Foundation For A Healthy Diet.
Good Nutrition and Healthy Diet go hand in hand. With the increase in Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Osteoporosis and others, caused by our decline in exercise and dependence on processed and fast foods, its time we get back in shape. The place to start is with what we put in our mouths.
To begin with here are some tips on eating smart;
Chew Your Food Well. There are digestive enzymes in our mouths that help to begin the digestion process of our food. By eating slowly and chewing well we aid those enzymes in doing their work.
Learn When to Stop. It takes a few minutes for the brain to get the message that we have had enough food. By eating more slowly we will know sooner when we are full and avoid over eating and feeling like a stuffed turkey later.
Start the Day Well. By eating a good, well balanced meal in the morning we will be more energetic and more alert. We need to eat well in the morning and the afternoon and cut back on the amount and the ‘heaviness’ of the food we eat in the evening. This gives our body a chance to burn off the calories and begin to digest the food we have eaten.
To be able to plan a healthy diet we need to understand that good nutrition benefits us both physically and mentally. The food we eat is meant to provide us with the energy we need, the ability to sleep well and should provide our body with all other needs. We need good nutrition for a healthy heart, strong bones and the energy to keep our mind active and alert.
What A Healthy Diet Should Consist Of.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source. Complex Carbohydrates include legumes, grains, potatoes, peas and corn. Simple carbohydrates are found in fruit, milk, candy and processed sugars.
A Healthy diet should emphasize Complex Carbohydrates, especially whole grains, beans, fruit and low fat milk and dairy products. Limit simple carbs in the form of processed sugar, candy and sodas.
Protein is essential to life. Proteins are found in many plant foods such as legumes, nuts and seeds, meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products.
A Healthy diet should limit red meat and emphasize legumes, poultry, seafood and low fat dairy products.
Fats help absorb essential vitamins and are a source of energy. On the down side they are twice as high in calories as carbohydrates and protein. Too much saturated and Trans fat can increase cholesterol levels.
A Healthy diet limits fats and is picky about their sources. Recommended sources of fat are nuts and olive oil, canola oil or nut oils for cooking.
Saturated Fat is mostly found in red meat, poultry, butter, whole milk, coconut oil, palm oil and most tropical oils. They are the main dietary reason for high cholesterol.
A Healthy diet limits amounts and sources of saturated fat. Meat and poultry can be cooked to limit the amount of fat.
Trans Fat is found in crackers, cookies, cakes, doughnuts, French fries, shortening and some margarine.
A Healthy diet includes less than 2 grams trans fat!
Cholesterol is important for cell health but is also the main substance in the plaque that can develop in arteries. Our body makes its own Cholesterol. It is found in meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, milk and butter.
A Healthy diet limits the intake of foods high in Cholesterol.
Fiber, there are two kinds;
Insoluble fiber can help prevent constipation and is found in vegetables, wheat bran and whole grains.
Soluble fiber helps improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels and is found in oats, dried beans, apples and oranges.
A Healthy diet includes plenty to maintain a healthy colon.
Sodium is necessary for maintaining fluid balance and contraction and relaxation of muscles. Too much, however is harmful. Sodium is found in most prepared, processed food, canned vegetables, soup, lunch meat and frozen foods.
A Healthy diet limits the intake of sodium by not adding salt to food at the dinner table and including more fresh vegetables.
Since there is no one diet plan that is just right for every person, if we follow the simple guidelines of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, limiting the amount of fast food and convenience foods we intake and increase our activity level we will go a long way towards living a healthier, happier life.
What is the foundation for your healthy diet?
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