Eating Right For Healthy
1. Reduce the risk of heart disease with Omega-3s.
If you want to keep your heart healthy, Omega-3 Fatty Acids are your best defense against heart disease. There are many different options in terms of foods that are high in Omega-3s. Most people believe that fish is the only source.
Consider avocados on your sandwich, flax seeds in a salad, or walnuts on your apple pie. Olive oil contains a small amount of Omega-3s as well, making it a great alternative to butter or vegetable oil.
You can also use a fish oil supplement if you want to ensure that you are getting what you need to be heart healthy.
2. Eat spinach for your eyesight.
Rabbits eat carrots for good eyesight, right? Well, yes and no. While carrots are good for the eyes, spinach is a better option! Rich in lutein, spinach has been linked to preserved eyesight among the elderly. It is also beneficial at fighting diseases that affect the eye.
Carrots are rich in retinoic acid, a powerful antioxidant, but while they are extremely nutritious there is little evidence that they actually affect eyesight.
3. Stay away from fad dieting.
Fad dieting is just what the name entails, a fad. Typically, fad diets consist of eating plans that deprive your body of some essential nutrients and provide insufficient caloric intake for most people.
Some examples of fad diets that have become popular throughout the past decade include the Grapefruit Diet and the Cabbage Soup Diet.
While these diet plans may help you to lose weight quickly, they are not sustainable and long term use may actually lead to health problems. A well balanced diet and exercise plan is a better approach to losing weight.
4. Know how many servings of fruits and vegetables you’re getting.
There is so much talk about the right number of servings of fruits and vegetables – do you know what consists of a serving? Honestly, a serving size will vary from one food to another, but here are some examples:
• One cup of 100% fruit (or vegetable) juice
• One cup of canned vegetables (or canned fruit)
• Two cups of green leafy vegetables, such as spinach or escarole
• One cup of dry peas or beans (there will be more than 1 cup after cooking)
• Half a cup of dried fruit, such as raisins, apricots or cherries.
5. Eat smaller meals more frequently.
Rather than packing all of your nutrition into three square meals per day, nutritionists recommend breaking your calorie intake into smaller amounts and eating more frequently.
This will help you to keep your blood sugar consistent so that you don’t feel hungry. Never skip a meal, because it will result in your body missing out and you will definitely feel hungrier than normal.
If you do skip a meal, be sure to eat as soon as possible and choose wisely. When you are hungry, sometimes nutrition is your last concern.
A good practice is to find out your recommended daily intake of calories, and to divide it by six, or even eight.
Then, eat small meals with that approximate calorie amount in order to stay nourished throughout the day.
6. Eat a variety of berries.
During the summer months, you can get plenty of strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. These fruits are high in antioxidants and contain very few calories per serving.
In fact, blueberries are one of the best foods you can eat when you want to maximize your antioxidant intake.
Antioxidants will keep you looking, and feeling, young. And according to recent research findings, foods high in antioxidants also have the ability to slowly destroy cancer cells. There are lots of ways to include more berries in your diet. Add them to your mixed greens for a tasty salad.
Serve them over ice cream or mixed into yogurt and then sprinkled with crystallized ginger for a quick and healthy dessert. Or for a delicious breakfast, mix up a berry smoothie containing cranberry juice, blueberries, yogurt and sliced banana. Yum!
7. Avoid trans fats.
Trans fats should be avoided as much as possible in your daily diet. For years, there has been concern that trans fats can raise the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your body.
Some of the worst offenders are frozen convenience foods such as breaded chicken or fish sticks, fast food and baked goods. Other surprising sources are crackers, microwave popcorn, cereals, flavoured coffees and soups.
Be sure to check all product labels so you know whether what you’re eating contains trans fats. Even if it says low-fat it may still contain trans fat.
Often if you look, you’ll find substitutes that are much healthier.
8. Eat your veggies raw.
It is best to eat your vegetables raw, as cooking will remove some of the nutrients that are essential to good health. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables should also include fats, because research has shown that fats help to increase the absorption of essential vitamins and phytonutrients.
(Phytonutrients are the chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their bright coloring, and each type provides a different benefit
to the body.)
9. Buy groceries from around the outside of the grocery store.
The more natural the foods you eat, the healthier you’ll be. A great rule of thumb for choosing wisely at the grocery store is to shop only the outer perimeter.
This will give you the fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, breads and meat that make up a balanced healthy diet – without the fillers and junk food found in the aisles!
10. Keep your cholesterol level in check.
Cholesterol is a hot topic right now. There is so much emphasis on reducing intake of bad (HDL) cholesterol that there seems to be something missing.
Remember, it’s just as important to raise the amount of good cholesterol (LDL) as it is to eliminate the bad. Red wine is thought to be a food that increases the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body.
Two ounces of red wine daily is thought to be beneficial to most people. Another great choice is olive oil, which is believed to lower HDL (bad) cholesterol.
There is no definitive proof to this claim; however studies have shown that regions where olive oil is a staple, the number of people developing vascular disease is significantly less than in other places.
Consider substituting olive oil for butter in recipes, as the heart healthy benefits of olive oil make it a tasteful and healthy alternative.
11. Watch what you eat to avoid heartburn.
Keep heartburn flare-ups at bay by reducing your intake of fat and foods that are high in acid content, such as coffee,tea, tomatoes, carbonated soda and spicy foods. Studies suggest that increasing the amount of lean protein in your daily diet may also help. If you still have problems, avoid eating within wo hours of bedtime.
Or, if you cannot avoid eating late in the evening, lift the head of your bed six inches or use additional pillows to prop yourself up in the bed.
12. Eat hot peppers to control headaches.
If you suffer from migraines, sinus headaches or even cluster headaches, you may find relief when you eat hot peppers. Although those with reflux problems should not eat hot peppers, they are beneficial to headache sufferers.
13. Make sure you’re drinking enough water.
Eight glasses of water may not be enough. Most people believe that they need to drink eight glasses of water per day to stay healthy and hydrated. However, those who exercise or perform other strenuous activities may need to boost their water intake even more, particularly in hot weather. If you find that your urine output is insignificant, or dark and concentrated, there is a good chance that you are simply not drinking enough water.
Dehydration is a dangerous condition, so it is critical to ensure that you are drinking a minimum of eight glasses per day.
14. Don’t fall for the myth of “oxygenated water”.
Oxygenated water – water proclaimed to have higher oxygen content – is impossibility according to leading researchers who explain that it is not possible to alter the molecular structure of water by adding additional oxygen. Plain old fashioned water is still the best choice.
15. Don’t bother with fortified water.
Waters that are fortified with a variety of minerals and nutrients have become quite popular lately.
Dieticians advise that along with these essential chemicals, you are probably getting more sugar. Their advice is that when you take a multi-vitamin you are getting what your body needs and these fortified waters are unnecessary.
16. Cut out coffee.
Coffee can cause you to gain weight due to the presence of cortisol and insulin. Not to mention the cream! Substitute green tea for coffee, and you will find that you can lose about ten pounds in fourteen days – while making no other dietary changes.
17. Choose only 100% fruit juices.
If you find it hard to get the recommended number of servings of fruit and vegetables, fruit juices can be a good alternative.
When selecting fruit juice, look for varieties that are 100% pure and have low added sugar content.
Even still, be careful not to have more than two six-ounce servings per day. Since these juices are extremely high in sugar and calories any more may exceed the recommended 15% of your daily calories.
18. Don’t skip meals.
When you skip a meal, your body wants to make up those calories and as a result you are more likely to get out of control hunger, which leads to overeating.
When you’re that hungry you also don’t think about good nutrition and reach for what’s closest rather than what’s healthy. Avoid problems by eating breakfast, lunch and dinner every day with small snacks between meals.
A little alcohol won’t hurt you – in fact studies show that drinking a glass of red wine every day may actually help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
But remember that alcoholic beverages are chocked full of empty calories. And as if that’s not bad enough, alcohol slows down the metabolism.
Extra calories + slower metabolism = weight gain
19. Eat smart when you’re at a restaurant.
Take advantage of salad and fruits available from fast food restaurants. Just leave out the dressing and you’ll have a healthy alternative to burgers and fries.
At buffets, have a full plate of healthy salad items first to fill you up. But don’t assume everything at the salad bar is healthy – mayonnaise based salads, bacon, croutons and fatty dressings are all loaded with extra calories and fat.
And don’t overeat – get a doggy bag and enjoy the rest the next day.
20. Make snacks easy.
Let’s face it, it’s easier to grab a chocolate bar or bag of chips than carrot sticks.
Help yourself make healthier snack choices by keeping precut, cleaned, and packaged fresh fruit and vegetables in the fridge. They’re even easy to take with you to work on when you go out.
21. Limit your sugar and fat intake.
Rather than eliminating all foods that are high in sugar or fat from your diet, try simply reducing the frequency that you eat them.
As with anything, moderation is best.
22. Keep a food diary.
If you think that your diet may be too high in fat or calories, keep a food diary for a few weeks to help you determine where these foods fit into your daily eating habits.
After all, how can you fix a problem when you don’t know that it exists? A food diary will also let you know if you are getting all of the nutrients that you need.
You will probably find that your diet is missing something.
23. Make food substitutions to limit fat.
If you want to reduce the amount of fat in your diet, consider switching to skim milk and dairy products made with skim milk.
Also, when selecting your cuts of meat, consider options that are lower in fat, such as flank steak and extra lean ground beef.
Chances are you won’t notice a difference but you’ll significantly reduce your fat intake.
24. Find ways to reduce the fat in fatty foods.
Fried chicken is almost as American as apple pie. And if you love it, you shouldn’t give it up simply because it is high in fat. As withother high fat foods, the key is to find a way to reduce the fat without reducing the taste.
Skinless chicken is the healthiest choice. And using canola or another vegetable oil is healthier than lard or other animal fats. Making these simple changes will dramatically decrease the amount of fat you’re eating.
25. Spread your nutritional requirements over time.
If you don’t get enough of a particular food group on a single day – it is ok to make up for it the next. If you selectyour food choices wisely, you will find that you are getting better nutrition from your diet.
26. Change what you eat gradually.
When making changes to your eating habits, make incremental changes over time rather than an all at once campaign to eliminate bad food from your lifestyle.
After all, Rome was not built in a day! You will be more successful in your attempt for a healthier lifestyle if you make changes to your eating gradually than if you attempt rapid change.
27. Don’t deprive yourself of junk foods – just limit them.
There is no reason to associate food with guilt. You should never term a specific food good or bad. If you love to eat junk food or desserts it is ok to continue to eat them, just as long as you eat them infrequently and keep the rest of your diet balanced. When you simply must have a food that is high in fat or calories, try to find the option that has the lowest possible amount of “bad” ingredients.
28. Eat lots of “good fats”.
Essential Fatty Acids, or EFAs, are the good fat! Yes, there is evidence to support the idea that EFAs are no longer just good for your heart. Fatty Acids, such as Omega-3, provide important support for your body. For example, EFAs are known to increase bone mineral density.
They have been long known for their beneficial effects on the heart as well. Essential Fatty Acids like Omega-3s help your body and your heart
to stay young.
If you are finding your hair brittle, or that your skin lacks a healthy glow the answer may be found in your kitchen. There has been substantial research done that proves that Essential Fatty Acids are the key to healthy hair and skin. If you are not getting enough Essential Fatty Acids in your diet, you are among millions.
You do have some options; consider taking Omega-3 supplements, or eating foods that are high in Omega-3s such as leafy greens and fish. Flaxseed oil is another option. You should try to get at least 1-3 grams of Essential Fatty Acids each day from the foods you eat, or dietary supplements.
29. Take a fish oil supplement to boost your intake of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).
If you decide to use fish oil supplements to boost your Essential Fatty Acids intake, take a careful look at the supplements you are considering. You should never take a supplement that contains heavy metals or Polychlorinated biphenyls. And, always store your supplements in the refrigerator.
30. Eat like the French.
There are lots of lessons to be learned from the French when it comes to eating. Did you know that Americans eat nearly 10 times more sugar and salt than French people? Ten times! And did you know that obesity is almost unheard of in France? Experts agree that this has a lot to do with the fact that their portions are significantly smaller than ours. Instead of limiting what they eat, they limit how much they eat.
So take a cue from the French and eat what you want – even high fat foods
(gasp) – but only have a small amount.
31. Eat tomatoes.
Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene, which is what also gives them their coloring. Lycopene is a known antioxidant that helps your body to prevent cancer. Tomatoes help to destroy free radicals, associated with cancer in the human body.
Tomatoes contain high amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, two vitamins known to fight off colds and infections. Also, tomatoes contain potassium, calcium, niacin and other essential minerals.
32. Eat yogurt.
Yogurt is high in calcium, which is essential to healthy skin and bones. It also contains bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermaophilus, which are live bacteria that help to convert milk into yogurt and are known to be essential to the digestion process.
If you are fearful of eating yogurt due to the presence of live bacteria, you should know that
the bacteria in yogurt are good for boosting your immune system and they also help to lower cholesterol.
Yogurt contains high amounts of protein, along with many of the nutrients that are essential to a healthy body including Riboflavin, potassium and Vitamin B12.
33. Eat avocadoes.
Avocados are a food that many people avoid because they are high in calories. However, they are one of the healthiest foods that you can eat.
For one thing, avocados are high in glutathione, which is an antioxidant known to destroy free radicals and slow the signs of aging. They are also a fantastic source of calcium, known to support healthy teeth and bones. And they contain a high amount of “good fats”.
34. Increase your calcium intake with dark leafy vegetables.
Milk and dairy products are no longer thought to be the only good source of calcium. Nutrition experts believe that dark leafy greens are also an excellent source of this important mineral. Eating dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, arugula and swiss chard will help keep teeth and bones healthy, ward of osteoporosis and keep your heart healthy.
In fact, foods like spinach and other green leafy vegetables can actually help to normalize heart rate and nerve impulses and to improve the clotting ability of the blood. In addition to being a great source of calcium, dark leafy green vegetables contain a high amount of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and fiber.
These things are all essential to a healthy diet and should be included in your daily food intake. A simple way to integrate leafy greens into your diet is to replace french fries with a salad when dining out.
35. Eat salmon.
Salmon is high in Omega-3, an Essential Fatty Acid known to be very beneficial to overall health. In fact, salmon is one of the best foods for those looking to get more Omega-3 Fatty Acids in their diet.
Salmon helps to promote heart health, because it contains Omega-3, which is known to help fight against degenerative diseases and to improve cognitive and behavioral function in older adults.
Salmon may actually help those suffering from depression as a result of its high content of healthy fats, which are related to the improvement of behavioral function. Salmon is also a great source of protein, and offers a lower fat content than other meat options. In addition, the fish is high in Vitamin B-12, Vitamin B-6, magnesium and phosphorus.
Keep in mind though that there are health risks associated with salmon due to the
presence of heavy metals such as mercury and other potential toxins. To reduce the chances of contamination make every attempt to only purchase wild salmon.
36. Choose organic foods.
The major difference between organic foods and other foods is the way in which they are produced. The most common form of organic food is produce, and organic produce is almost always grown on small family farms that are operated with the environment in mind.
Organic farmers do not use pesticides on their produce, meaning that when you eat the produce there are less artificial and harmful chemicals entering your body. Organic foods are higher in essential nutrients like calcium, Boron, Lithium and magnesium. Formerly, organic foods were only available in specialty stores and farmer’s markets.
But today you can buy organic foods in nearly any grocery store. When you want to care for the environment and live a healthier lifestyle, organic foods provide you with the ability to do both.
37. Increase your fiber intake.
Diets high in fiber are a good way to maintain your good health. Fiber is helpful in reducing cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. According to the Academy of Family Physicians, you should have 4-5 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every single day. Some fruits and vegetables that are known for their fiber content include oranges, berries, apples, carrots, broccoli, beans, peas, pears and cauliflower.
Substitute bran or wheat bread that is high in fiber for white bread. And cooked beans add a large amount of fiber to the diet.
38. Include nuts in your diet.
Nuts contain high concentrations of oils, vitamins and minerals that are essential to the growth of their particular plant. Fortunately, they are also very nutritious for humans too. It is best to opt for raw, unshelled and unprocessed nuts that contain the original concentrations of oils. Shelling a nut removes some of the oils – so don’t shell them until you are ready to eat them.
Nuts are easily and quickly digested by most people, particularly when they are eaten with dried or fresh fruits. Therefore, you get the nutrients and energy a little faster than you might with other foods.
Nuts are high in fat and calories, so although they contain many valuable nutrients it is a good idea to limit your intake.
They are definitely a good substitution for other snack foods and can be included in meals to augment the flavour and nutrition of the other foods being eaten.
39. Prepare and freeze healthy meals.
When you’re busy, it’s quicker and easier to grab takeout then to make a home cooked meal. Prepare some of your meals for the week ahead of time and keep them in the freezer.
Homemade soups, chili and casseroles are easy to make and heat up when you are on the go. Don’t think you have the extra time to cook ahead?
Next time you’re making your favorite recipe, double it and put half in the
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