Guidelines for a Healthy Diet

By: Dr. Janice Piro, DC, DABCI

The macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) are metabolized to produce energy.  Real food must be eaten to produce energy!  According to Fran Lebowitz, author of sardonic American humor, “Food is an important part of a balanced diet.”      


Generally, when it comes to choosing your protein source, the smaller and the less legs it has, the better it is for you.

  • To calculate the amount of grams of protein needed per day, take ½ your ideal body weight in ounces and multiply by .8
  • Buy organic to avoid the hormones and chemicals added to the animal’s feed which fatten the animal and increase the shelf-life of its feed (good for the food company, bad for the health of the consumer).
  • Eat “Grass Fed” beef to avoid the grain fed meat that contains too much omega 6 fats (grass fed beef contains omega 3 fats like fish does).  www.wellnessmeats.com  is a good source, although grass fed beef is also available at the local health food stores
  • Eat wild fish 2 to 3 times per week.  Avoid farm-raised fish and crustaceans.  Go to www.vitalchoice.com for wild fish.
  • Eggs are a perfect food.  They do not contribute to high cholesterol.  Eat organic, cage free eggs.  Eat the whole egg, not just the white.
  • Only consume organic dairy.  Raw milk is best and can be purchased at Whole Foods in Tampa although in the state of Florida it must be marked “for veterinarian purposes only”.  (Refer to websites: www.realmilk.com and www.westonaprice.org)   


  • Use olive oil (extra-virgin, first cold-pressed), butter and coconut oil mostly.  At least one teaspoon of organic butter should be eaten every day.
  • Use peanut and sesame oils secondarily
  • Avoid all vegetable oils (safflower, corn, sunflower, soybean cottonseed, canola)
  • Saturated fats (lard, chicken, duck and goose, beef and mutton tallows) are best for cooking due to their stability and have many health benefits
  • Avoid all hydrogenated fats and partially hydrogenated fats
  • Do not eat “fat free” products.    


It’s all about Glycemic Index (GI) which is a measure of the effects of carbohydrate foods on blood sugar.  The lower the GI, the less that food raises blood sugar.

  • Eat a low glycemic index diet.  For an extremely comprehensive chart of foods and their glycemic index, go to: http://www.mendosa.com/GI_GL_Carb_data.xls.                  Be aware that this is not a website of all good foods.  It is only for the glycemic index information.
  • Wild rice, brown basmati rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, barley, wheat berries carry the lowest glycemic index and, therefore, are the healthiest of the grains.   
  • All breads other than sprouted grain breads like Ezekiel brand, should be avoided.  Read labels; most breads promoted as “whole wheat” are simply white bread with some wheat added.
  • No refined sugar or white flour should be consumed including pasta and white rice.
  • Acceptable sweeteners are Stevia and Rapadura (whole, unprocessed cane sugar).  Xylitol is okay, but causes bloating and/or diarrhea in some people and is really a synthetic.  Organic, unheated and unfiltered honey is good, but is a high GI food, so very little should be used.  Manuka honey which comes from New Zealand is the best honey as it has the stongest positive effects on the immune system. 
  • Note:  The goodness of Agave Nectar has recently been discovered to be a lie that has been propagated upon the health-minded public.  See “Agave Nectar, The High-Fructose Health Food Fraud” written by author Rami Nagel.

How many fruits and vegetables should one eat per day?  The answer is 3 servings of brassica vegetables (Broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage) and 4 servings of other vegetables.  A serving is a modest handful.  Two pieces of whole fruit per day or one piece of a tropical fruit due to the high GI these fruits carry.

Avoidance of Chemicals

Rule of Thumb:  If it is packaged, canned or boxed, don’t eat it

Buy organic whenever possible, but meats and dairy are most important.  The vegetables and fruits that are not organic can be washed with a product called Veggie Wash which safely removes pesticides, waxes and chemicals.  However, commercial vegetables and fruits contain anywhere from 33-66% less nutrition due to being grown in depleted soil.  Also, the chemicals that have been grown into the plant cannot be washed off.  Therefore, frozen organic may be preferable to fresh commercial.

Do not use pots and pans that have a non-stick coating.  This is very toxic and gets into the food.

Use only hard plastic or glass containers.

Do not use aluminum foil, plastic wrap or Styrofoam especially with hot foods.

Water and Beverages

Rule of Thumb:  Consume ½ your body weight in ounces of water daily.  However, everyone is different when it comes to need for water, so inspect your urine.  Except for the first morning void, it should be a pale yellow color.  If it is darker, drink more water.

Consume natural spring water, not distilled.  Fiji, Volvic, Mountain Valley, Poland Springs and Evian are the best brands.

www.aquaspace.com has reasonably priced, effective water filters

No sodas or synthetically carbonated beverages should be consumed.  Natural sparkling waters like Pellegrino and Perrier are fine.

Cut out all caffeinated drinks.  Use herbal teas and green teas instead.


Pink Salt and Celtic Sea Salt are healthy additions to the diet.  They contain a multitude of trace minerals needed to conduct energy around the body.  People are often depleted of energy simply because they are salt depleted.  ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt per day is needed for the electrical conductance between our cells.  Gatorade is unnecessary and unhealthy.  Just use real, whole salt.

Do not use white table salt.  It is processed and therefore depleted of its trace minerals and contains chemical residues from that processing.  A good book about salt is Salt Your Way to Health by Dr. David Brownstein.



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