Everyone wants to eat a healthier diet, but it can sometimes be difficult to know if your diet is healthy enough ?
There are a number of factors that go into creating a healthy diet, and it is important to evaluate the current state of your diet before embarking on a plan for healthier eating.
There are several questions you should ask yourself when evaluating the healthiness (or lack thereof) of your current eating plan.
These questions include:
Do I eat a wide variety of foods?
Variety is one of the most important hallmarks of a healthy diet, since no one food contains all the nutrients needed by the human body. It is important to eat foods from all the major food groups, including grains and breads, fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy products, meats, beans and nuts.
If you find yourself avoiding some food groups, such as vegetables for instance, it may be time to look for a healthier diet.
Do I recognize the importance of cereals, breads and other grain products?
Eating a wide variety of grain based products is important to a healthy diet. Grains and cereals contain a large number of important nutrients, including high levels of dietary fiber.
It is important to choose whole grain products as often as possible, since whole grain products like wheat bread contain more nutrients than more refined white bread and similar products. When eating cereal, it is a good idea to choose whole grain varieties, or those that are enriched with vitamins and minerals.
Do I eat lots of fruits and vegetables?
Many people do not eat sufficient servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Most experts recommend eating between 5 and 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, roughly equivalent to 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables.
When shopping for vegetables and fruits, it is important to choose a good variety of dark green, dark red, orange and yellow varieties. That is because different colored fruits and vegetables contain a variety of different nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A and beta carotene.
Do I eat a good breakfast every morning?
Breakfast, or the absence of it, is often a good indicator of the state of your diet. If you rush out of the house every morning and grab a donut at the local convenience store, chances are your diet can use some work. A healthy breakfast provides a foundation for the rest of the day, helps you avoid cravings and provides much needed nutrition.
Do I choose low fat foods over higher fat alternatives?
This is also an important question to ask yourself. Low fat alternatives are available for a variety of products, including milk, cheese, meats and more.
One part of following a healthy, low fat diet is avoiding prepared foods whenever possible, since prepared foods tend to have higher amounts of fat and sodium than fresh foods.
It is also important to control the amount of fat that is added at the table. Adding things like butter, sour cream and heavy sauces is a sure way to ruin an otherwise healthy meal. Even healthy foods like salads can be sabotaged by the addition of high fat salad dressings. Try using lower fat alternatives like flavored vinegars instead.
Do I drink plenty of water?
Drinking plenty of fresh, pure water is important to maintaining a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle. Water is important to maintaining optimal levels of health.
If you think you need more water, try substituting water for less healthy beverages like soda and coffee.
Am I able to maintain my optimal body weight?
Gaining weight without trying to is often a sign of a poor diet. Following a healthy diet, and getting plenty of regular exercise, is the only way to lose weight and keep it off.
Do I limit the amount of salt, sugar, alcohol and caffeine in my diet?
While all of these elements are fine in moderation, excessive amounts of any of these four can indicate a serious problem with your diet. It is important to limit the amount of unhealthy elements in any diet
Monday, September 26, 2016
Everyone wants to eat a healthier diet, but it can sometimes be difficult to know if your diet is healthy enough ?
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Snacking is one of those issues that can wreck the best laid plan for healthier eating. Everyone wants a snack now and then, but the key is to make those snacks healthy and nutritious as well as delicious.
There are many great snacks that can be enjoyed guilt free. For instance choosing snacks from whole grain products, fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy products, meat and nuts can be a great way to satisfy your craving without destroying your diet.
The world of grain and whole grain products contain a great many healthy snacks, including whole grain breads (wheat bread and rye bread are great choices), whole what bagels, wholesome tortilla shells, pita bread and whole grain cereals.
The all important vegetable and fruit food group contains so many ideas for healthy snacks that it would be impossible to list them all here. Some of the best, tastiest and easiest fresh fruit and vegetable snacks include baby carrots or carrot slices, bit size vegetables such as broccoli florets, radishes and green peppers, fresh vegetable and fruit juice and fruit salads.
For a quick and easy fruit salad, try this five minute recipe. Open a can of mandarin oranges and pour it into a bowl, making sure to capture all the delicious juice as well. Cut up a banana, an apple and a nectarine and add them to the bowl. Add some strawberries, blueberries and raisins for extra taste and color, and serve.
Of course fresh fruit also makes a great snack on its own. Snacking on apples, bananas and oranges is a great way to eat healthy and still enjoy delicious snacks. Keeping a bowl of delicious fruit on the table or the coffee table is a great way to encourage the entire family to eat healthier.
The milk and dairy products food group also contains many healthy snack items, including low fat and nonfat yogurt, skim milk, low fat puddings, cheeses and even chocolate milk.
Low fat cuts of prepared meats and low fat varieties of lunch meats make great snacks as well. Sandwiches made with whole grain bread and low calorie spreads like mustard can be a great treat any time of day or night.
Canned tuna (packed in water of course), peanut butter, eggs and egg substitutes, poultry, nuts and beans are also excellent choices for healthy snacks.
When creating healthy snacks, it is important to limit the consumption of high fat foods, and foods high in salt and sodium. Instead of buying snacks in the snack aisle of the grocery store, try making your own using some of the suggestions listed above.
For added variety, try combining several different healthy snacks in unexpected ways. For instance, try spreading peanut butter on pita bread, or use it as a fun dip for apple slices. Or top a whole grain English muffin with tuna and cheese. Place it in the broiler for a few minutes and enjoy a healthy and delicious snack.
Other good ideas for quick and healthy snacks include pairing fresh fruit with nonfat plain or vanilla yogurt, adding fresh fruit slices to cereal, and using fresh fruit and fruit juices to make delicious smoothies.
To perk up bagels that are getting a little stale, try slicing them into thin pieces and arranging them on a baking sheet. Brush them with some low fat salt free butter or margarine, some garlic powder and bake them for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. This is a great way to make your own inexpensive and healthy bagel chips without the preservatives or extra sodium found in the store bought variety.
There are of course many other types of healthy snacks, and their variety is only limited by your creativity. It is important to make a variety of healthy snacks, and keep them readily at hand. Replacing all those unhealthy snacks with healthier alternatives is one of the best ways to keep snack cravings from sidetracking your healthy eating goals.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
When it comes to healthy eating, sometimes how you cook is just as important as what you eat. There are definitely healthy, and less healthy, ways to prepare the healthy foods you buy.
When it comes to cooking vegetables, it is always best to use as little water as possible. That is because over cooking, especially when boiling, can destroy some of the important nutrients that make vegetables so important.
The best way to cook most vegetables in the microwave, preferably in a special microwave vegetable steamer. Vegetables can also be lightly cooked in a microwave safe bowl, using as little water as possible.
Vegetables can be cooked on the stove top as well, but it is important to use as little water as possible when boiling vegetables. Vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts are particularly susceptible to losing important nutrients.
Microwave ovens are also great for making other vegetables, especially baked potatoes. Baked potatoes get great in the microwave, with the skins getting nice and crispy and the flesh being very tender. Of course this means that less high fat toppings may be needed, so the microwave is a great way to make nutritious and delicious baked potatoes.
Grilling is another great way to make healthy, delicious meals. Grilling meats is a great, low fat way to prepare meats, and it is a great way to make vegetables and fruits as well. Vegetable kebobs are great on the grill, whether combined with lean cuts of meat or made into a meal of their own.
Your oven’s broiler is another great way to create low fat meals. Broiling is a great way to prepare all kinds of meats and seafood, and broiling is a low fat cooking method as well. Broiling fish is a great, fast and easy way to prepare this staple of a healthy low fat diet, while broiling steaks and chops keep fat at a minimum while keeping taste at its highest.
The handy kitchen blender is another great way to create delicious snacks using healthy fruits and vegetables. Blenders are great for making fruit smoothies, and most recipes call for little more than crushed ice, fruit juice and fresh fruit.
Some great, high nutrition, low fat, low calorie meals require no preparation at all. For instance, it is possible to make a wonderful, and easy, fruit salad with just a can of mandarin oranges, an apple, some strawberries and a banana. Simply open the can of mandarin oranges, empty it into a bowl, along with the juice it is packed in. Then add banana slices, apples slices and strawberries. For extra color and taste, add some blueberries, raspberries or raisins. The total preparation time for this great creation is all of five minutes.
Fruit skewers are another creative, healthy and easy meal or snack. Simply take shish kebob skewers and stack them full of melon slices, strawberries, red grapes, white grapes and chunks of pineapple. Plain nonfat yogurt makes an excellent and low fat dip.
In addition to the above ideas, making your own homemade salsa is a great way to create a low fat alternative to sour cream and other high fat dips. Salsa can be made using healthy ingredients like tomatoes, mangoes, avocados, onions, cilantro and lime juice.
In addition, perking up a plain salad is a great way to add even more fruits and vegetables to an already healthy diet. For example, use broccoli florets, carrot slices, slices of cucumber, green peppers, red peppers, and bean sprouts to add color, zest and flavor to any salad.
Cucumbers, green peppers, broccoli and carrots are also great additions to pasta salads and potato salads. Adding extra crunch and color is a great way to add zest to any meal or snack.
Even a plain green salad of lettuce and tomatoes can be enhanced through the use of colorful fruits and vegetables. Adding vegetables like carrots, bean sprouts, and spinach leaves, and fruits like mandarin oranges, apple slices, nectarine slices, grapes, apple slices, pineapples and raisins, adds both beauty and taste to any salad.
Of course salad dressing is always an important subject for those trying to follow a healthy lifestyle. High fat dressing can sabotage even the healthiest salad, but there are many excellent, low fat and healthy choices when it comes to topping a salad. Using flavored vinegars, herbs and fruit juices are novel approaches to salad dressing, in addition to the many nonfat and low fat versions of commercial salad dressing.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Avoid Food/Beverages That Cause Acid Reflux and do some modification in your lifestyle.
Many people get hungry as a result of they lack food. Children become malnourished if they’re not given the correct quantity of food that contains the required vitamins and minerals that successively build the body and make kids healthy.
The fact is, not all foods area unit healthy. The foremost in style unhealthy food is ‘junk foods’. Even as the word suggests, junk, which suggests it’s like garbage. However many folks area unit still superior these styles of food.
People diagnosed with sure diseases usually area unit given a listing of foods to avoid. And this is often true with the case of someone having acid reflux. Acid reflux or the GERD may be a condition whereby abdomen acids return to the muscle system attributable to the improper functioning of the lower musculature musculus. If this condition isn’t treated, it’ll solely worsen which may cause serious complications.
You can effectively tell if you have got acid reflux if you expertise symptoms like bitter style, burning sensation within the chest or higher abdomen and your throat’s back, excessive belching, respiratory difficulties, tightness of throat, issue in swallowing food, and unhealthy breath.
If you often expertise these symptoms, then you almost certainly have acid reflux. Visit your doctor to get correct identification and advice, so you may apprehend the severity of your condition.
There area unit sure beverages and foods that cause acid reflux, and this includes the following:
Food that make acid reflux worse;
– spearmint and peppermint
– alcoholic drinks
– fruit juices
– fatty foods and cooked foods
– citrus fruits
– spicy foods
– products that area unit tomato-based
– caffeinated drinks
A modification in your diet is that the best thanks to traumatize acid reflux. Though initially you’ll feel bereft of these foods, think about what’s going to happen if you still eat or drink these beverages and foods.
Start your modification in diet by keeping a record of your food intake. During this manner, you’ll be able to tell that of the foods or beverages causes your acid reflux. Thus on every occasion you expertise that burning sensation, note of what you’ve got really ingested. Once you have got the list accomplished, place it somewhere wherever you’ll be able to simply see it, just like the icebox.
A lifestyle modification could seem rather troublesome. Your doctor will greatly assist you in your transition. The terribly very first thing that you just ought to do is to line a goal, like for example consumption little meals, whereas avoiding those above-named foods. Slowly quit smoking and drinking. Of course, you cannot expect that medicine do that for you.
Every time you are feeling any of the symptoms, you may be instantly reminded that you are on the incorrect path. Self-discipline is incredibly abundant necessary to achieve a sure-fire life style modification.
While many persons are taking antacids, others area unit finding it higher to stay with the natural method. On the long haul, antacids don’t seem to be that smart for your body, even to your abdomen. It might be higher to begin ever-changing your life style, the earlier the higher.
Besides, a healthy life style does not solely forestall acid reflux however alternative diseases similarly. You may gain a lot of profit in ever-changing your life entirely, particularly concerning food consumption habits. Eat the correct styles of food at the correct quantity, and you will keep healthy. forestall acid reflux, change.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Why bother taking vitamins at all?
Our forefathers survived just fine without multivitamin packs, why can’t we? The answer to that question is easy, go look in your cupboards. Our forefathers was eating lot better than we do. High processed, homogenized, pasteurized, canned and prepackaged fast food means less chance of natural occurring vitamins surviving for any length of time.
While some of us pick our own fruit and grow our own vegetables, most of the country chooses to rely on packaged, store bought fruits and veggies. These aren’t as healthy as they look, either. The longer the apples and tomatoes are off the vine, the faster they begin to lose their nutritional value, losing vitamins during processing and shipping.
Your body needs vitamins to boost your immune system, ward off colds and other viruses, and even keep you even tempered, so to speak.
Did you know with a vitamin deficiency that you are less likely to clot when you cut yourself?
Vitamins play a much bigger part then we think, and the average diet does not include all the vitamins necessary to keep the body in top shape.
A good multi-vitamin is your best choice, but here again you can be misled into believing that 100% of the USDA recommended dosage is good enough. They mean 100% total, not 100% of each vitamin necessary. Think about it, they can’t possibly pack the right amount of every kind of vitamin that you need into one pill a day, and most multi vitamins sold in your local grocery store are cut with fillers and preservatives. Nope, you’ll have to visit your local food store and get some natural, all inclusive vitamin supplements. Along with eating well, these supplements contain everything you need for balanced vitamin intake, with none of the fillers and preservatives that I, for one, resent paying for.
So let’s talk B vitamins as an example. You need several different kinds of B vitamins alone. B6 and B12 are just two, but the most commonly talked about. Vitamin B6 promotes the development of red blood cells, and B12 helps promote energy and fights Alzheimer’s disease. You need these and other vitamins to be in the purest form possible in order to be the most beneficial. Let’s skip back for a moment, the history of vitamins, if you will. Vitamins began being “discovered” by scientists and surgeons around 1914, and the word “vitamin ” comes from the word “vital” as in vital energy for life, but as far back as the 1600’s sailors knew to eat citrus fruits to prevent scurvy. It wasn’t until later that they knew it as vitamin C.
Now we will skip forward to the future. Many vitamins are now available as liquids. Remember cod liver oil? Well now most vitamins can be taken from a spoon rather than choked down (although if you were one of the kids forced to down cod liver oil, you were choking anyway), what’s more, they taste good now as well.
Now before you get all excited and run out to stock up on each vitamin that you are deficient in, let me remind you that you can, in fact, ‘overdose’ on vitamins, kind of. The water soluble vitamins such as B’s and C’s will simply be expressed through your urine if you’ve taken in more than your body needs, but fat soluble vitamins such as D and E can accumulate in liver and cause problems such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and rash.
I recommend contacting a homeopath to test for vitamin deficiencies before you run out and spend a lot on vitamins. Knowing exactly what you need the most and in what daily dosage will save you some money, because again, you really need to purchase each vitamin separately, rather than in a multi-vitamin pill.
Monday, September 12, 2016
Most people struggle with weight gain and most have already tried every imaginable diet program yet with very little results to show for it. The fitness and diet industry has come up with a number of programs that promised “sexier” bodies for anyone who diligently follows every food consumption advice. Some of the more popular diets include the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, and the No Points Diet, all of which have gained their respected throng of followers.
The truth is, these diets are only as effective as the level of discipline you have. Any diet program can work if the person is committed enough to follow the dietary prescriptions. The bottom line is that you will gain weight again if you don’t watch your calorie intake or if you consume more calories than your is supposed to have. Eating the proper food in the right proportions is the key to diet success.
Moreover, a weight watcher should also understand that exercise still plays a major role in losing weight. Controlling food intake must work hand-in-hand with a regular exercise program that is intended for burning the excess fat in the body. But a person does not need to invest in expensive equipment or have a costly exclusive gym membership. The tools for losing weight can be found right inside our home or nearby surroundings.
Aside from the diet and exercise, it is also wise to follow these tips on how to start and maintain a successful weight loss program:
l. Have a Positive Attitude – Even if you adapt a fitness or diet program, these will not work if you don’t have a positive outlook about losing weight. It will normally take a few days or even weeks before you notice any results out of your diet and exercise regimen. It takes an optimist to keep with a program that is slow to show its promised benefits. Give yourself a break every once in a while and accept the fact it will take awhile to see the results. Start with good positive affirmations about yourself and your health. Have faith in the affirmations and it will surely influence your mood and motivation to stay on a diet and continue your exercise program. Your affirmation will be more effective if you write it down. For example, you may want to write down this statement and read it to yourself: “ I want to lose 30 pounds before Thanksgiving.” That is a manageable goal. You don’t need to limit yourself to one affirmation either. Train your subconscious to be more positive. Do nothing and nothing gets done. Say, believe, and act on something…and it gets done.
2. Take Action – It is a well known fact that two out of three Americans are overweight. Why? People eat more and exercise less. We usually go for the high-calorie fast food meals when we take lunch breaks and many actually believe that we won’t get fat if we eat “low-fat” food. If you eat more calories the body, will store it as fat. Having a low-fat diet prevents you from consuming unwanted calories while improving your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It is important to know that there is also what is called good cholesterol. Not all cholesterols are bad for your health. Another important point is to determine your ideal body weight based on current standards of measurement for men and women. Another way to determine your health and fitness is by using the waist circumference method which says that your waistline should not be more than half of your height in inches. For example, a five-foot man which has a height of 60 inches should not have a waistline bigger than 30 inches.
3. Diet – Before adapting to a new diet plan or program, it is best to first consult your doctor. You should avoid consuming high-fat, high-calorie foods and learn to prepare delicious yet healthy meals. Once in a while, you can treat yourself by eating moderate amounts of food that you normally enjoy like a few bites of chocolate or half a cup of ice cream. That way, you won’t feel deprived of these good “comfort food.”
Losing weight takes discipline to follow a sensible diet and maintain regular exercise. Sometimes, for very difficult cases, the use of a prescription weight loss pill may become necessary. Just remember that losing weight takes time. If you stick to your plan and relish the prospect of having better health and a better figure, you will lose those unwanted pounds and gain more in terms of your self-esteem and physical conditioning.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Healthy eating and physical fitness go together, but there are no magic foods that cause you to be one hundred percent healthy by just eating the one food.
No, you need a variety of foods from each of these food groups each day. It’s also important to watch the portion size so as not to overeat. Make your mealtimes pleasant and relaxed occasions and your healthy foods will work effectively with your healthy emotions to give you a healthy body.
You may like all types of berries or just one or two favorites, but you can never go wrong by adding a few fresh berries as a quick energy snack or frozen berries made into a luscious smoothie in place of calorie laden desserts. Berries are high in vitamin C across the board, but some are high in other nutrients as well. Choose ripe blueberries for vitamin C and heaps of anti-oxidants for the health of your circulatory system. Gogi berries are less well-known but are wonderfully rich in many of the nutrients your body needs to be nutritionally and physically fit.
The foods of the citrus family are widely recognized as a valuable source of vitamin C. Choose fully ripe citrus fruits for the best nutritional value and choose citrus as near to the tree as possible. Tree ripened fruits picked at the peak of perfection and consumed with hours of picking give you the top nutritional rating. Try grapefruit for breakfast. Add a dash of fresh squeezed lime to your salad as a dressing and enjoy slices of orange with coconut in a light honey dressing for dessert.
The variety of vegetables is amazing. For people who are vegetarian or vegan, choosing vegetables to be part of a nutritionally sound diet is a way of life. Your vegetable group provides many of the minerals required in a good diet. For example, you may realize that potassium is necessary for healthy nutrition. Many people claim the benefits of potassium found in a single banana. But did you know, you can also get adequate potassium in your diet by eating a stalk of broccoli? Try a salad of fresh young spinach topped with pine nuts and stirred with lightly cooked penne’. Feta cheese and a light vinaigrette dressing to create the perfect light luncheon meal.
Like many other of the best foods, choosing only one type of whole grain for your meals doesn’t provide all the variety you need to be nutritionally sound. Often, mixing two or more whole grains together will give you complete proteins. For example, brown rice and wheat kernels with a spicy seasoning are a popular dish in many countries.
Salmon is lean fish and nutritionally one of the best fish choices. It is rich in Omega-3 oils that are noted as helping improve the functioning of the brain. Salmon baked whole with just lemon or lime as a seasoning makes a fantastic main dish or a hearty luncheon featured menu item. Salmon is also commonly found in chilled seafood dishes.
A legume is the name for a variety of fruits with a single dry seed. Legumes are sometimes called pods. Examples of edible legumes are soybeans, peas, dried beans and peanuts, among others. Legumes are rich in iron and high in fiber, making them excellent nutritional choices. Peanuts are a type of legume that have been used to make hundreds of different products some edible and others with various types of helpful uses.
Nuts and seeds
Nature has packed a lot of goodness into small packages. Most everyone has heard of walnuts and pecans which are very good nutritional products, but did you realize that flax seeds are brain food–containing critical non-meat sources of the Omega-3 oil.
The keyword here is lean. Americans eat far too much protein compared to the rest of the world. Cut down of portion sizes–three ounces will provide all the needed protein needed for your day. Also, trim all visible fat from your protein source. Alternatively, use non meat substitutes such as the complete proteins found in vegetable dishes like beans and brown rice.
Depending on the type of tea you prefer, you can get an energy boost from a cup of green tea, or the calming effect of chamomile tea. Get going with mint teas or start your day with Earl Grey Breakfast Tea. Herbal teas are soothing, tasty and good for you. Non herbal teas will help you to stay alert when you need help to function.
Olive oil is probably the healthiest substance you can use to keep fat in your diet. You can use it on your salad, mix it with a little vinegar to create your own, or fry other foods in the hot oil. Just make sure that the temperature is not too hot so that the oil is broken down.