Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Improving Nutrition The Simple Way

Good nutrition is essential to living a long and healthy life. There are many ways to improve nutrition, as proven by the myriad of health information available in books and on the internet. The following article lists a few of the essential ways to improve nutrition that are simple enough for anyone to follow.

Fiber is an essential part of anyone's diet. Consuming foods that are high in fiber ensures that sugar is absorbed into the blood stream at a slower rate, preventing glucose spikes that can lead to hunger. In addition to this, fiber keeps you feeling full, and keeps you regular while cleansing your colon. Fiber can be found in vegetables and grains.

Not all cooking oils are the same. Some oils are trans fats and saturated fats, which are not healthy due to their ability to raise cholesterol levels and cause health problems. Be sure to use healthy oils like olive oil for your cooking needs. You can also try with other healthy oils, such as flax seed oil, for certain non cook dishes, such as salads.

Sometimes, the foods you eat do not have labels that are clear about their contents. Often you will find foods that seem to be reasonable, but they will contain ingredients that give you extra calories. If you find any part of your food that mentions "partially hydrogenated oil", then the food contains trans fats that you should avoid.

Nutrition can be improved by watching what you eat, and the best way to watch what you eat, is to read food labels. Food labels give you a break down of any food item, listing all of the ingredients that make up the food, as well as serving sizes, fat content, and nutrient content. Reading food labels allows you to control portion size, by following the serving size listed on the label. The labels also help you avoid foods that are high in fat, sodium, and sugar while giving you the opportunity to choose ones that are nutrient rich.

This is one of the most commonly known facts about nutrition, but if you don't already know it, you need a balanced diet. A balanced diet consists of protein, carbohydrates, dairy, vegetables, and little fat. Eating balanced meals consisting of these items will ensure that your body gets the right amount of nutrients without consuming excess sugar, sodium, and fat from junk food.

Your nutrition can instantly improve when you use alternatives in your meals. You can use lean meats like chicken or fish in your foods as opposed to fatty red meat like beef. Sugar and salt can be replaced with healthier and flavorful spices and sweeteners, such as stevia. Even grains such as rice can be replaced by healthy alternatives, such as brown or even black rice. Almost everything that is unhealthy has some soft of healthy alternative, so be sure to look into them.

Although many ways that exist to improve nutrition, it can be hard to know which ones to use. Luckily the tips from this article can aid you and make it easier. Follow them and watch your nutrition improve in no time.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Cholesterol Reducing Foods

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol has been shown to increase health risks including cardiovascular disease. Therefore, it is important to keep your LDL cholesterol within the recommended range. One of the easiest ways to protect your health is to eat foods which lower the amount of LDL in your bloodstream. Below is a list of cholesterol reducing foods which can easily be incorporated into your diet.

Spinach contains an abundance of carotene which has been shown to reduce cholesterol. Eating 1/2 cup of cooked spinach three times a week will significantly improve your health. If you prefer raw spinach, try a healthy spinach salad. To increase the benefits of a spinach salad add some mandarin oranges and red onions. The pectin in the mandarin oranges lowers cholesterol, and the quercitin in onions has been shown to prevent damage to your artery walls.

Garlic is known for its many beneficial properties. But did you know that it also helps remove cholesterol and prevent blood clots? Experts recommend eating one clove of garlic per day. To incorporate into your diet simply roast a clove of garlic and make some scrumptious garlic bread.

Olive oil can be used in many different dishes including salads, pasta and vegetables. Olive oil can replace many cholesterol raising fats including butter. Make a simple vinaigrette use 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar. For a delicious pasta dish combine 1 pound cooked pasta, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 4 cloves of chopped garlic and 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley.

Nuts, especially peanuts, contain vitamin E as well as folic acid. Vitamin E protects your arteries from the damages associated with cholesterol, while folic acid has been shown to reduce homocysteine levels. Increased homocysteine levels has been linked to an increased risk of both heart and blood vessel diseases.

Beans provide soluble fiber which help lower cholesterol. Beans can be incorporated into your daily diet by using several different recipes. One of the easiest ways to use beans is to make a bean salad. Combine several of your favorite beans with green peppers, onions, celery, oil and vinegar. This bean salad will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, making it a simple side dish for your meals.

One glass of red wine a day will increase your good cholesterol while lowering your bad cholesterol. Too much of a good thing can cause more harm than good; therefore, it is important to drink in moderation.

Tea contains many wonderful properties including catechin. Catechin has been shown to protect your artery walls by lowering your bad cholesterol while increasing your good cholesterol. White, green or black teas all contain catechin, so choose your favorite and drink up!

Apples are known to promote good health including reducing cholesterol and protecting your heart. Apples contain pectin and flavonoids; both of which reduce cholesterol. The best way to eat apples is to eat them raw; however, cooked apples will also benefit your health.

Incorporate the aforementioned cholesterol busting foods into your diet to help lower your bad cholesterol while maintaining your good cholesterol. It is easy to include these foods into your diet when you have the knowledge of how to properly use them for the maximum benefit.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Nutritious Means To Make Your Diet Better

A lot of people don't realize that what they are eating makes a difference in how their body feels and how their emotions are. The truth is, eating well can change the quality of your life and make your body function perfectly. Here are some ways to improve your nutrition.

Get rid of all the unhealthy food in your kitchen. Go through your cabinets and throw out the potato chips, the soft drinks, and the cookies. Go into your refrigerator and take out all the cakes and pies and pasta. Doing this will make it clear that you plan to improve your life. It will allow you to focus on the healthy food that remains and keep you focused on success.

Eat a good diet that concentrates on vegetables and proteins. A diet that is filled with vegetables is a great one because vegetables contain carbohydrates and many vitamins that the body needs. Proteins are also a good choice for your diet, as they build muscle and keep you feeling full.

Use correct portion sizes. Smaller portion sizes are a great way to make sure you don't overeat. Not only should you stick to smaller sizes, you can also switch to smaller plates. Smaller plates make it simpler for you to eat the correct portion sizes without feeling deprived.

Learn how to tell how many calories you need to eat every day. This can be done by using any of the online calculators available, but a smart idea is to go to your doctor or a nutritionist to find out for sure. You have to take different factors into account; a teenage boy has different nutritional needs than a pregnant woman, for example.

Talk to a doctor about your vitamin needs. Your doctor should be able to do comprehensive tests to see what your vitamin deficiencies are, if any. He should be able to tell you which vitamins you need, so listen to him. If you are already taking supplements, make sure to tell your doctor so you are sure you are doing everything you can.

Watch out for your beverages. Everyone focuses on the food you eat, but it is just as important to make sure that you don't drink extra calories and sugar. Water is the best beverage to drink, because it has no sugar, no fat and no calories. Water is also very much a part of your body and your body needs it. Drink other beverages sparingly. Read labels so you know what you are putting in your body. That goes for juice, too. A lot of people think juice is healthy, but much of the time there is only 20 to 40 percent actual fruit juice in commercial juices. Don't sabotage a good diet with too many of these beverages.

As you start eating better, you are sure to feel better and go through life in an easier manner. You might find you get sick less, and feel stronger. Just use the information laid out here, and you will be sure to find yourself on a road to optimal health.

Advice On A Well-Balanced Vegetarian Diet

Many people are under the impression that a vegetarian diet is an incomplete diet in terms of nutrition. It is true that meats are not consumed; however, the nutrients found in meats can also be found in many non-meat food items. Read this article to learn more about well-balanced vegetarian diets.

Iron is commonly associated with red meat. Since vegetarians do not eat red meat, iron must be obtained from other sources. Many leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and collard greens, are rich in iron. Tofu and beans also have a high iron content. You can improve your body's absorption of this type of iron by combining these foods with foods rich in vitamin C.

Being a vegetarian does not mean that you necessarily have to give up milk and eggs. In fact, milk and eggs are excellent sources of high-quality protein, so you should consider including those in your vegetarian diet.

Whole grains are loaded with healthy fiber and all kinds of nutrients. Different grains are rich in different vitamins and minerals. When you eat a variety of whole grains, you ensure yourself of getting a well-round amount of nutrients. Do not confuse whole grains with refined grains. Highly processed, refined grains have the nutrients stripped away when the outer and inner parts of the grain were removed during processing. These do not offer the same amount of nutrients as whole grains.

A healthy diet includes complete proteins, meaning that the proteins must have the essential amino acids. Animal-derived proteins are complete. However, plant-derived proteins may be missing an amino acid. Therefore, it is important to eat a variety of legumes, beans, grains and nuts in order to get all of the essential amino acid in your diet.

B-12 is mostly found in meat, fish and dairy products. If you are not consuming enough dairy products, you may need to take a B-12 supplement to ensure that you will not be deficient in this vitamin.

Avoid consuming dairy products with a high-fat content as your main source of protein. The excess fat can lead to undesired weight gain. Instead, consider using low-fat or skim milk. Do not forget that there are non-dairy sources of protein, such as nuts, legumes, tofu and beans.

Avoid highly processed foods which are loaded with salts and artificial ingredients. You may be tempted to buy a vegetarian meal from your market's frozen section because it is convenient, but that is not a healthy option. Structure your diet around whole foods instead. Just because a pre-packaged food says that it is vegetarian, it does not necessarily mean that it is healthy. It can be loaded with empty calories from fats, with excess sodium and ingredients that you cannot even pronounce. These are food choices that you should avoid.

Eating a well-balance, vegetarian diet takes knowledge and planning. Learn all about the non-meat options and what nutrients are provided by each type of food. You will find that you can exclude meat from your diet without depriving yourself of proper nutrition.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

How To Ensure Proper Nutrition In Your Diet

It is very true that what you eat directly influences how you feel. Your body's condition is greatly influenced by what you put in it, so it is extremely important that you eat right. This article will help you get started in the right direction in developing good eating habits.

Breakfast is the most important meal of your day because it sets the foundation for the energy level required to take you through the rest of the day. Your breakfast should be well-balanced, with a good source of protein and high-quality carbohydrates. Breakfast items that look like dessert, like sugary donuts and muffins, may give you a burst of energy in the beginning, but that will quickly wear off, leaving you feeling tired. A healthy breakfast will sustain your energy level.

Keep a journal of the foods that you are eating everyday. This helps you see exactly what you are putting in your body. You may be surprised at the number of snacks with empty calories that you munch on during the day. A journal can help you easily see if your daily diet is indeed balanced. If you see a food group that is deficient, you can easily make adjustments the next day.

Many people like to go to buffets because they can get "all you can eat" at a fixed price. They are tempted to get more than their money's worth. Unfortunately, this is how people set themselves up to overeat. Not only that, but they tend to overeat dishes that are high in fats and sugar. You do not have to cut out buffets altogether, but when you are there, you should still stick with a balanced diet. If you want to try every dish, just take a small bite-sized portion, and focus more on the salads and vegetables.

If you eat small meals at regular intervals throughout the day, it can maintain your blood sugar at a consistent level, thus providing you with energy throughout the day. Also, it curbs your appetite of wanting a snack in-between meals. It prevents you from getting really hungry, which may lead you to binge at the next meal. Eating small meals more frequently is a healthy way to eat.

You should include a high-quality source of lean protein in each meal. Protein is necessary for cell growth and repair. A great source of protein is meat, but you have to be careful not to choose meat that is high in saturated fats.

When you plan what you will eat in detail, you will not fall into the temptation of getting something to eat on impulse. If you do not have a plan, and you get hungry, you may make unhealthy choices on the spot. If you have a healthy plan in place, you will not fall into that trap.

Only have on hand healthy foods that are nutritious. If you do not keep junk food around, you will not be tempted to grab it for a snack. When you go out, take along fruits and other healthy snacks. This way, you will not need to run to the store to grab something unhealthy.

As you can see, your food plays an important role in your health. By applying the advice from this article, you will be well on your way to a healthier way of eating.

Nutritional Needs And Solutions For Every Woman

Today's woman has a busy lifestyle that sometimes can make getting the proper nutrition from meals next to impossible. With work, family, and other time consuming activities, many women just do not have the time to fix a healthy meal every time then eat. They can eat additional foods that contain these essential vitamins. The essential vitamins and minerals listed below show their benefits and how women can include more of them into their diet.

As women get older they need more calcium in their diet to combat osteoporosis.  As women age, their bodies do not absorb calcium as well as when they were younger, so it is very important to get the extra calcium in their diets for bone health. Without the proper calcium, bones become brittle and will break easily. Drinking lots of milk and eating yogurt and cheese will increase calcium levels to help prevent osteoporosis and ensure that bones are healthy, well into the latter years. Other foods which are rich in calcium include sardines, shrimp, and salmon.

Another essential nutrient that women need is iron. Without proper levels of iron in the diet, women can feel lethargic, cold, weak, and dizzy. Low iron levels can lead to heart palpitations and anemia. Iron is lost during menstrual cycles and while supporting a new life when pregnant. This iron needs to be replaced. Iron is used in the body to make hemoglobin which carries oxygen throughout the body. When iron levels are low, your body is being starved of oxygen. The best foods to consume with high iron levels are liver, oatmeal, soybeans, red meat, spinach, and poultry. Also, many breakfast cereals are 100% iron fortified and will give your body the iron it needs every day.

Vitamin D is another necessary nutrient for all women. Deficiencies in vitamin D can lead to depression, heart disease, osteoporosis, and a wide range of other problems. Almost all milk sold is vitamin D fortified and drinking milk can supply the body with the vitamin D it needs.  We also absorb vitamin D from exposure to the sun. Studies have shown that over 10,000 IU of vitamin D can be absorbed with just a few minutes of exposure to the sun.

One of the best vitamins to take for overall health is vitamin C. Vitamin C is safe and effective for protecting the immune system, prenatal problems, cardiovascular disease, eye diseases, and is even effective for helping prevent wrinkles in the skin. It is good for the overall health of the body and can be found in many tasty foods. Orange juice, cantaloupe, cabbage, green peppers, red peppers, and broccoli all contain high levels of vitamin C.

Women need these essential nutrients to maintain proper health. Taking some nutritional supplements is a way to help women get the proper vitamins and minerals in their diet when their meals do not supply them, but as shown above, there are many foods that can be consumed to help raise these critical vitamin levels.

Design a Diet to Fit Your Desired Lifestyle

It might be simplistic to say that what you ate for breakfast can affect your ability to live your life to the fullest, but that is actually a valid point. The foods you put into your body will factor into how healthy and enjoyable your life is day to day. Here are some of the top ways you can design a diet that fits your ideal lifestyle.

Is your freezer well stocked with ice cream and frozen pizza? Are your refrigerator shelves loaded with high fat, high sugar foods like chocolate syrup and bacon? Then it's time to clean it out and start fresh. Toss out all the foods that are not only loading down your refrigerator, but when you eat them, they will load you down with calories and unwanted extra pounds. Make room for all the healthy, fresh foods that will get you started on the way to a healthy diet and more fit lifestyle.

Do your eyes glaze over when it comes to hearing about carbohydrates, proteins and fiber? Unfortunately, that can be a result of the seemingly boundless information that is available to us, making it hard to realize that it's not really a complicated matter. Take a back-to-basics approach, and it will be easier to prepare and enjoy well-rounded, great tasting meals every day. Give yourself a portion of protein, loads of vegetables, and a bit of carbohydrates. That translates as a grilled steak, steamed fresh asparagus, spinach salad, and a dinner roll on the side.

Speaking of portions, many people today have an expanded notion of what amount to serve as a healthy portion. When you're eating for a healthier lifestyle, you'll want to begin to serve portions that will keep you fit and energetic. One way to know if your portions are too big is if your stomach is feeling overstretched or uncomfortable when you finish your meal. If you give yourself a bit less on your plate, you won't go hungry. You will go through your day feeling more fit and able to be more active.

Sauces, spreads and salad dressings add flavor to many dishes, but it's important not to go overboard with them because they usually pack on a lot of calories to your meal. Unless you use a low-calorie version, their caloric content is deceptively high. Keep that in mind when you put a dab of butter on your toast. Instead you can try using a fraction of that dab, and smoothing it thinly across the bread. It's important not to feel like you're missing out on your favorite tastes, but keep the amount down, so it doesn't end up weighing you down.

Preparing and eating healthier meals and snacks will not only change what's on your plate, it can change your life for the better. The tips and advice in this article will get you started designing a more nutritious way of eating, and a more fit and energetic lifestyle, without giving up the good flavors of your favorite foods.