What’s Best to Eat?

By Dr. S. Henning Belfrage

London, England

            In suggesting these specimen menus we are presenting well-balanced meals composed of foodstuffs, and requiring methods of preparation, that are simple an inexpensive.

Essential Daily Requirements

The essential requirement of the daily food is that it should be well balanced. This means that it should contain all the constituents needed by the body for the maintenance of health. These food essentials are : –

  1. Substances to provide the body with heat and energy.
  2. Substances to provide material with which to build and repair the tissues of the body.
  3. Mineral substances and Vitamins, to keep the various parts of the body and their functions in good working order.
  4. These are the starchy foods, sugars, fats, and flesh foods.
  5. These are both animal and vegetable foods.

Animal products –meat, milk and eggs –provide certain building and repair material which vegetable products do not contain.

  1. These are found in many kinds of foodstuffs, but are most plentifully supplied by uncooked green leaves, fresh fruits, milk and butter.

The average dietary to-day is too largely composed of starchy foods, especially white flour (deficient in minerals and vitamins), sugar and meat foods.

These foods must be balanced by the generous addition of dairy produce, vegetables (especially green leaves) and fresh fruits. Health is more dependent on a regular supply to the body of all the food materials which the body requires than on any other influence. Good nutrition is the foundation stone on which health is built up and maintained.

Too much money is usually spent on meat foods. More should be spent in proportion on milk, fruit and vegetables.

In arranging the meals here suggested it has been presumed that the principal meal is taken in the evening after the day’s work and worry are over.

For those who find it more convenient, the lunch menu can be taken in the evening and the dinner menu at mid-day.

The vegetable soup can be taken at either meal or at both.

Breakfast should be a light meal, even though the day’s work consists of hard physical labor. In this case larger quantities of bread and cereal foods and milk can be taken, since these are the foods which provide energy for work. It is not necessary or advisable to eat any, or more than a very little, animal flesh at this meal.

It is a sound practice to eat flesh foods at only one meal in the day.

It preferred, the amount of flesh food can be divided either at one meal or at two into half the quantity of fish and of meat that would be taken alone or at one meal.

No attempt has been made to specify quantities of the various foods. The quantity required depends principally on the amount of physical exercise taken.

The sedentary worker requires less than the manual laborer, men more than women and adults more than children.

Steady increase of weight in adults generally means that too much food (especially the energy foods, starch, sugar and fat) or that too little exercise is being taken, or generally both.

The Milk Ration

At least a pint of milk should be taken daily. Milk is a food, not a drink. It is the most nearly complete foodstuff that we possess.

Fruit should be eaten as freely as the purse will allow.

A diet that includes a generous quantity of dairy and garden produce will do much to maintain health and to prevent disease.

All the requirements of the body can be met by milk, cheese, butter and eggs with cereals, fruits and vegetables. Meat foods can be used by most people without harm if they are taken in strict moderation.

A purely vegetarian and fruitarian diet is not recommended.