Category Archives: Health and Fitness

The Benefits of Eating Healthy Are Endless

We live in a world of preservatives; a big percentage in our diet consists of processed foods and is most unhealthy. More than 3,000 food additives, preservatives, flavorings, color and other ingredients are added to our foods. This has ramifications for our health which in turn can bring on many illnesses. The right choice and eating healthy is now more important than in the past when food quality was better than to what it is today.

More and more of us, it seems, are negatively affected by the food we eat, therefore it has become more crucial and beneficial of eating healthy. With the many pressures and lifestyle changes over the last decade or so people are so busy these days they forget the benefits of eating healthy. For the quickest way to have a meal, fast food and take away is often chosen over cocking or preparing meals at home. So, we don’t think about the healthy diet any more. We prefer to consume fast foods instead of healthy diets because we don’t take the time to prepare the healthy diet.

The unfortunate part of all this, our health will suffer; maybe not now, but in years to come. However, this is subject to change for anyone who is willing because there are many benefits of eating healthy. This information will show some of the health benefits offered by eating healthy. Change of lifestyle and diet to improve your overall health is worth the investment for the dividend you will receive in years to come, and much safer than the stock market.

Maintain Healthy Weight

It is important to keep your weight within the healthy standard. This is not hard to do. When changing your diet to healthy food the weight will automatically adjust over time and stay at a healthy level. Try to consume healthy foods, for instance: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, or other natural proteins. This will start to stabilize the weight. The benefits will start to show when processed fatty and sugary foods are replaced for nutritious ones. There are many benefits of eating healthy and weight control is one of them.

A Noticeable Difference in Feeling Better

Consuming healthy food is important to make you feel better every day. The natural vegetables and fruits are effective in providing lots of energy levels throughout the day because they contain many compounds that are helpful to improve your overall health. As well it builds your muscle tone and improves your confidence. Studies have shown and many experts believe that the healthy diet can improve some ones confidence and social skills. It means, a proper diet is able to improve your overall mood and confidence level during the day.

Strong Immune System

The immune system in your body is the protector of your organs from any illness or disease, providing the immune system is strong. This has many functions, such as detoxification, anti inflammatory and its antioxidant system. If imbalance occurs in any of those systems by not getting the right nutrients this will increase the risk for illnesses to take hold. Eating enough healthy food everyday is beneficial because it keeps your immune system strong, which comes from the nutrients contained in raw vegetables.

There are many good nutrients that can prevent disease and strengthen the immune system. Try to consume foods with high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which is the miracle worker when it comes to health. It is also known that the body cannot make its own omega 3, so it has to come from food we eat. It is important to include such foods in to your diet: any meat from grass-fed animals if possible, organic milk, fish, olive oil, krill oil, calamari (or squid), salmon, scallops, mussels, some dairy products, nuts and more.

How much do you need? Healthy adults (and pregnant women) should aim for 500 mg of omega 3 a day; if you have or are at risk of heart disease, a higher quantity may be taken. A variety and mixture of foods are important with all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins to include in to your daily diet for optimal health. Because there are times when it is not always possible to follow a strict diet plan every day, in its place a specific natural supplement is able to take care of any shortfall.

Helps to Build a Healthy Mind

Building a healthy mind is one of the benefits of eating better. Healthy foods are important to keep your brain and mind sharp. There are many essential nutrients, such as the omega 3 fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, tryptophan, DHA, and many more, which are important for our brain and body functioning normally. Those nutrients really improve your brain function, you can always have a positive mind when you consume healthy foods regularly. The benefits of eating healthy are endless and there are many more options you choose from.

Healthy Eating Tips for You

Eating healthy helps your mind, body and soul. Your body will start appreciating the change in your diet and you will feel much better. Healthy eating is really the healthiest way to lose weight. And, a healthy nutritional low calorie diet and an exercise regimen, helps control disease and aging.

You know that the reason we tend to start gaining weight is that we consume more calories than the amount of calories that we burned off. And, most of us have struggled with our eating habits because of a variety of factors. The quantity and quality of the good that we consume is what makes us unhealthy. Couple both of these factors plus a busy work schedule, and it becomes very difficult to eat a healthy diet. We need to make eating healthy a priority in our lives. So let’s start a regimen.

Start by getting yourself the new U.S. food chart which is in the shape of a pyramid. Make this your guide to begin eating healthy. First identify the food categories and the quantities that can be eaten. Learn which fruit, vegetables, seafood and meats are recommended.

When grocery shopping try getting the freshest fruits and vegetables, and if possible buy organic produce. Try to limit or eliminate soft drinks and junk food from your grocery list. This is the main problem that we have in the United States. It is very easy to pull up to a fast food drive through and get a fast meal.

Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You need to start your day with a nutritious meal. Your breakfast meal should include fruits or fruit juices, cereal (low in sugar), low fat milk and eggs. Try to be light on the bacon, but if it’s a must then remember that you want to keep your cholesterol in control. If you don’t have enough time in the morning to make yourself a healthy meal, then eat a breakfast bar. There are plenty of them available that are nutritious and low in calories.

Lunch

When it comes to lunchtime avoid eating eat fast food. Make your own lunch or eat a salad with chicken from the market or at a restaurant. You can eat out at restaurants just be conscious of what you are eating and limit the portions that you eat. You’d be surprised how in one meal you can eat all the calories that you should eat in the entire day.

Dinner

Try to eat your dinner meal early in the evening or late afternoon. This is one of the biggest mistakes many people commit. They eat dinner late in the evening and fall asleep shortly afterwards. If you eat a healthy dinner early and get hungry later in the evening, then just have a low calorie snack and drink water.

Top Tips for Eating Healthy Meals

Learn how to prepare healthy meals. You should prepare your meals low in salt and fat. Try grilling your meats instead of frying, and avoid using large amounts of sugar and salt in recipes. There are plenty of seasonings that help to enhance the flavor of your foods while keeping them healthy and low in calorie.

Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. This will help your metabolism burn calories and eliminate toxins from your body. Drinking water also helps you with your digestive system. Beware of drinking too much juice. Although juices are healthy they are frequently high in sugar and in calories.

Fill your refrigerator and pantry with healthy food and get rid of all of the junk food. If you have junk food at home you will probably eventually eat it. The best way to keep to a healthy diet is to only have healthy food in your home. There are plenty of healthy snacks available to buy.

When dining at a restaurant maintain your discipline. Stay away from the bread basket or tell the waiter to remove it from the table. There are many restaurants that offer a selection of healthy meals; some even provide the meal’s calories and nutritional information on the menu.

Once your eating habits change at home you will find that it is much easier to keep to you healthy habits when you are eating out. Low in salt, low in sugar, and no frying should be one of your main concerns when preparing your meals. Portion control is the other.

Do not skip a meal. Skipping meals is not healthy. Your body goes into starvation mode and this slows down your metabolism. If you are trying to lose weight, then this will sabotage your efforts. Three meals a day and a couple of snacks is the healthier way to go. Some doctors even recommend five small meals each day.

When you have implemented a healthy eating regimen you will find that you will lose the desire to eat fast food or junk food. The craving that you once had for cheeseburgers and French fries is no longer there. Your days of going through that drive through are over.

It is important to limit your intake of alcohol. Drinking alcohol not only slows you’re your metabolism, but it also has calories that you are drinking. Try to eliminate drinking or limit it to just a couple of drinks on the weekend. If you’re a beer drinker, then drink light beer or try switching to red wine, it’s healthier.

Finally, stick to your goal of eating healthy foods. If you have been eating unhealthy for years it could be a difficult change, but if you plan your meals ahead of time and follow the tips found here you should be well on your way to eating in a healthy manner.

All medical studies have shown the positive effects a healthy diet can have. It can help you control diabetes, lower your cholesterol level, lower your risk for heart disease, help with weight issues, and more. Eating a healthy diet also helps with sleeping disorders and keeps your mind more focused. Start eating healthy today, you’ll be glad you did.

How to Start Eating Healthy

Start Eating Healthy

To be able to eat healthy, you need to understand what the body needs to stay healthy and functional. Your body needs food for three main reasons. Firstly as fuel, to keep us warm and supply the energy we need to stay alive and to move about and work. Secondly, food supplies the necessary materials for growth and to repair worn tissues. Thirdly we need vitamins, minerals and other substances that are necessary for the chemical processes that take place inside our bodies.

The energy supplied by food is measured as kilojoules. Two-thirds of this energy is used to maintain our normal body temperature, the normal tone of our muscles and to keep our heart and other vital organs functional and healthy. Even when we stay in bed all day we will still need about two-thirds of our normal food intake to maintain our metabolic systems. Normal activities such as getting dressed, eating, walking, working and playing requires about 3350 kilojoules. A housewife uses about 9200 kilojoules to perform her basic household tasks.

The harder we work and the more we move about the more kilojoules we use up. Whatever kilojoules we use up in our daily activities, is supplied by food, but if we consume more kilojoules / food than the body needs you will gain mass. The aim of Eating Healthy is to get the balance right.

If you are NOT currently eating healthy, it can be difficult to start such a plan. IF you truly want to live the best lifestyle possible, then it is important for you to follow these tips to start eating more healthy. Firstly, rid your home of all foods that do not fall into the healthy categories. Keep junk foods and beverages out of your house, so that you will not be tempted. Keep healthy snacks like carrot sticks, yogurt, fresh fruit, or whole-wheat crackers on hand. In case you cannot bear to toss out the sweets, try keeping something on hand, like chocolate chips. Eating a few of these won’t ruin your diet but also will give you that little sugary fix you rave.

Secondly, take a few moments to learn about what foods are the healthiest for you and how they work in the body. Most people understand what fruits, vegetables, and low-fat means and that dairy products are good for you, but few people understand why.

What Does Vitamins and Nutrients Mean?

Vitamins and Nutrients nourishes the body. They consist of micro- and macro-nutrients which is essential for good health and is consumed in small amounts. These are absorbed by the body unchanged and have catalytic functions. Vitamins are classified as fat-soluble (A, D, E and K) or water-soluble (B and C). The former and vit. B12 tend to be stored in the body. Many elements present in food are essential for health such as calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Others termed trace-elements are iron, zinc and iodine.

Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are macro-nutrients and when digested turns into glucose, fatty acids, peptides and amino acids. Macro-nutrients are interchangeable sources of energy. If sufficient non-protein calories are not available, the body cannot produce proteins for tissue maintenance. Tissue replacements and growth does not occur and considerable more dietary proteins is required for positive nitrogen balance. The polyunsaturated fatty acids are termed essential fatty acids (EFA) and must be included in your diet. The EFA and B6 is crucial in the functions of the metabolism.

Fiber mainly a complex mixture of indigestible carbohydrate material is a natural and much neglected component of the normal diet. Fiber components act in various ways for instance, prevention of constipation. Many intestinal diseases ie: colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, obesity, varicose veins and hemorrhoids are associated with the lack of fiber in the diet. Fruit and vegetables rich in pectins reduce plasma cholesterol by enhancing hepatic cholesterol, to bile acids and reduces the forming of gallstones. Fiber is the most important part of any diet.

Five Basic Groups of Nutrients

The key is learning about nutrients. When you understand how specific nutrients work in the body, you will be more likely to make healthy choices.

No single food is essential to our diet. What is important is to eat a variety of foods, there are five basic groups:

Proteins for building up the body. Throughout life there is a continuous breakdown and loss of body tissues. If a person does not get enough protein to make up for this loss, some of the less vital protein tissues in the body, such as muscles are broken down to maintain vital organs like the heart and kidneys. Illnesses cause a considerable loss of protein like infections, burns, broken bones and the stress after surgery.

Carbohydrates provide energy. Carbohydrates is a collective term for sugars, starches and cellulose. Most sugars are eaten in the form of sweets, jams, biscuits, cakes and drinks. A small amount is from fruit. Starches are found in potatoes, rice, pastas, wheat and maize. When we eat starches it gets broken down to glucose which is absorbed into the blood stream as a form of sugar. Cellulose is not a source of energy but it is needed in the diet, because of it’s major source of fibre or roughage. It stays undigested in the intestines to promote regular bowel movements.

Fats provide energy and flavour. Fat is contained in milk products like cheese, cream, butter and meat (visible around tjops or hidden in the fibres), fatty fish like pilchards, kabeljou and eggs. Fats have several roles in the diet directly because of its nutritional value and indirectly in improving foods and making them easier to chew and swallow. Vitamins like A,D,E and K are found in these fatty foods and following a low fat diet you need to supplement these shortfalls. Fats are very important because of the energy it provides, it is twice as much as carbohydrates or protein. Fatty foods remain longer in the stomach than low-fat foods, so they provide a greater feeling of fullness.

Natural or Organic?

The term “Health Foods” include natural and organic grown fruit and vegetables, various pills and herbs. Some of these foods are nutritionally good and some such as herbs and ginseng are unproven. The term “Health Food” is very misleading since it implies that all other foods are unhealthy.

Vegetarianism: There is nothing nutritionally wrong with being a vegetarian, in fact most nutritionist recommend this type of diet because it is high in diet fibre, low in fats, more fruit and vegetables. Many vegetarians eat eggs and drink milk, on the other hand some don’t use animal products at all and are as far as known very healthy.

Whole Foods: Whole foods are better than refined foods. This means that wholewheat bread and flour are healthier than white bread and flour. Choosing unrefined rice and maize rather than refined. Brown sugar is very little different from white sugar.

Organic Grown Foods: Most farmers and gardeners fertilize their soil with sulfate of ammonia, potash and phosphate ect. They also add manure and compost as much as they can find. Advocates of organic farming claims that the use of chemicals is artificial and that foods that are grown naturally are more superior. In fact there is no difference between them. Organic farmers avoid the use of chemicals, weed killers and pesticides. A few tasting trials that were carried out, could not distinguish which are organically grown and inorganically fertilized foods. Nutritionally they are the same.

Sea salt: Most salt comes from underground mines and is highly purified. It usually have some magnesium carbonate (a harmless mineral salt) added to make it flow freely. Sea salt contains natural Iodine.

Honey: Honey is simply sugar and water with very small traces of several vitamins and mineral salts. The food value of a teaspoon of honey is the same as a ¾ teaspoon of ordinary table sugar.

Cider Vinegar, Kelp, “Live” Yogurt and Ginseng: Cider vinegar is made of re-fermented cider, meaning, it is made in a similar way as wine vinegar. Nutritionally it provides a few calories and nothing else.

Kelp is a seaweed and a source of iodine which is an essential nutrient with a few mineral salts of lessor importance. It has no special food value.

“Live” Yogurt contains the bacteria which turned the milk into yogurt, whereas ordinary yogurt has usually the bacteria killed by pasteurisation. If it was made of full cream milk instead of skim milk powder, it would have tasted better and of nutritional value, not because of the bacteria that are still alive. The bacteria do not survive inside the human intestines and do not provide any benefits.

Ginseng is the root of a bush that grows in China and Korea. A vast range of magical properties is attributed to it, again no evidence or truth that it works has ever been found.

Balanced Vitamins: Most health shops sell tablets of balanced vitamins that have been extracted from wheat, yeast or liver instead of being synthesised in a factory. They were balanced so far as the wheat plant or the yeast or the animal’s liver were concerned BUT they are not balanced for Human needs. Wheat contains very little B2. Vit B1 in yeast extract steadily falls while it sits on the shelf. The B vitamins in the liver extract will depend on how the animal was fed.

Herbs: Herbs have a mystical appeal since they were used as medicines for centuries. Some of them have no effect, some contains poison like Comfrey and Rhubarb and some contain small amounts of drugs like Fennel. Some modern medicines are extracted from herbs, quinine was originally extracted from tree bark. Pleasant drinks can be made from some herbs, leaves and petals but they have no beneficial effects.

Healthy Eating at a Restaurant: Is it Possible?

If you and your family love to eat out, you may think that this lifestyle is not good for a healthy diet. In many cases, you would be correct. You can still enjoy eating out at restaurants and maintain your healthy diet. It’s all about making good food choices, which starts with learning about the nutritional value of the food you eat and what your body needs to stay physically healthy, mentally stable, and active.

When you pick up the menu, start by skipping over the alcoholic drinks section. Although you may be tempted to enjoy a beer or mixed beverage with your dinner, these usually have many “bad” calories, which is not good for your body. The exception to this rule is when it comes to wine, especially red wine, which can be fine if you have a single glass.

Skip the appetizer menu, unless it’s a salad. The appetizers at restaurants are usually high-fat foods that are not meant to fill you up and can in fact make you crave for more. Examples of these are mozzarella sticks, potato skins, and chicken wings. Simply focus on the main course or if you must indulge, share a single serving with someone at your table.

Choosing the main dish is very important. Look at the ingredients of the dish. Anything with cream sauces or high-fat meats should be avoided and pass the potatoes and onion rings. Instead order side dishes like green salad and vegetables or ask for just the main course when possible.

Remember that portions is everything. Try to order from the lunch menu whenever you can, and ask for a doggie-bag right away. Split your meal in half from the start, so that you are not tempted to eat the entire plate, which is usually enough for two or three portions.

SKIP the desert menu, just like you did with the appetizers. If you have to have desert share or split your portion in half. Many fancy desserts at restaurants have more calories than your entire meal, so keep this in mind before you flag down the waitress to put in an order! Of course, on special occasions, it’s alright to cheat a little, but overall healthy eating requires lots of resisting temptations around you.

Healthy Eating While Traveling

Sticking to healthy foods while traveling can be one of the most difficult things to do in your life. If you learn how to make smart choices, then healthy eating is really not that difficult. This is probably not the best time to start a healthy eating program, but if you are currently making healthy choices in your foods already, modifying your diet slightly to accommodate travel is not as it first may seem.

When you are traveling by airplane, you may have to eat airplane food which can often be of poor quality, depending on the selection. When you book your flight, ask about your food options and ask if a vegetarian dish is available. Vegetarian dishes are sometimes more nutritional in this case, but it really depends on what they will be serving. If you can eat a larger meal before your flight, you don’t have to eat the meal that is served.

When driving or taking a bus, you may be tempted to stop at fast food restaurants. Avoid this whenever possible! If you’re on vacation, you may wish to splurge a tiny bit, but having fast foods more than once during a week can really be bad for you. If you must, choose the healthiest options available chicken breasts and diet soda is good choices.

Remember that you can take your own food when traveling. Carrying a loaf of whole-wheat bread or pita wraps, some lean lunch meat, and low-fat cheese in a cooler is a great way to avoid high-fat and high-cholesterol junk food meals. These are much better choices and you’ll save a lot of money as well. Call ahead to ask if there will be a refrigerator in your hotel room.

Lastly, make smart choices when you eat out. If you choose salads or pasta get the dressing on the side and ask about low-carb options. In fact, many places print these options directly in the menu for the health conscious people. Control your portions by ordering lunch menu sizes or splitting the meal in half and don’t forget to get a doggie bag. You’ll be well on your way to healthy eating, even away from home.

Yes, eating healthy foods when you travel can be a challenge. Your health is worth it. When you eat good foods, you will also fight off illnesses that you are likely to encounter when traveling and you will be more alert so that you can enjoy your trip.

Healthy Eating and Peer Pressure

Whether you are on a diet or simply enjoying a healthy lifestyle, you probably know that peer pressure to eat foods that are not good for you, is a major part of your life. If you are concerned about the food that goes into your stomach, don’t worry, there are ways to overcome peer pressure. It simply takes a little know-how to get people off your back!

Parties are a major source of peer pressure, especially with alcohol. Alcohol contains hundreds of calories in just one drink take beer for an example: “one beer equals a loaf of bread” so when you go to a party, people might be pressuring you to have a drink and relax. It can be difficult to say no when they are constantly trying to convince you. Offer to go with to a bar instead. That way, you become the designated driver, they won’t want you to drink and drive, in fact, they will not pressurise you to drink. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Other times when you may feel under pressure to eat, is at work, when the boss orders lunch for everyone at a meeting or when you have to visit a client. Instead of giving in to temptation, simply politely decline the food by letting your boss know in advance or order a meal that is healthy and split the portion in half so you have a meal for tomorrow’s lunch as well.

Baby showers, weddings, birthday parties, and other special events can also wreak havoc on your diet, even if you are good at resisting temptation on your own. When someone hands you a piece of cake and won’t take no for an answer, it can be difficult to know what to say! Here a little white lie might be appropriate. For instance, say that your stomach was upset earlier in the day, will convince a person that you don’t want to eat at the moment or pretending to have a chocolate allergy, will get people to allow you to enjoy the party without a hassle surrounding food.

Refusing bad foods is fine, you should be eating good foods.

If you do not change your eating habits, disorders can develop, which will give your family, friends and doctor a real reason to be worried about your health. It’s ok to say no to peer pressure, but don’t say no to food in general!