hour, then you can get up bright and earlier in the morning and do some exercise before breakfast. This is a very important starting point for the day because early morning exercise flicks the switch in your head from Hibernation to Active. After exercise your body will be looking for some good fuel. Here's what to do.

Step 1 - Start with some fruit. The enzymes in fruit are an excellent way to assist the breakdown of protein. My favourite fruit for good health is blueberries. Blueberries are packed with something called glutathione which is a potent fighter against cancer.

Step 2 is to have either rolled oats or plain yoghurt. (If you are a coeliac person you cannot have oats). Oats are high in fibre which is great for your large bowel and yoghurt helps preserve the integrity of something called Immunoglobulin A which protects the lining of your Gastrointestinal Tract from mouth to anus.

Note: I never recommend Wheat Bran. Pick some up in your fingers. What does it feel like? It is scratchy. For people with bowel problems like diverticular disease, something that scratches the insides of your colon is the last thing you need.

Step 3 is perhaps the most important. Have some high quality protein with some vegetables. Good quality protein is lean meat or chicken but fish is by far the best for you. A great quick breakfast is scrambled eggs with parsley and chives.

How much protein do we need? The average person needs about 1.2 gms of protein per kilo of body weight per day - therefore if you are 80kilos you will only need 96 gms of protein per day. The amount of protein is about the size of the palm of your hand. When I am talking with athletes, people in heavy training or even Olympians, I increase the protein to 1.5 gms per kilo of bodyweight. There is a misconception in this country that is not grounded in any good science, that we must stuff ourselves consistently with heroic doses of protein. This can ultimately lead to disaster as it puts undue pressure on kidneys. Please remember that the more fit you become the better your body becomes at utilizing and preserving protein stores. When you are thinking about protein, don't forget legumes and pulses - things like baked beans. Most of them have very little cholesterol and are powerhouses of energy.

If you eat this way at breakfast you will not be attracted to junk food throughout the day. Your blood sugars will be more stable and as a consequence you will perform better and be better able to maintain a healthy weight.


One of my recommendations for lunch is fresh salad with tinned fish like salmon or tuna.


It does not make sense to overburden your digestion at night with heavy meat when you are trying to sleep.

I recommend home-made vegetables soups, stir fries or Thai Style cooking.

I have written a recipe book of sensible eating called 100% Alive & Happy in the Kitchen which is an adjunct to my original book 100% Alive & Happy.

DISCLAIMER: This information is of a general nature only. As each person reacts differently, the information must not be acted upon without a face to face consultation with your chosen Health Practitioner.

Stephen Zemek ND BN

To make an appointment at either my Brisbane or Sunshine Coast Clinic, please telephone +61 4 2878 9103.

Return to Articles of Interest