is all about your diet, what you eat on a day to day basis affects your health. A balanced diet with all the right nutrients will help to keep you in shape.
Part of your diet may be shaped by your cultural roots so it is important that your healthy eating strategies will allow you to enjoy all your favorite dishes. Eating is one of the great pleasures of life so eating habits shouldnt be boring or regimented.
If you are serious about Healthy Eating there are three important areas involving food that will help you to get the best out of what you eat. These are:
What You Eat
- Are you eating too much processed food?
- Do you get enough fruit and vegetables?
- Are you drinking enough water?
Ask yourself these types of questions and analyze what you eat in more detail.
Overhaul your diet gradually by putting together a Healthy Eating plan that will benefit you over the long term.
When You Eat
- Do you eat regular meals?
- Are you missing meals because you are too busy?
Eating on the run is not a healthy option and over time your digestive system will suffer. Healthy Eating includes taking the time to eat properly which will help digestion. Think about your daily eating habits and work out strategies to get the best out of a Healthy Eating plan.
Where You Eat
- Are you inclined to eat slumped in front of the TV?
- Do you eat at your desk or grab a coffee instead of food?
Bad posture and eating in a rush is a recipe for indigestion. You will get more benefit with Healthy Eating if you take more time and chew food properly.
The following information is designed to give you an overall picture for Healthy Eating and the role food plays in your life. You might need to make some drastic changes or maybe just fine tune your diet, either way aim to make Healthy Eating a way of life.
A Healthy Eating plan should include Super Foods which are packed with nutrients and health benefits.
If you intend to lose weight remember to take the common sense approach, the odd treat now and then is one of lifes little pleasures.
For more information on Healthy Eating, try one of these pages.
Super Foods The key to good health is always about balance, however if you can source super foods that are high in nutrients you will get the most benefit. Here is how.
Diet Tips Here are some diet tips and advice on losing weight through diets.
Celebrity Diets Discover how celebrities lose weight. Celebrity Diets follows the latest diet trends in Hollywood. All the goss on who’s eating what.
Atkins Diet The Atkins Diet has a proven track record, thousands have used it to lose weight and retain a healthy lifestyle. Find out more about this famous diet and see if it is the right one for you.
Healthy Menu Planning Some healthy menu planning strategies to give you weekly menus.
Healthy Cooking This is about choosing a cooking method that delivers optimum health benefits. Most people get comfortable with a cooking method and stick to it, but there are options and on this page explore the various cooking methods available to you.
Vitamin Source In a perfect world we would all be eating the vitamin source in a healthy diet, so there would be no need for vitamin supplements. The reality is that most of us at some time or other will need to boost our diet with vitamins.
Choosing a weight Loss Program Choosing a weight loss program can be daunting. Here are a few simple guidelines to help you.
Food Safety Learn about critical food safety and how to avoid food poisoning.
Benefits of Water The benefits of water are enormous. Water is our body’s vital fuel, a health drink from mother nature. It’s calorie free, inexpensive and easily obtained.
According to the Bureau of Statistics, of all deaths each year, twenty two percent or three out of every four deaths, will occur as a result of cardiovascular disease or This need not be. What is Healthy Eating, or how does a person eat for life? It’s easier and more enjoyable than you might think. These practical ideas show you how to make healthful, tasty, and appetizing food choices at home and when you’re eating out.
These seven basic healthy eating guidelines are:
- Eat a variety of foods.
- Maintain desirable weight.
- Avoid too much fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
- Eat foods with adequate starch and fiber.
- Avoid too much sugar.
- Avoid too much sodium.
- Take time to eat.
If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. Keep in mind that staying healthy requires more than just healthy eating . Regular exercise, getting enough rest, learning to cope with stress, and having regular physical check-ups are important ways to help ensure good health.
Check-ups are especially important for early detection of cancer and heart disease.
Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension) can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Remember, three of the major risk factors for heart disease are largely under your control. They are:
- High Blood Pressure,
- High Blood Cholesterol.
How can Healthy Eating affect our chances of getting cancer and heart disease?
The NHLBI and NCI are conducting a great deal of research into finding out more about the relationship between what we eat and the risk of disease.
There is however a lot we already know about the relationship between Healthy Eating and the risk factors for heart disease.
We know that obesity is associated with high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Extreme obesity has also been linked to several cancers. This means that if you are obese, losing weight may reduce your chances of developing these serious diseases or conditions.
If you already suffer from hypertension and are overweight, weight loss alone can often lower your blood pressure to normal levels. Because fat (both saturated and unsaturated fat) has more than twice the number of calories than equal weights of carbohydrate or protein, decreasing the fat in your diet may help you lose weight as well as help reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.
Today, most of us get about 37 percent of our daily calories from fat. Many experts suggest that figure should be reduced to 30 percent or less for healthy eating.
We know that high blood cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease, especially as it rises above 200 mg/dl (milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood). The evidence is clear that elevated cholesterol in the blood, resulting in part from the foods we eat and in part from cholesterol made in the body, contributes to the development of atherosclerosis, a disorder of arteries that results in their narrowing and in reduced blood circulation. This condition can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Blood cholesterol levels are greatly influenced by the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol found in many of the foods we eat; of the two, saturated fat seems to be the major dietary factor which affects blood cholesterol. Saturated fat and cholesterol are often found together in foods.
Saturated fat is provided primarily by animal products such as the fat in meat, butter, whole milk, cream, cheese, and ice cream. There are a few vegetable fats; coconut oil, cocoa butter, palm kernel and palm oils which are also high in saturated fat.
Cholesterol is found only in animal products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. Plant foods such as vegetables, grains, cereals, nuts, and seeds do not contain cholesterol. A few foods are high in cholesterol but relatively low in fat, for example, egg yolks and liver.
Watch out for items in the grocery store that are labeled “no cholesterol” or, “contains no animal fat”. They may still contain a large amount of fat or saturated fat. Examples are peanut butter, solid vegetable lard, non-dairy cream and baked products like biscuits and cakes. For people striving for healthy eating and trying to lose blood cholesterol level, these foods should be chosen less often.
We know that substituting unsaturated fatty acids (which are usually liquid and usually come from plant sources) for saturated fats can help reduce high blood cholesterol. Sunflower, corn, soybean, olive, and canola oils are major sources of unsaturated fats. The omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish and seafood, may have a favorable effect on blood fat and reduce the risk of heart disease.
There is an association between too much sodium in the diet and high blood pressure in some individuals. Sodium is a mineral that occurs naturally in some foods and is added to many foods and beverages as salt or other additives. Most sodium comes from salt. One teaspoon of salt contains about 2 grams of sodium. In countries where people eat only small amounts of sodium, high blood pressure is rare.
We also know that when some people with high blood pressure greatly reduce their sodium intake, their blood pressure will fall. According to the National Academy of Sciences, a safe and adequate amount of sodium for healthy eating of the average adult is between 1 and 3.3 grams daily.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that about 80% of all cancers may be related to smoking, diet, stress and the environment. They also estimate that about one-third of all cancer deaths may be related to the lack of healthy eating .
Their studies suggest that following the healthy eating of foods high in fiber may reduce risks of cancers of the colon and rectum. Adults now eat about 11 grams of fiber daily, but NCI studies recommend that we increase the daily amount of fiber we eat to between 20 and 30 grams, with an upper limit of 35 grams daily.
The NCI also emphasizes the importance of choosing fiber rich foods, not supplements. Good sources of fiber are whole grain breads and bran cereals, vegetables, cooked dry peas and beans, and fruits.
Diets high in fats of all kinds have been linked to certain cancers, particularly those of the breast, colon, lining of the uterus, and prostate gland. Some studies have suggested that fat may act as a cancer promoter (an agent that speeds up the development of cancer).
There is evidence from studies of vitamins as they are found in foods, that diets rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene (the plant form of vitamin A) may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
That is why NCI recommends that you eat a variety of foods rich in vitamins rather than relying on vitamin supplements. Good sources of vitamin A include: yellow-orange vegetables such as carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin; and fruits such as peaches, cantaloupes and mangoes.
Sources of vitamin C include: dark-green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, watercress, broccoli, asparagus, and tomatoes. Some fruit sources of vitamin C: are oranges, lemons, grapefruit, peaches, berries, and cantaloupe.
Prunes Top the List for Healthy Eating
You might not like prunes, but they are at the top of somebodys healthy eating list.
That list is in fact the ten most effective age-fighting fruits and vegetables. Because prunes are so high in antioxidants that fight the free radicals, they are able to protect the collagen and elastin fibers that keep your skin firm and wrinkle free.
Prunes and homemade yoghurt, ideal for breakfast.
Recent research from Monash University in Australia shows that women with a diet high in antioxidants had the least wrinkles. From Tuffs University in the USA scientist have formulated the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale, which measures how effectively some foods attack free radicals.
So here is that list of the ten fruits and vegetables that should be at the top of your healthy eating. These are the most efficient at fighting free radicals and therefore the best anti-aging foods. (The values are per 100g serve)
- Prunes 5770
- Raisins 2830
- Blueberries 2400
- Kale 1770
- Cranberries 1750
- Spinach 1260
- Raspberries 1220
- Brussels Sprouts 980
- Plums 948
- Broccoli 890
As you can see, Prunes are well out in front, but if you can include any of these foods in your healthy eating diet on a regular basis, you will not only be helping your skin to look younger but you will also help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease through the antioxidants.
There is also some evidence that vegetables in the cabbage family may help protect against cancer of the colon. These healthy eating vegetables are also good sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Cabbage family vegetables include:
- Brussels sprouts,
- kale, turnips,
- mustard greens,
- turnip greens,
Based on what we know; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Cancer Institute have joined together to suggest some ways you may reduce your risks of heart disease and cancer. These suggestions emphasize the need for healthy eating and that is to eat a variety of foods each day.
They also include some mealtime strategies that you can use to plan meals that avoid too much fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, but help you to get adequate starch and fiber. These strategies should encourage you to think about healthy eating, the foods you eat, how to prepare them, and what food choices you can make when you go grocery shopping or eat away from home
One of the keys to healthy eating is following a Choose More Often approach. It doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods. It means taking steps to choose more often foods that are low in fat and high in fiber. For example, if you enjoy eating steak, choose a low-fat cut, trim off the excess fat, and grill rather than fry. Pizza? To try a low-fat version that is rich in fiber, topped with fresh vegetables, and tomato sauce. Desserts?
In many recipes you can reduce the fat, and substitute vegetable oils or margarine for butter. To increase fiber, use whole-wheat flour in place of white flour.
Here’s what to Choose More Often for healthy eating.
- Low-fat meat, poultry, fish
- Low-fat dairy products
- Dry beans and peas
- Whole grain products
- Fruits and vegetables
- Fats and oils high in unsaturated
are high-octane fuel, they provide energy for movement and help raise internal body metabolism. They’re also satisfying, but the key is not to add high-fat toppings to your car also some evidence that vegetables in the cabbage family may help protect against cancer of the colon. These vegetables are also good sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. To assure an adequate diet, and this is essential for healthy eating, choose a variety of foods daily.
Here are some tips for following the Healthy Eating approach in three important areas.
1. Grocery Shopping:
Focus on variety. Choose a wide selection of low-fat foods rich in fiber including selections of vegetables, fruits, whole-grain breads and cereals, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, lean meat, dry beans and peas. The goal is to reduce fat to 30 percent or less of calories, so when choosing foods that do contain fat, try to choose ones that contain primarily unsaturated fats.
Reading food labels is important for healthy eating. To help you find foods that are low in fat and cholesterol and high in fiber, get into the label-reading habit. Many nutritional labels on packaged foods show the amount of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids and the amount of cholesterol and fiber they contain.
Check the type of fat on the ingredients list. Is it animal fat, coconut or palm kernel oil high in saturated fat? Or, is it corn or soybean oil high in polyunsaturated fat?
Choose a product with the lowest proportion of saturated fat. The label also tells you something else about a product. Ingredients are listed in order of amount from most to least by weight. So, when you buy a breakfast cereal, for example, choose one that has a whole grain listed first (such as whole wheat or oatmeal).
Pay attention to sodium. Many processed, canned, and frozen foods are high in sodium. Cured or processed meats, cheeses, and condiments (soy sauce, mustard, tartar sauce) are also high in sodium. Check for salt, onion or garlic salt, and any ingredient with “sodium” on the label. If the sodium content is given on the nutritional label, compare products and choose the ones with lower levels.
If you are interested in saving money on you grocery bills go to out page Save on Groceries
2. Food Preparation:
For healthy eating, use small amounts of fat and fatty foods. There are lots of ways to use less fat. For example, when you sauté or stir-fry, use only ½ teaspoon of fat per serving. When you use; margarine, mayonnaise, or salad dressing, use half as much as usual. Then decrease portion sizes of other high fat foods; rich desserts, untrimmed and fatty types of meat, poultry with skin, and fried foods, especially crumbed foods.
Substitute unsaturated fat and oils for saturated fat in food preparation. Saturated fat may be reduced even more if you want to experiment with recipes. Poultry or fish without skin are good choices because they are often lower in fat than many foods
Use low-fat alternatives. Substitute 1 percent, skim, or reconstituted non-fat dry milk for whole milk. Use low-fat yoghurt, buttermilk, or evaporated skim milk in place of cream or sour cream. Try reduced-calorie mayonnaise and salad dressing in place of regular. Use low-fat cooking methods. Bake, steam, grill, microwave, or boil foods. Increase fiber.
Choose whole grain breads and cereals. Substitute whole grain flour for white flour. Eat vegetables and fruits more often and have generous servings. Whenever possible, eat the edible fiber-rich skin as well as the rest of the vegetable or fruit. Use herbs, spices, and other flavorings.
For a different way to add flavor to meals, try; lemon juice, basil, chives, mixed spice, onion, and garlic.
Once bought and prepared there are healthy ways to cook your meals, go to the page on Healthy Cooking. Follow any or all of these for Healthy eating.
3. Eating Out:
- Choose the restaurant carefully.
- Are there low fat as well as high-fiber selections on the menu?
- Is there a salad bar?
- How are the meat, chicken, and fish dishes cooked?
- Can you have menu items grilled or baked without added fat instead of fried?
These are important things to know before you enter a restaurant, fast food or otherwise. Seafood restaurants usually offer grilled, baked, or poached fish, and you can often request butter and sauces on the side. Many steak houses offer well-trimmed steaks and have salad bars.
Try ethnic cuisines. Many Chinese, Japanese, and Thai dishes include plenty of steamed vegetables and a high proportion of vegetables to meat. Steamed rice, steamed noodle dishes, and vegetarian dishes are good choices too. Ask that the chef cook your food without soy sauce or salt to decrease sodium. Some Latin American restaurants feature a variety of fish and chicken dishes that are low in fat.
Besides healthy eating, its also extremely important to drink healthy beverages! Green tea is a major source of EGCG, a type of antioxidants, besides many other healthy minerals and vitamins. The antioxidants have been found to prevent acne, diabetes, and even various types of cancer!
Got a question or comment? Make it below and I’ll get back to you.
Written by Trish Powell