9 Tips For Eating Healthy Foods Without Deprivation

You are what you eat. We have all heard this phrase over and over, but how many of us stop to consider what that really means? Are you eating healthy fresh foods? Are you a picture of glowing health and vitality? Or do you live on a diet of junk foods, deep fried chicken and fries, take outs, and pizza? In which case you probably don’t feel fantastic, and unless you are genetically blessed, you probably don’t look your best either.

Even more scarily if you don’t feel fantastic, how do you think your blood vessels and heart are coping? Are they nice and clean, or silting up with layers of fat provided from the take out, deep fried foods, and pizzas? Here are some easy tips for better healthy eating:

1. Consume moderate portions
. “Size me up” has become a world wide phenomena. We all eat much more than our parents or grandparents did. The more you consume, the more activity you have to perform to burn it off. Consider these portion sizes and see how you stack up. 1 cup of pasta is considered 2 servings. 3 ounces of cooked meat is 1 serve. 1 medium sized piece of fruit is 1 serve.

2. Cut down, don’t totally ban.
If there are unhealthy foods that you enjoy, just eat them less often and in smaller amounts. The moment you tell yourself that chocolate is off the menu forever is the moment you feel that you can’t maintain this new lifestyle. Banned foods become even more desirable.

3. Eat a variety of healthy foods.
Your body requires many nutrients on a daily basis. These needs cannot not be meant by just one food group. Introduce eating foods from each of the food groups on a daily basis. This would mean consuming fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Foods heavy in fats and sugar should be kept to a minimum.

4. Eat on a regular basis.
Consuming 5-6 small meals per day is much better for your metabolism and blood sugar levels than 3 huge serves many hours apart. Skipping meals entirely is even worse. You will end up so hungry that you will eat vast quantities of the wrong foods.

5. Eat fruits, vegetables and grains.
Do you eat 3-5 serves of vegetables daily? Do you eat 2-4 serves of fresh fruit daily? Do you eat enough whole grains? Fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain many nutrients as well as the all important fiber.

6. Alter gradually. Many people cannot totally overhaul their eating pattern overnight. Start with small changes and go from there. Evaluate your diet and work on the most deficient aspects first. Eventually you will have healthy eating habits that will last you a lifetime.

7. There is no such thing as a “bad” food.
There are more healthy and less healthy eating options. The pizza and ice cream belong in the unhealthy. Unhealthy foods should be consumed in smaller amounts and less frequently than healthy foods. If your whole diet consists of unhealthy options perhaps a visit to a dietitian could be helpful.

8. Keep track of what you are eating.
A food journal can be invaluable for showing you where you may be going wrong. It can be easy to forget about the extra beer, or the late night snacks, again. Writing down what you eat will also help you to understand your eating patterns and identify any unhealthy routines that should be adjusted.

9. Cook it yourself.
Cooking meals yourself allows you to know exactly what you are consuming. If you are totally helpless in the kitchen then why not try purchasing bags of premixed salads and adding fish, chicken or meat? Precooked and take-out meals are not only more costly but tend to be much higher in fats, salt, and sugar than you might expect.

Conclusion.

A healthy eating plan includes incorporating variety, moderation, and balance. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, and a little less of the cakes, pastries, cookies, pizza, and ice cream all adds up to healthier life long eating.

The Many Benefits Of High Fiber Foods Can Include Weight Loss

There are many health giving benefits of high fiber foods. Your parents were right when they told you to eat your veges. Having a daily diet rich in high fiber foods is an easy way to assist with bowel health, reduce bad cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar levels, and help manage weight.

What is fiber?

Fiber is a dietary product derived from plant sources. These plant products are not broken down in the digestive process. As a result of this, the bulk, or fiber, passes through the stomach and intestines relatively unchanged. Fiber is not absorbed by the body. There are 2 types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
* soluble fibers are those which will break down in water and include psyllium, oats, apples, carrots, peas, citrus fruits, and barley. Soluble fibers will form a gel like substance and are valuable for reducing the bad blood cholesterol and lowering glucose levels.
* insoluble fibers, as the name would suggest, do not break down when in contact with water. Nuts, vegetables, whole wheat, and wheat bran are excellent sources of insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is important for maintaining food bulk as it passes through the bowel, and will aid those who suffer from conditions such as constipation and hemorrhoids.

What are good sources of high fiber foods?

It is important to consume both soluble and insoluble fiber on a daily basis. It is an excellent idea to vary your fiber sources to maintain a healthy and well balanced diet. Refined foods such as white flours and rices have a lot of their fiber removed in the processing. Peeling edible skins from fruit and vegetables will also reduce the fiber count of those foods. Legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits will all provide varying amounts of fiber.

These are some of the higher fiber content foods:
* beans such as kidney, lima, black beans, and baked beans.
* lentils.
* vegetables such as peas, broccoli, green beans, artichoke, turnips, and corn.
* fruits such as pears, raspberries, apples, figs, blueberries, peaches, oranges, strawberries, and apricots.
* nuts such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pistachios.
* others such as oats, wholemeal flours and pastas, wholemeal bread, and popcorn.

How much fiber should you eat?

As a rough estimate, men under 50 should consume 38 grams daily, while men over 50 need 30 grams. Women under the age of 50 should consume 25 grams daily, and women over 50 need 21 grams. Children’s needs vary greatly depending upon their age.

Health benefits of high fiber diet:

* assists in weight loss. High fiber foods tend to take longer to chew and are more bulky. This aids in filling you up sooner, and leaving you feeling satisfied for longer. High fiber foods tend to have less empty calories and generally make for healthy snacks.
* reduces bad cholesterol. Soluble fibers tend to help absorb the harmful LDL’s.
* prevents constipation. Fiber adds bulk to your food, making passage through the intestine much easier. Be sure to also drink plenty of water.
* assists blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber slows down the absorption of sugars in foods through to the bloodstream. This can be particularly helpful for diabetics.
* reduces risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Easy ways to increase your fiber:

* add psyllium husks to breakfast cereals and yogurts.
* bake with wholemeal flours instead of plain flour.
* feed the family wholemeal pastas, and use brown rice instead of white.
* buy breads with fiber added, or the wholemeal varieties.
* leave the skin on your fruit.
* add extra vegetables to your dinner.

Conclusion.

A diet rich in high fiber foods has been proven to reduce the incidence of colon (bowel) disease, reduce bad cholesterol levels, assist with weight management, and stabilise blood sugar levels. For more information on high fiber foods the Mayo clinic has an excellent fiber chart which you can access here Mayo Clinic’s Fiber Chart.

Benefits Of Eating Breakfast

There are many benefits of eating breakfast. The main ones are a more even blood sugar level, better energy levels, sharper concentration, a faster metabolism, and improved moods. The word breakfast literally means “breaking the fast” which is what your body has been in since your dinner the previous energy. When you skip breakfast your body is being deprived of the fuel that it needs to keep your brain and central nervous system functioning optimally.

Those people who miss breakfast often encounter a drop in their blood sugar levels mid-morning resulting in grumpiness, loss of concentration, and an overwhelming desire to eat that doughnut, muffin, or danish. From a calorie and fat gram consumption, the slice of toast, cereal, oats, or piece of fruit that could have been breakfast is already less calories.

Breakfast eaters tend to consume fewer calories collectively throughout the day, as compared to breakfast skippers. Breakfast skippers tend to binge eat later on in the day. People who eat breakfast have more even blood sugar levels, and do not feel the need for the extra energy provided by that sugar high. Eating breakfast will dampen your appetite later on in the day.

Skipping breakfast puts your body into starvation mode. The very next thing that you put in your mouth is going to stick. (That doughnut or danish isn’t looking quite so tempting now, is it?)

Research has shown that children who miss breakfast are not able to concentrate or learn as well at school as the child who has eaten their toast or cereal.

Many people skip breakfast in the misguided notion that this will help with their weight management campaign. However, skipping breakfast results in the exact opposite. So for those of you battling the bulge, an easy way to start dropping the pounds is to start eating a healthy breakfast.

What is a healthy breakfast?

Ideally, a healthy breakfast will allow you to power through the first half of the day. Many nutritionists say that your breakfast should contain at least one third of your daily calories. By consuming those calories first thing in the morning, your body has a much better chance of burning them off.

Great breakfast ideas are:
* 2 slices of wholewheat toast or a wholewheat bagel. Try for the lower GI brands to prevent blood sugar spikes. Select breads containing a minimum of 2 grams of fiber per slice.
* scrambled eggs.
* grilled tomatoes with or without toast.
* cooked oats with calcium enriched low fat milk. The oats will provide you with complex carbohydrates that are low in GI. Oats will leave you satisfied for longer.
* healthy mueslis or breakfast cereals. Look for those high in fiber and low in sugar. Ideally your cereal should contain more than 5 grams of fiber and less than 5 grams of sugar per serve.
* fresh fruit with a low fat yogurt.
* fruit smoothies.
* lean bacon and cooked eggs, without the oil.
* omelets with bacon, low fat cheese, or fresh vegetables (such as mushrooms, spinach or tomatoes).
* if you are eating breakfast on the run, read the labels carefully. Opt for the brands with the lowest sugar and fat contents.
* substitute sugar on your breakfast foods with nutmeg, vanilla, or cinnamon.

No matter your age, the benefits of eating breakfast are numerous. You will have a more productive day, feel more alert, have more energy, be in a better mood, have a faster metabolism, and be less prone to gaining weight.