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Eating your way to Good Health

Eating your way to good health

Hunger and obsession are a few of the feelings experienced if you have ever followed a strict weight loss diet. The truth is that there are so many diets out there all claiming to be the weight loss miracle you’ve been waiting for, but have you ever considered that you may be better off just eating a healthy, balanced diet?

Think about that for a moment. A balanced diet provides you with carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and fiber in the right proportion.

Carbohydrates: These are the most abundant component of the food we eat and they are important for energy. Carbohydrates are digested into glucose, used by the body to produce ATP (Adenosine triphosphate – the body’s energy). Carbohydrates can be obtained from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-fat dairy products.

Proteins: Are also very important and are required for building and repair of tissues. You should go with lean proteins as often as possible. Lean proteins are proteins low in fat, particularly saturated fat. Sources of lean protein include fish, de-skinned poultry, low-fat dairy products and legumes.

Fat: Are energy giving. To reduce your risk of developing heart disease, you should avoid saturated fats and trans fats as much as possible.

Fiber: Are found only in plant foods and they aid bowel movement.

Making it Possible

You should remember that bad habits die hard, it is therefore important to take things slow. Make changes in your eating habits slowly and stick to them. You may want to start by changing the type of snacks you eat or try low-calorie drinks. The important things are to take things slow, be realistic and determined.

Healthy habits you could try include:

• Eating at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables each day
• Eating at least 6 ounces of grains daily. At least half of those servings should be whole grain. An ounce serving of grains is equal to about ¾ cup dry cereal; 1 small slice of bread; or ½ cup of cooked cereal, pasta, rice or other grains
• Eating 2 or 3 servings of low-fat dairy products daily. A serving of dairy is 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of yoghurt, or 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese. Non-milk sources of calcium such as calcium fortified orange juice are a great alternative for those who do not eat dairy products
• Limit your meat, fish and poultry intake to no more than 6 ounces daily
• Choose homemade and fresh foods instead of packaged or processed foods to limit salt intake
• When cooking, use monounsaturated fats such as olive or canola oil as much as possible instead of butter or margarine
• Choose a calorie goal that is right for your body and activity level. After you’ve done this, you’ll know exactly how much calories you need daily rather than labeling certain food good or bad based on their calorie content.

Tips to choosing food

1. Cutting back on the size of your portions can be a very effective way to manage your weight without giving up any of the foods you enjoy.
2. A low-fat diet will help you manage your weight and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Limit high-fat foods.
3. Limit foods and drinks that are high in sugar. Substitute water for high-sugar drinks.
4. Always eat your veggies. Vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals.
5. Drink alcohol in moderate amounts (no more than 2 drinks a day for a man and one drink for a woman).

Always remember, eat healthy to stay healthy.

Eating your way to Good Health

Cheer's to Good Health!