How to Promote Health and Wellness
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Tips for Healthy Eating
You must either be in control of the food resources of your household or in a position to strongly influence them.
This may be difficult in some situations.
Make the effort to discover “natural” foods.
Fresh fruits and raw or barely cooked vegetables are important. Soy bean sprouts, yogurt, garlic, honey, apple cider vinegar, wheat germ, various seeds and nuts, and bran are important. These are highly recommended foods that do more than their fair share of keeping your body functioning well.
Avoid refined, processed and additive-heavy foods.
Refined and processed foods are generally calorie rich and nutritionally poor or empty, including those labeled “enriched”. Most packaged cereals, candies, commercial ice cream, colas etc., fall into this category. Neither the federal government nor manufacturers have established the safety of the more than 5,500 chemical additives going into our food chains.
Eliminate refined white sugar. It is only calories and has no other nutritional value.
Substitute “raw” sugar if you are a non-diabetic and a low calorie sugar substitute if you are a diabetic. Whichever you select, use this sweetener in moderation.
Eliminate refined/bleached flours.
They all have the nutritional value processed out of them and are empty starches. Substitute whole grain flour for refined white flour. This includes products made with flour. For example, breads, bagels, muffins, and rolls. Eliminate white bread and select whole grain or multigrain breads. Most stores have a wide selection of healthy bread products. Some are also listed as low calorie/reduced carbohydrate. The lower calorie breads are an excellent choice for the person trying to lose weight in addition to eating healthier.
Decrease junk foods.
These foods include candy, snacks, desserts, etc. Substitute healthier foods such as fruits, seeds, nuts, and raw vegetables.
Eliminate, or greatly reduce, your intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, colas, and other carbonated beverages.
These beverages can become addictive and can actually stimulate your appetite causing you to eat more food and/or consume more of the same beverage. Most of these beverages have demonstrated health hazards in research studies and have contributed to specific disease processes.
You will discover you best meal regime, but it is important to begin each day with a decent breakfast.
It makes sense to do this because, as the word indicates, you should be breaking a fast of many hours in order to avoid low blood sugar levels. There is no law that says we have to eat three meals a day; but people generally find this convenient and sensible pattern. Some people, especially those especially those with low blood sugar problems, find it beneficial to eat more frequently (but less); others eat only if, and when they may be hungry. You must find what is best for you.
Eliminate foods with High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Sometimes abbreviated HFCS on the label. This is a sweetened/additive that has absolutely no nutritional value and actually causes the body to crave more food. The body metabolizes this additive as a concentrated sugar; it stimulates the appetite and causes weight gain. You need to read all the labels carefully to eliminate this additive. It is in carbonated beverages, “soda”, canned fruits, canned soups, processed foods, yogurts, etc. It is in many foods as one of the main ingredients.
Select healthier choices without the HFCS, such as canned fruits with “no sugar added” or labeled as being natural. It is difficult to eliminate this additive completely from your diet.
I suggest you attempt to eliminate it the best you can. The foods that still contain HFCS that you enjoy eating should be eaten in moderation or on a special occasion.
Eat High-fiber roughage daily.
The best source for this is bran. Fiber is the part of plants that gives them structure. In food, fiber is commonly referred to as roughage or bulk. It is the portion of food that is not broken down and digested as it passes through the body.
There are two kinds of dietary fibers. Insoluble fibers aid in digestion and promote regularity. Soluble fibers can help lower blood cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. Both should be consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle. Fiber is only found in plant foods, so eat more whole grains, vegetables, dried beans seeds and fruits.
How much fiber should I add to my diet? Americans eat approximately 9-13 grams of fiber per day. This is not enough. You should consume 30-45 grams daily.
Consider taking a vitamin supplement or several supplements as recommended by your health care provider.
Discuss your nutritional concern and questions with them. The USA’s RDA’s (Recommended Daily Allowances) for some vitamins and minerals are set at levels lower than might be desirable and tolerable for you, especially if you have special dietary restrictions.
Take eating seriously.
Avoid eating on the run or under pressure. Let eating always be a pleasure---a joy without becoming an obsession. Plan your meals and the circumstances surrounding them. Whether yours is a religious or simply a philosophical perspective, precede eating with a moment of reflection, linking the process with your life’s meaning and purpose. Eat unhurriedly, chewing well, and savoring every meal. Make eating a pleasant experience.
Do not add salt to foods. Most prepared foods already have a significant amount of sodium added. Choose foods naturally low in sodium. Learn to read labels and select lower sodium content foods. Remove the salt- shaker from the table and do not add salt to foods while cooking or baking. Try to use other seasoning instead of salt. Season or marinate meats with fresh herbs ahead of time to bring out the natural flavor.
Maintain adequate hydration.
Water is the best choice. Drink 8-10 glasses a day.
Avoid fast foods.
They are high in calories, saturated fats, and have limited nutritional value. Most times after a large meal at fast food restaurants, you will feel hungry within a few hours. This is your body’s response to the high glycemic index (sugar and starch content) in the foods that were consumed.
Try to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
Get some type of regular exercise on a regular basis.
This helps maintain a healthy metabolism.
Limit daily alcohol consumption to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
Clean hands, food contact surfaces, and fruits and vegetables to avoid food borne illnesses. Do not leave food unrefrigerated for extended periods of time.
Avoid unpasteurized milk and juice, raw or undercooked eggs, and raw or undercooked meat and poultry.
Add more Omega-3 fatty acids to your diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids improve serum triglyceride profiles, stabilize heart rhythms, reduce inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity in patients with Type 2 Diabetes, and enhance the immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids also help dissolve body fat and increase metabolism and energy production. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, fish oil supplements, walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil.
Below is a list of these particular foods:
Bowden, Jonny. (2007). The 150 healthiest foods on earth: The surprising unbiased truth about what you should eat and why. Massachusetts: Fair Winds Press.
Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing. (2001). Eat and heal. California: FC&A Publishing.
Foster, Steven and White M.D., Linda B. (2000). The herbal drugstore: The best Natural alternatives to over-the-counter and prescription medicines. United States of America: Rodale, Inc.
Hausman, Patricia and Hurley, Judith Benn. (1989). The healing foods: The ultimate authority on the curative power of nutrition. Pennsylvania: Rodale Press.
Porter, Michael. (1999). Fats your body needs and why essential fatty acids. Sedona Health Foundation.
United States Department of Agriculture. (2000). Nutrition and your health: Dietary guidelines for Americans. United States Department of Health and Human Services.