Correct Food Choices
There are many complicated issues influencing proper food selection. The most
reliable rule is that people should eat plant foods that have been in common use
for centuries. Vegetables and fruits provide good nutrition and have additional
benefits. Non-nutrient chemicals in plants can add unexpected benefits when
included in the diet. These non-nutrient substances are now referred to as
phytochemicals which means plant chemicals
Many of the fruits and vegetables included in the Alpha Nutrition Program are
all the award-winning, protective foods. However, there also are negative
phytochemicals. Phytochemical-containing foods such as soya beans have mixed
positive and negative properties. The benefits of some foods are opposed by the
negative effects of not-so nice phytochemicals. A well-informed nutritional
programmer will have to work with a balance sheet comparing benefits and
The first goal is to identify a simple set of best foods for your child.
Another goal is to eat more natural food and less packaged or processed foods.
A return to simpler, natural foods has important biological advantages. We all
seem to work better when we have a simple, regular food supply with no
The food allergy literature identifies cow's milk
proteins, gluten and egg white as three of the most allergenic foods; the top
three are typically followed by nuts, soy, citrus, corn, and then a scattering
of other foods. We have found that the best-tolerated and most nourishing foods
are cooked vegetables and rice. Rice is a staple grain with a lower incidence of
problems overall; it is widely available, inexpensive and easy to cook.
The program food lists started with low-risk food lists from the allergy
literature and then progressed by keeping score of food reactions as several
thousand patients reintroduced foods and kept track of their food reactions. A
critical path emerged with a list of foods offering the best nutrition and the
least risk of problems. This list eventually evolved into a standard plan of
food introduction, the Alpha Nutrition Program.
Food selection is based on criteria:
Fewer Adverse Reactions
Acceptable, Available, Affordable
Other health benefits
The Alpha Nutrition Program is a natural-food-eating plan. Under ideal
circumstances, we would all be eating organically grown vegetables and fruits
from our own gardens or neighborhood market gardens. Our intention is to
simulate eating from the garden by buying and preparing fresh or frozen
vegetables, fruit, poultry, meat and fish, according to our own preferences and
tolerances. Most of the desirable foods are purchased in garden and farmers'
markets, natural food and organic produce stores, and regular supermarkets.
You will guide your children toward eating more vegetables. Increased
vegetable intake is a key to your success and the most important dietary
recommendation emerging from scientific studies. Research has shown that there
are numerous substances in vegetables and fruits that protect against common
diseases. The non-digestible fibers in plants are highly desirable.
Often, the pigments in plants are protective. The orange pigment,
beta-carotene, and the red pigment, lycopene, are examples of protective
"phytochemicals". Lycopene is protective against prostate cancer and has
antioxidant properties superior to beta-carotene. Cooked tomatoes offer more
absorbable lycopene than raw tomatoes and may release more cholecystokinin from
the digestive tract, which turns off appetite. The purple bioflavinoids, for example, in red grapes have cardiovascular protective effects (it is better to drink grape juice
Vegetables and fruits foods should account for 60% or more of daily calories.
If you mix four vegetables from different botanical families, carrots, peas,
broccoli, squash, for example, with rice, you tend to get complete nutrient sets
with the exception of vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Vitamin D is not available in
plant foods but is made in your skin from sunlight. If your skin is not exposed
to sun, you need to provide vitamin D as a supplement.