Healthy Living

According to the American Cancer Society, 35 to 60 percent of all cancer could be avoided by a primary diet of fruits, vegetables and legumes. During her speech last night entitled “Eat Right, Feel Good, and Look Great,” health expert Deanna Latson gave advice for having a healthy body by eating fresh foods with a limited intake of beef, dairy and processed foods.

“Just because food is on the shelf does not mean it is safe for you to eat,” Latson said.

She said according to the American Cancer Society, one bag of WOW potato chips can lower cancer-fighting agents in the body by 50 percent and they can cause cramping and loose stools. She said although the chips are fat free with half the calories of regular potato chips, it doesn’t mean that they are healthy.

Latson said people should learn how to take care of their bodies so they can have healthy lives.

“Your car comes with an owner’s manual and your clothes come with tags to show you how to take care of them, but we don’t come with anything,” Latson said. “It’s our job to learn what is safe and what is not.”

Latson said short-term diets are not the way to lose weight, because they are dangerous, they don’t work, they can rob the body of energy and they can result in eating disorders.

“Take Slim Fast for example,” she said. “Drink that disgusting shake, and you will lose 25 pounds. Once you stop drinking it you will gain back 28.”

Latson said she herself has tried various diet fads including Dexatrim and Jenny Craig, but by the end of her dieting, she gained back 16 pounds.

“If you choose to eat healthy, your body will lose weight naturally,” she said. “If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’re going to have to be willing to lose it slowly.”

Latson said she did not come to talk about dieting, but about “wanting to die young at a very old age.”

Latson said it is normal for people in the United States to deteriorate but it is not natural.

“Just because you get old doesn’t mean that you have to deteriorate,” Latson said. “It’s a direct reflection on how you choose to live your life.”

She said she saw people in China and Central America that were amazingly healthy in spite of their old age.

“They have no TV’s or fast food, and they live a very different life than we do,” she said. “The U.S. is one of the most sedentary places in the world.”

Latson said people can choose to live healthy at any point in their lives, but if they start when they are young they will shine later on.

“You should make a commitment to choose to be really healthy because it’s a beautiful way to live your life.”

Latson said dairy products such as animal milk are harmful to the body, and that they are not necessary for us to survive.

“All we’re ever told is that dairy products are good for us,” Latson said. “Humans are the only animals that continue to drink milk after they are weaned from it as babies.” Latson said milk is filled with artery-clogging fat and allergenic proteins. She also said milk may also contribute to cardiovascular disease and ovarian cancer.

Latson said it is not as necessary to fortify the body with calcium, as it is to prevent loss of the calcium that the body already has.

“Osteoporosis is not a disease of calcium deficiency but of calcium loss,” she said. “You don’t have to worry so much about finding sources of calcium, but about staying away from things that cause calcium deficiencies in the body.”

Latson said there are many other ways to fortify the body with calcium besides milk, and these include raw almonds, salad greens, raw sunflower seeds, raw pistachios, sweet potatoes, beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, squash, oranges, raisins and tofu.

Latson said the American Cancer Society recommends a mostly vegetarian diet and a limited intake of red meat.

“One of the best meat choices you can make is fish,” she said. She said smaller, migrating fish are the best choice because they do not carry as many toxins. Latson recommended having “meat free days,” several times a week, where red meat is avoided and fish is chosen even over chicken.

Latson said it is possible to eat right and have a healthy life, and that the best way for people to reach their goals is to write them down.

“Magic happens when you write things down,” she said. “If you write things down that you want to change about yourself, it will help you immensely.”

Latson said it was difficult for her to reach her eating goals at first, but when she wrote her goals down, it helped her to be more committed to her purpose.

Latson said the six things people can do to start living a healthy life are to define their goals, cut down on animal products, try vegetarian meals, eat lots of raw foods, eliminate processed sugar and caffeine and become educated about what foods are healthy and which ones are not.

“You make a choice every day about how you want to look and feel,” Latson said. “Without your body and your health, you have nothing.”

To find free recipes, articles, or to ask Latson a specific health-related question, visit her Web site at

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