“Traffic Light Diet” Easy to do. Adult & Kid Friendly

Adults and Kids are learning about how to make successful dietary lifestyle choices by classifying foods into three visual categories for a balanced diet.  Bariatrics Research studies on Judith Willis “Traffic Light Diet” have proven weightloss and a newly adapted eating philosophy that makes around the kitchen table sense.  It begins with the most common question asked throughout ones day is “What am I going to eat?” 

A better question is “Why do we eat?” Depending on your culture, family or personal health status the answers will vary.  Hunger, bored, energy, stressed or not stressed, pregnant, growth, sickness or disease, needing a sense of community around the table with others.  Equally important is the balance of food we consume in any given moment.  Energy from calories is what we end up acquiring at the end of each meal.   “Energy In” is taken in the form of:  carbohydrates, protein and fats.  While our “Energy Out” is spent on the development, production and maintenance of: blood vessels, bone muscle, spinal and cerebral fluid, movement, sleeping and studying.

When balancing food for fuel we can take time to understand what we are putting on our plate and how to proportionally meet daily intake.  Judith Willis author of the “Traffic Light” diet explains that we can quickly educate ourselves by following a Red, Yellow Green color coded approach to nutrition.  This diet is easily “digested” information and is great for both adults and children. 
Three Basic Catagories
Red food’s are: Oils, butter, condiments, foods high in sugar and salt, french fries, caffeinated and carbonated soda drinks, alcoholic beverages. 
While “All Foods Fit” in dietetics, those on this list should be consumed in small amounts.  For example, oils and butters are healthy for the body as they contribute to the lubrication of cells, organs, muscles, arteries and veins. They are also calorie dense so the saying “less is more” applies to ones dietary intake.  It should be noted that in large amounts butter can contribute to blockage of arteries and unnecessary weight-gain.
High intake of caffeine can stimulate or depress while too much alcohol interferes with liver or brain function.  Both Caffeine and Alcohol should be consumed in lesser amounts.
Whenever one has too much of a particular food and the calories are not consumed within 24 hours, the food will be converted to fat.  This philosophy is commonly noted with, but not limited to sugary drinks and snacks.
Yellow Food’s contribute to the development, rejuvenation and maintenance of all our cells, such as: hair, eyes, skin, hormones, bones, organs and muscles. They should be consumed in cautionary manner, paying attention to serving sizes.  Breads and pastas are said to be eaten in smaller amounts throughout the day.  Meat, pork chicken can be eaten twice a day in the amount of 3 ounces or 84 grams at each meal. One ounce or 28 grams of cheese is an appropriate amount for a daily meal. No more than a small cup of 100% juice (opt for fruit instead).  Nuts and legumes also need to be rationed into smaller quantities.  (Nuts 1 tablespoon, beans and potatoes a half of cup.) Eggs are an excellent source of protein and can be consumed 3-5 times a week.
Green foods can be devoured often, they are rich in fiber and therefore, provide 2-4 hours of satiety.  Some of these wonders include: 1/2 cup of fruit and vegetables (considered 1 serving each), low fat milk and yogurt three times a day. Cod or other varieties of white fish.  While breads would be limited it should be noted that whole grain cereals contribute a wide span of vitamin B’s which are critical to our daily diet and these include both whole grain pasta and breads. 
The Green Foods provide a slow and steady release of fructose and lactose into our bodies.  Providing the body with a feeling of satiety, appropriate glucose levels, energy and focus. By consuming more of these foods one will notice higher levels of energy and while their mind is more concentrated on the task at hand.  These foods include: Milk, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts and fish.
A Word About Snacks. It is important to have healthy foods available for children and adults that are not always made up of empty calories. Teaching the benefits of making smart eating choices when they are young can lead to a lifetime of healthy eating habits. Snacks are an easy way to round off nutritional requirements for the day.Healthy appetizers should be kept in an area that is to reach, with unhealthy choices kept in less accessible areas. This will encourage one to reach for the healthy options first. By encouraging healthy snacking, both parents and their children will take in the nutrients and know-how needed for healthy living. These are Great tips and ideas for adults and kids alike, check out these 11easy to make Holiday Kid Friendly Appetizers
For more information and learning how to apply the diet go to http://www.trafficlightdiet.com/
Kim Crocker