SIMPLE Do’s & Don’ts To A Healthier Lifestyle

DO:

1. Drink water: Water is the most essential nutrient for cells. For added flavor, try adding fresh fruits, cucumber slices or lemon and lime wedges to ice-cold water.

2. Eat a “mixed” breakfast that includes foods containing a little carbohydrate, a little protein and a little fat. For example, eggs and a bowl of fruit or a protein shake with soy milk and a banana includes three essential macronutrients, provides energy and tastes good, too.

3. Eat less fat. The average American eats the equivalent of a stick of margarine a day, most of which is hidden in processed foods

4. Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber helps maintain colon health

DON’T:

1. DON’T rely on pills for nutrition. Pills cannot substitute for a whole food. Foods contain much more than just vitamins and minerals.

2. DON’T become dehydrated.

3. DON’T eat sugary foods in the morning. A burst of refined sugar on an empty stomach will trigger a flood of insulin that suppresses the immune system and feeds any abnormal cells.

eat healthy!
Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – The fight against cancer begins at the kitchen table

 

Know When To Toss Your Food

We all wonder how long we can go after opening a food product or how far you can stretch after the expiration date. Here are some tips on some popular foods by Jessica Girdwain

  1. Frozen Chicken:  Store it in a freezer bag and keep it in a single layer so it gets rock-hard quickly. Make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn, and use it all within a month or two.
  2. Raw Chicken: It generally keeps 1 to 2 days in the fridge, but follow the expiration date listed on the package and if you know you won’t be eating it within the one to two days, FREEZE IT!
  3. Deli Meat: You can keep deli meat up to a week, but it’s recommended to eat within 3 days
  4. Leftovers: A week is still safe, though at that time, ingredients may start to separate. Ideally, you want to eat them within 2 to 4 days.
  5. Frozen bread/bagels: You can store them for a few months in the freezer, but bread may dry out and accumulate freezer odors in about 2 to 3 weeks
  6. Coffee: Buy a week or two’s supply of coffee (versus a whole giant can) at a time and store in an airtight container in a cool dark place
  7. Chicken/Beef broth: If the broth was canned, pour it into another container, refrigerate, and use it up in a few days.
  8. Eggs: You’ve got some wiggle room after the sell-by date by about 2 to 3 weeks. Five weeks is your max!
  9. Canned tomatoes: canned tomatoes can stick around in your fridge for a few days. Just don’t store them in the can after opening them–transfer them to another airtight container.
  10. Snack foods: When they hit their expiration date–or a month after opening (whichever comes first)–throw the bag away.

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For more information: http://todayhealth.today.com/_news/2013/03/24/17420450-can-you-still-eat-that-or-should-you-throw-it-out?lite

 

Eat Smart When You Go Out

We all get cravings to eat at a restaurant or want to eat out once in awhile with friends/family. Here are some helpful tips when you plan to eat away from home:

  1. Plan ahead– choose a restaurant with plenty of menu choices, go online and preview the menu
  2. Watch portions and calories– order a side of raw or steamed vegetables right away, the fiber will help make you feel full quicker. Ask for half a portion or order a child’s portion. Ask for extra vegetables and less meat, Drink water before you eat and with your meal.
  3. Know the best “eat-out” foods
  4. Include foods you love when you can!
  5. Order an appetizer as your main meal– it will most likely be a smaller portion
  6. Split a meal with someone else

Smart choices to save calories:

  • Eat a 3 ounce serving of grilled salmon instead of a double cheeseburger (you can save about 440 calories!)
  • Eat a soft taco with grilled chicken instead of nachos with meat and sour cream (You can save up to 1,000 calories!)
  • Eat a medium sized baked potato instead of a cup of potato salad (You can save 270 calories!)
  • Eat 1/2 cup of rice instead of onion rings (Save up to 540 calories!)
  • Eat an English muffin instead of a biscuit (Save 175 calories)
  • Drink a 16 oz. non-fat latte instead of whole milk cafe mocha with whipped cream (Save about 250 calories!)

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Don’t Reach For A Sports Drink, You Most Likely Don’t Need It

Most sports drinks are loaded with sugar and are not necessary for consumption before, during, or after exercising, unless you are an athlete who does high-intensity workouts over an hour. Here are a list of beverages to keep in mind to skip the high sugary sports drinks the next time you exercise..

  • Best drink for hydration: Coconut water–  coconut water is low on the glycemic index, so it won’t dramatically affect your blood sugar, this drink may also promote heart health.

Vita Coco 100% Pure Coconut Water (1 bottle, 17 fl oz) 90 calories, 0 g fat, 22 g sugar

  • Best drink for enhanced performance: Coffee– scientific research has linked caffeine consumption with increased endurance and reaction times. The problem is, most caffeine-enhanced energy drinks are loaded with added sugars.

Coffee (8 fl. oz) = 2 calories, 0g fat, 0g sugars [without milk/cream or sugar of course!]

  • EBoost: A great way to get green tea on the go: EBoost. Unlike most green-tea based energy beverages, it’s sweetened with natural, zero-calorie Stevia, and it has an impressive antioxidant profile.

EBoost (1 packet): 5 calories, 0g fat, 0g sugars

  • Chocolate Milk: Drinking a combination of carbohydrates and protein after a hard workout can help restore your energy and aid in building lean, metabolism-boosting muscle

Low Fat Chocolate Milk (8 fl oz): 158 calories, 2.5g fat, 25g sugars, 8g protein

  • WATER!: Nature’s beverage is calorie-free, cost-free, and unless you’re an elite athlete who does high-intensity exercise for more than an hour at a time, it’ll take care of all your workout hydration needs.

Water: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g sugars

2012-07-16-SportsDrinks

For more information: http://eatthis.menshealth.com/blog/5-sports-drinks-actually-work-0

 

The Salty Six

Our bodies need sodium to help maintain water and mineral balances and blood volume, but too much can have negative effects on your health. Experts recommend that adults consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily—that’s about 1 teaspoon of salt. Learn how excess sodium in the following foods can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Breads and rolls:  These are some foods that you eat several times a day– but watch out because eating a lot can add up the sodium content you are consuming. Always check labels and aim for the lower-sodium varieties whenever possible!

Cold cuts and cured meats: One 2 oz. serving or 6 thin slices of deli meat can contain as much as half of your days worth of recommended dietary sodium.

Pizza: One slice of pizza can contain as much as half your recommended dietary sodium for the day. Limit the cheese and add more veggies!

Poultry: Sodium levels can vary based on preparation methods. It’s important to choose wisely!

Soup: Sodium in one can of soup can contain 100 to as much as 940 milligrams which is more than half of your dietary recommended intake. Check labels and aim for lower sodium options!

Sandwiches: A sandwich or burger from a fast food restaurant can contain more than 100% of your daily recommended sodium intake. Go for a half of a sandwich with a side salad instead!

Tips to cutting back sodium:

  • Introduce additional flavor to your foods with herbs and spices like garlic, oregano, basil, pepper, thyme and sesame. These all add flavor without the extra sodium.
  • Processed foods (anything in a box or bag) tend to be high in sodium because it helps preserve foods longer and increase flavor.
  • Remember that “low-fat” or “low-calorie” doesn’t mean healthy. These diet foods can also be higher in sodium because manufacturers hope that added sodium, a flavor-enhancer, will bring back the flavor.
  • If you can’t find sodium-free varieties of canned vegetables, rinse the can’s contents in a colander under water before cooking to remove excess salt.

salt

For more information, check out The American Heart Association website:  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

How Much Sugar Are You Consuming?

The average American consumes, 18-23 teaspoons a day, or 2 pounds of sugar a week, about 2.5 times the recommended daily limit. That is equal to 100-156 pounds of sugar in a year! In the last 20 years we have increased sugar consumption in the United States from 26lbs. of sugar to 135lbs. of sugar per person every year. Sugar is the most widespread form of carbohydrate and the most common ingredient in processed foods. Half of our sugar intake come from “invisible” sugars (foods you don’t think would have sugar in them)

Even if you don’t feel like you are consuming a lot of sugar, you are most likely eating more sugar than your body needs. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.

Added sugar is found in many unexpected food items, including sliced bread, wheat crackers, salad dressing, ketchup and energy bars. Soft drinks are largest source refined sugar in children’s diet. Clinical studies show that sugar-free diets are more difficult to follow in the long-term. Sugar-free eating can trigger cravings for sweet foods and disordered eating. Being able to enjoy occasional sugary foods is important (remember moderation is KEY!)

There are many different names for sugar that are on food labels. The trick is if it ends in “ose” it is sugar. Just to name a few: honey, lactose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, corn sweetener, juice concentrate, natural sweetener, high fructose corn syrup. Remember to always read food labels and choose brands with lower sugar content. Also, keep in mind that artificial sweeteners, like Splenda, are two hundred times sweeter than sugar! It’s not ideal to consume artificial sweeteners if you want to reduce a sweet tooth.

If you are craving a sugary food, try reaching for a food that is naturally sweetened like fresh fruit. But remember,  just because it is a fresh fruit, doesn’t mean you can eat the whole bowl and not expect your blood sugar to rise. A lot of sugar into the bloodstream upsets body’s blood sugar balance, triggers release of insulin which the body uses to keep blood sugar at a safe level. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat (linked to weight gain and cardiovascular disease). High fiber content foods slows down process of digestion which results in slow release of glucose.

Sugar-quantity-in-common-foods

For more information: http://www.northjersey.com/news/196728311_Know_how_much_added_sugar_you_re_consuming__content_is_no_sweet_surprise.html?c=y&page=1

http://www.facethefactsusa.org/facts/the-sweet-life-and-what-it-costs-us/

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/DPHS/nhp/adults/documents/sugar.pdf

If You Can’t Pronounce It, Don’t Eat It!

Don’t buy products with more than five ingredients or any ingredients you can’t easily pronounce!  If your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, then neither should you, award-winning writer Michael Pollan shares additional tips on how to eat for a healthier body and planet, the focus of his latest book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.

cantpronounce

Bigger Portions, Bigger People

Food has gone through a technological revolution in the US in the last 50 years.  Food is available in more variety, in more forms and in more combinations than ever before.  Portions haven’t just got bigger in restaurants, there are also bigger bags of chips, bottles of sugary and energy drinks, and the list goes on…

When eating or snacking in front of the TV, encourage people to put a reasonable amount of food into a bowl or container, and leave the rest of the package in the kitchen. It’s easy to overeat when a person’s attention is focused on something else. Place especially tempting foods, like cookies, chips, or ice cream, out of immediate eyesight, like on a high shelf or at the back of the freezer. Move the healthier options to the front at eye level.

Americans are surrounded by larger portion sizes at relatively low prices, appealing to the consumer’s economic sensibilities. However, the cost to America’s health may be higher than most people realize. Do people look at food that is offered and automatically assess how much is a normal serving size, and then actually eat only the normal serving size? Do they adjust what they eat after consuming large portion sizes?

portions-have-changed

For more information: http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Science/Portion-control-key-to-fighting-obesity-expert-says

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/nutrition/pdf/portion_size_research.pdf

If It’s March, It’s National Nutrition Month!

Happy National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

This years theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” encourages personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices. Registered dietitians play a critical role in helping people eat right, their way, every day.

It’s important to realize that eating your way can be possible when you pay attention to portion control, smart eating, and including all food groups into your diet when possible. Anything can be incorporated into your diet– the important thing to recognize is that moderation is key. You can still indulge in your favorite foods, but pay attention to the serving sizes you eat and how often you eat a particular food item. Also, pay close attention to the beverages you consume! One 20 oz. bottle of soda is equal to one hour of walking to burn it off! Stick to water as much as possible (it’s all we need to survive!) Don’t look into diets, look into LIFESTYLE changes! Feed your body what it deserves: a balance of nutrients that make you glow and feel healthy because nothing looks as good as healthy feels!! And never forget that moving your body with some sort of physical activity is needed in order to live a healthy lifestyle as well!

Promote and support nutrition awareness starting today, for the rest of the month, and for the rest of your life! Today is the day to make a change and stick to it for a lifetime. You deserve to be happy and full of energy through nutrition and fitness!

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For more information: http://www.eatright.org/nnm/#.UTAUbze_CSo