Tips on how to Eat Healthy

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Eating healthy will give you some health benefits, but you won't achieve the full benefits possible unless you exercise. Exercising doesn't have to be hard, and you don't even have to break a sweat. Just going for a short 30 minute walk four times a week will greatly improve your health.
If you consume more calories than your body needs each day, your body will store the excess energy as fat. In today's society, that excess body fat is unnecessary. We are no longer hunter/gatherers. Your next meal is as close as your local grocery store and we don't need extra energy stores to hold us over till the next meal.
Use extra virgin olive oil when cooking. It's purer, and is better for your heart than other kinds of olive oil. The darker the better. Furthermore, "light" olive oil has as many Calories as extra virgin olive oil -- the "light" refers to the color and flavor intensity. Unfortunately, though, using extra virgin olive oil when cooking at higher temperatures ruins the flavors that make it "extra virgin". But olive oil isn't necessarily the most healthy oil, canola oil may be better.
This takes patience. You won't see a drastic drop in your cholesterol level or weight or increase in your energy level immediately. You need to give the changes in diet some time to kick in.
Have a positive and upbeat attitude. If you start your new diet thinking "This is something I have to do," instead of "This is something I want to do," then you've already failed before you started.
Adding whole, unrefined grains to the diet can add valuable vitamins and minerals that would otherwise be lost, however it can completely upset our digestion as well. Many animals that eat grains have 4 stomachs they use to digest them adequately, and ferment them so they can uptake nutrients. Humans have only one stomach, and if you introduce grains without first fermenting or sprouting them you may experience digestive upsets. There are various anti nutrients in grains (like phytic acid) and enzyme inhibitors that will prevent mineral absorption and lead to deficiencies and digestive problems. To remedy this, take oatmeal and soak it the night before in a little bit of yogurt. This will make it taste slightly sour, but make it more digestible. Sourdough bread is also another good example.

Lettuce is a great choice of natural fiber, and can taste great with the proper healthy dressings. You can make a great salad with nuts, raisins, and whole wheat croutons. Mix it in a bowl so it's evenly distributed and place it on top of a salad. Use a sugar free and low carb balsamic dressing; it has less than 1 gram of carbohydrates and 0 Calories. The head of lettuce is 21 Calories, plus the nuts and raisins and whole wheat croutons which could range depending on size but for this example we will estimate 100 Calories, bringing you a very low calorie and filling meal for only ~120 Calories.
Choose wheat (brown) bread instead of white bread. Processed carbohydrates such as those found in white bread are harder to draw nutrients from, and therefore are seen as empty Calories.
Smoothies are great for breakfast. Combine the following:
o banana
o 4 medium-size strawberries
o 1/2 cup of skim milk or soy milk
For protein, try substituting beans for higher calorie foods like boneless skinless chicken breasts, or tuna. Not only will you be getting additional phytochemicals from the plant based protein, it will not have the harmful saturated fat content. Remember that even an orange has more than 5% of its calories from protein!
Non-fat yogurt can make a great snack, and its healthy bacteria can help with various stomach problems.
Carry water with you at all times. Try to drink water in place of soft drinks and other flavored beverages. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces per day.
Consider eating organic. Organic food isn't made with the use of a lot of harmful chemicals, or other harmful processes. Not only is organic food good for you, but it is sustainable and good for the environment too! Other foods can be extremely harmful to the environment.
Read the labels on everything you eat. Don't just buy something because it is marketed as being "healthy." Lots of companies trying to sell their food off as healthy when really it is full of high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, and hidden sugars. This is also the best way to learn about a product. It gives you almost all the information about that product you'll ever need. If you're trying to lose weight, try to choose foods with low calories. If you want to gain weight for a football team or some such reason, you are going to choose food with lots of calories. However, too many calories, not enough exercise, and eating too much at one time, can make you fat.


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