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.

Do You Really Need Natural Vitamin Supplements?

In this day and age of take out meals, and eating on the run, many of us are not eating the freshest and best foods that we should. Will natural vitamin supplements really improve your health?

Take a look in your local grocery store and you will see shelves, and possibly whole aisles, dedicated to vitamins and supplements. Likewise on the Net, there are literally so many choices it becomes confusing. While the world happily swallows mouthfuls of pills and tonics to compensate for their busy lifestyles, stress, and poor eating habits, are they really improving their health?

Most nutritionists will tell you that there is no substitute for a healthy diet rich in fresh foods and antioxidants. However, if you find yourself consistently skipping meals and living on fast foods, then perhaps it is time to consult a nutritionist. An expert on nutrition will be able to evaluate your regular input and pinpoint what you are missing out on.

A good quality vitamin will assist in supplementing the parts of your diet that are lacking. It is always important to read the labels and to only take the recommended dose. Some vitamins and minerals can have toxic side effects when taken in large amounts, or when mixed with other medications. If in doubt, check with your medical practitioner before taking any new supplements.

Many herbal and vitamin tablets and tonics have not been tested by the FDA. This can ultimately mean that the quality of the ingredients can vary greatly from brand to brand, and that the safety of the ingredients has not always been researched and approved. Purchasing your supplements from a reputable and well respected company is probably a safer option.

Research has shown that diets rich in antioxidants provide anti-aging benefits and may protect against some cancers. Antioxidants work by soaking up all the free radicals in your system. Free radicals are the little nasties that help contribute to aging, cell damage, and cancers. Antioxidants are found in fresh fruits and vegetables. The more colorful the fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants it will contain.

The juice of goji berries is now being added to supplements to increase the levels of antioxidants being provided. The manufacturers of these supplements claim that the juice of this berry will provide the highest amount of antioxidant in any herbal supplement.

Natural vitamin supplements can also be useful for those who are unwell, or recovering from illness, where their diet has been compromised, and their intake low. In these instances, supplements can be helpful to help restore vitamin deficiencies. Supplements can also be beneficial for those people who follow diets where major food groups are deliberately deleted. For example, many women who opt not to consume red meat may need iron supplements long term to prevent anemia.

While vitamins and minerals can help address nutritional deficiencies in your diet, the more healthy option is try and achieve better nutrition. Fresh fruits and vegetables are just jam packed with all those goodies that you are purchasing in a jar. Good quality natural vitamin supplements may be beneficial to those suffering from poor health and inadequate nutritional intake. Ultimately, it is always going to be better practice to consume a well balanced and healthy diet incorporating all the major food groups, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Do You Know The Truth About Sodium And Salt?

Reducing your daily salt, or sodium, intake can be extremely beneficial for your health. There are many simple and easy ways to reduce your salt consumption. Read on for the truth about salt and sodium.

The consumption of too much salt, or sodium, has long been associated with health issues such as high blood pressure (hypertension), kidney disease, heart disease, fluid retention (edema), stomach cancer, stroke, and osteoporosis. Seen enough to think about reducing your salt intake?

How much salt should you be consuming?

For most people, the answer to this question is very simple, less than you are now. Most American health authorities are currently advising that the average adult should be consuming less than 6 grams of salt per day. This is equivalent to 1 (one) teaspoon of table salt, or 2.4 grams of sodium. Medical research has shown that those adults with high blood pressure will respond better to their medications if they keep their salt intake to less than 1.5 grams of sodium. Babies and children require varying amounts, and it is best to check with your medical practitioner.

An important point to consider is that your body does need a little salt to maintain your body fluids and blood chemistry to satisfactory levels.

Foods that are high in salt content.

Processed foods tend to contain very high levels of salt. Fresh foods have small amounts of naturally occurring salt. Smoked and cured meats also have a high salt content. Fast foods are another culprit for the high salt content. Some sauces, breads, breakfast cereals, and pastas can also contain more salt than you would expect. Soy sauce and ketchup can both contain high levels of salt.

Easy ways to reduce your salt intake.

There are many simple ways to dramatically reduce your salt intake:

* stop adding salt to your cooking.
* buy low salt substitutes.
* check the labels before purchasing. The same product’s salt level can fluctuate dramatically between brands.
* select fresh vegetables over tinned.
* when using canned anything, rinse under the tap before using.
* be wary of salad dressings, frozen meals, and canned soup. These products can all be laden with salt.
* select fresh meat over cured, smoked or processed. (For example bacon, salami, and sausages all have very high salt content.)
* substitute salt with herbs and spices to increase the flavor of foods.
* remember, sea salt, kosher salt, garlic salt, and celery salt are all still salt.
* reduce the amount of fast foods that you are eating.
* Swiss, mozzarella, cottage, and ricotta cheeses all contain substantially less salt than other cheeses.

Salt replacements.

The addition of fresh herbs and spices, along with garlic, and lemon juice will add flavor to your meals. Slowly start reducing the amount of salt you cook with and add to your meal, until you are down to nothing. If you do this gradually, you will not notice the difference.

Whilst salt is an essential requirement for our bodies, most of us are consuming far more than is good for us. Excess salt consumption is linked to many health issues. Minimize your salt intake and maximize your health.