Nutritious Food: Mandate It In Schools

Congress should take action to solve the national health care crisis by enacting a National School Exercise and Health Act, which would require all students K-12 to have some Phys. Ed. on a daily basis, (as discussed yesterday), and would also set strict nutrition standards as to what foods may be served or sold in U.S. schools.

Americans, with an overabundance of food, consume more than they need, and weigh too much. This overconsumption has raised blood sugar levels, and increased diabetes, an insidious disease, which remains asymptomatic for years, until it strikes in midlife. Bad food, with too much fat and cholesterol, narrows or blocks the blood vessels, which must remain open to nourish the body.

Many illnesses are related to poor diet and blood flow problems. Strokes are triggered by fat and cholesterol in the blood to the brain. Vision losses occur when vessels to the eyes do not carry enough oxygen. Coronary Artery Disease arises from a buildup of junk on the arterial walls. Kidneys fail when too much sugar flows to them and destroys the filters needed to pass waste to the urine. Erectile dysfunction results from a narrowing of the tiny arteries in the penis. Limbs are also lost from blood flow issues.

From school lunches, to fast-food places, and vending machines, the U.S. serves up the wrong kinds of food, and we are setting up our children for health issues later in life. We consume too many calories from carbohydrates and fats, and don’t burn them up.

The two types of carbohydrates: 1) Direct Sugars (candy), and 2) Starches (French Fries), both raise blood sugar levels. Bad carbs are poison to diabetics, and all would be healthier without them.

Sugars, such as the heavy doses in regular Pepsi or Coke, must be totally banished from schools, and replaced with only diet brands. Candies must be taken out of vending machines, as they do absolutely nothing healthy. School lunch menus should delete desserts, which add calories, but yield too few nutrients.

Carbohydrates of the unhealthy sort must be removed from schools. Potato chips should disappear from vending machines. French Fries, dipped in grease, should become criminal. Corn, a starch that fattens up kids like hogs, should be eliminated. Unhealthy breads in pizza and sub sandwiches just have to go.

Healthy carbohydrates should be served instead, such as rye, whole-grain, and whole-wheat breads, high in fiber. Fiber is good, because it carries excess cholesterol to the liver for elimination. Oat bran and oatmeal are particularly high in fiber and are nutritious. Beans including black, kidney, navy and pinto, should become staples, along with split peas. If potatoes are served, they should be baked. Brown rice is another acceptable carbohydrate.

Fruits and vegetables are complex carbohydrates and healthy. Fruits are high in fiber and vitamins and should be available every day. Children should be fed apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, pears, raisins, and a number of berries. Vegetables, especially the green leafy ones, should be served, as they contain vitamins and minerals, are low in calories, and carry no cholesterol.

Dairy Products, like whole milk, have saturated fats that raise cholesterol, and must be replaced with skim or 1%. Regular cheeses, also high in cholesterol, must be substituted with low-fat types. Unsaturated diet margarines, made from vegetable oils, should be used instead of butter, which is a saturated fat. Since egg yolks are high in cholesterol, if they must be used, only the whites should be included. Serve low-fat yogurt, not ice cream.

Meats processed from fatty animal parts are high in cholesterol and saturated fats, and must be outlawed. Schools should no longer serve as dumping grounds for left-over animal parts. While lean meats are expensive, they provide protein and their cholesterol is lower. Skinless chicken or turkey, lean beef, pork tenderloin, lamb shank, or veal cuts, should be prepared.

Fish should be served, since it is low in fat and contains protein. It must be grilled, broiled, baked, or steamed, and never deep-fried. Fish oils lower blood fat levels and cholesterol, and can actually reverse diabetes. They work like Aspirin blood thinners, by preventing blood clots, and reducing heart disease.

It is time the nation saved on our collective health care expenses by getting serious about food. It is time to lead those who know little about nutrition by mandating healthier diets in our public schools and outlawing what can be sold in vending machines.


One Comment to “Nutritious Food: Mandate It In Schools”

  1. i do agree , but alot of childern will not eat fish.

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