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Tips for Healthy Eating

Events That Led to The Obesity Crisis

The obesity crisis was not caused by a single factor. Unfortunately, like the perfect storm, many events come together in sequence to result in this  health emergency tidal wave;  Such is the #ObesityCrisis.

To date, the obesity crisis and our lack of understanding has destroyed the quality of life of millions of Americans.  The lack of:

  • Nutrition education – What the body needs and gets from different foods – energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients
  • Biological functions – How the body works to achieve homeostasis – energy balance.

This lack of knowledge makes it difficult to achieve a healthy weight for the long term.  Don’t take my word for it, review the scientific evidence of @KevinHall, PhD. Kevin is a senior investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK).  What is significant about Kevin is he is the Section Chief of Integrative Physiology Section, Laboratory of Biological Modeling.   @BonnieLiebman, MS is an author, and Director of Nutrition at the #CenterForScienceInThePublicInterest (CSPI).  Bonnie interviewed Kevin and published in the #NutritionActionHealthLetter (a publication of CSPI) – How Did We Get Here? July/August 2018 Volume 45 No. 6; pg. 3 – 5 print.

The Basic Science of Human Weight Management

Normally, 2 key hormones work against each other to control our weight:

  • Leptin (the starvation hormone) – Main function is long-term regulation of the body’s energy supply. Leptin signals the brain to stimulate or suppress appetite and alter the burn rate of stored energy. When we lose body, fat leptin stimulates appetite and reduces stored energy burn rate. Weight gain triggers the opposite series of events (eat less burn more).
  • Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) – signals the brain when to start and when to stop eating. It is released by the stomach, and other glands.  #LeptinVsGhrelin

The Calm Before the Storm (Before 1970):

  • Leptin and ghrelin went about their business of cooperating to control our body weight
  • Families ate at home more than at restaurants and at other eateries; additionally high food prices and family size prevented excessive eating
  • Families were more physically active (work & play – virtually no access to computers)

The Storm is Energized by Key Players (1970):

  • President Nixon became aware of complaints about the rising cost of food. Consequently, he directed the USDA to fix the problem.
  • The USDA initiated policy to subsidize farming to stimulate yield of basic foods like corn and soybeans.
  • The farmers subsequently increased the production of corn, soybean, and other crops. This caused a drop in the price of basic foods that became major ingredients in the processed food supply.
  • The manufacturers of processed foods employed food scientists, and engineers to develop ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup to enhance “Ultra-Processed” food products that were:
    • Great tasting – Food scientists are better cooks than mom and granny; they mastered the ideal combination of salt, sugar, fat, and flavor additives to increase flavor, (and unfortunately calories). This development triggered a super-normal appetite.  #BlissPoint
    • More Stable – The addition of extra salt, high-fructose corn syrup and other technologies helped foods last longer in unrefrigerated settings like store shelves and homes.
    • Cheaper – Consumers enjoyed more food at lower prices, and consequently began to eat more meals away from home.
    • More Convenient – Less cooking required. Heat and serve made busy lives more manageable.

 

  • Powerful Food Advertising That Target Children – Drove consumption of unhealthy foods high in carbs/sugar, salt, and fats resulting in consumers:
    • Eating the foods that are most profitable”. #WeightOfTheNation
    • Eating more at restaurants, and dining halls
    • Buying more heat and serve food products.
    • Snacking more on delicious high calorie food products
  • Physical activity continues to be inadequate in burn off the significant increase of calories consumed.

The Abyss of Overweight and Obesity

Overweight, and obesity  significantly increases the risk for preventable  illness, disability, and premature death:

  • 34 million people of all ages (9.4%) had diabetes in 2015
  • 1 million people (33.9%) were estimated to have prediabetes
  • 2 million suffered from cardiovascular disease – coronary heart disease, Stroke, heart attack, etc. in 2015. (CDC)
  • 40% of all cancers diagnosed are associated with overweight and obesity. (CDC)

What About Dieting, Exercising, and Wishing?

The casual observer may interpret Kevin Hall’s weight loss research as leptin and ghrelin appearing to have gone rogue. But, in actuality, these two hormones have not deviated from their mission:  To prevent our bodies from quickly losing weight. However, the super tasty and fragrant food products have given rise to our super-appetites.  To counter the weight gain brought on by our super-appetites, we continue trying a variety of weight loss programs.  Unfortunately, as we work to lose extra fat pounds, leptin and ghrelin work against our goals.  So, as our fat level drops, leptin level drops and ghrelin level rises. Also, leptin helps to decrease the rate at which we lose weight (burn fat;, pausing at the dreaded ‘plateau’Spoiler alert: Hunger is a tough sensation to ignore.

Kevin Hall’s experimentation and modeling revealed that, “when people were losing body fat weight, their appetites increased by about 45 calories per day (above baseline) for every pound of weight that they lost”. To make weight loss more difficult, leptin reduces the rate at which a person burns fat weight.

Again, Kevin cites that, “the number of calories that they were burning went down by between 10 and 15 calories per day for every pound of weight they lost”.  This means if you lost 10 pounds, the average person would burn 100 to 150 less calories per day. Keep in mind that burning 3500 calories equals 1 pound lost. It is going to take time to lose weight. Prepare your mind for this reality.

Climbing Out From the Abyss

Currently, there are no miracles for achieving persistent weight loss. Losing weight and keeping it off is difficult for most mortals.  There are many suggestions, products, and practices on the internet that promise to help us easily lose weight.  Sadly, many of these plans are not based on scientific evidence. Consequently, most are doomed to failure, and may harm the individual. Search the WEB for ‘fen-Phen’ heart valve crisis.

Some uncontrollable factors that drive weight gain and obesity.

  • Genetics
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Prescribed medications

But, for those of us who are lucky enough to carry excess fat weight that we can shed; must work at it (plan-do-measure-repeat). We must learn to eat differently for a lifetime.  We must sacrifice a little or a lot due to our eating traditions, habits, and the uncontrollable factors. Some of us must suffer to some degree, depending on our level of obesity.

Sustained self-managed weight loss requires persistent commitment that ranges from eating differently to experiencing gastric by-pass surgery and its potential complications. And, even then post-surgery patients must eat differently before and after the surgery or suffer consequences. We must understand that healthy eating requires that we provide our bodies all the macro and micronutrients it needs to function properly. #PortionControl #PrecisePortions.com

Failure to persist in losing excess weight [based on body mass index (BMI)] and keeping it off increases the risk of developing debilitating diseases like:

  • Type 2 diabetes (leading to cardiovascular disease)
  • High blood pressure (leading to stroke)
  • Types of cancers

To fight obesity, all of us who are committed to community health have a crucial role to play in empowering consumers to follow effective and sustainable weight loss strategies.  At the same time, consumers need to hold themselves responsible to attempt only evidence-based strategies to achieve self-managed weight control.

Let us all continue the conversation to help:

  • Alert public awareness to the forces driving #overeating and #obesity
  • Reduce the increasing rate of obesity in the USA, and the world

Healthy Eating Habits

“Let food be thy medicine and thy food medicine.”

This widely known quote is attributed to Hippocrates – the father of modern day medicine. While it sounds paradoxical, some critics have even dismissed it; it has important content to think about. The essence of it is that the foods you eat can have both immediate and long-term effects on your health.

For example; eating high sugar foods (high glycemic) raises your blood sugar fast. This in turn leads to a sudden spike of insulin. If this process is repeated over many times for long enough the body tissues will respond to insulin poorly and may increase the riskof developing type 2 diabetes. Other foods also increase risk of obesity and its associated disorders such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis among many other health issues.

Healthy eating habits defined
Healthy eating habits that promote good health include:

  • Right amounts of foods from all the classes of food groups
  • It is a lifestyle that is followed throughout and not just for a while
  • It involves different types of foods under the main classes of foods because no one type of food is exactly the same as another even in the same group
  • People with specific types of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or high cholesterol needs modified eating habits as guided by a qualified health dietary professional.

How to improve your eating habits
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC offers 3 easy to follow steps in the healthy eating habits journey. These are:

  1. Assess how you are currently eating. This includes what you consider to be good or bad eating habits.
  2. Remove any bad eating habits from your current eating plan.
  3. Continue with your good old or adapted new eating habits.

An important part of healthy fresh food eating habits is to consume the right quantities of the right foods at the right time. To help you with this, the resource here will help you to overcome the constant struggle many people go through in their efforts to start and maintain healthy eating habits.

Picky Eaters

diabetes portion control chart

Is your child a picky eater or, a very picky eater? Are you an adult who can only stand to eat a just a few food items and hate all others? This may be a case of selective eating disorder (SED). Selective eating disorder is a poorly understood eating disorder when a child or adult has a very limited number of food items they “can” eat. They avoid eating all other foods. There is a similarity to food neophobia, an avoidance to eating new or different foods.

The root cause of this disease is not well understood. It seems that a person’s biology or psychology may play a role in causing this disorder. According to Dr. Nancy Zucker, the Director of the Duke Center for Eating Disorders, selective eaters tend to like similar foods, that are bland and processed. They love salt, peanut butter,certain meats like bacon. Vegetables are a major turnoff.

Picky eaters may lead you to think of a class of Americans called “supertasters.” According to Dr. Linda Bartoshuk, professor of otolaryngology (study of eye, nose, & throat) and psychology, around 25 percent of the American population is born as “supertasters,” a group with an unusually high number of taste buds. The increased number of taste buds changes the way food tastes for these people. How a foods taste to someone determines if that person will like it or not. And what their diet will be. Since diets can contain major risk factors for many chronic diseases, it has become important to find the cause of these eating disorders.

Picky eaters may not be “supertasters” because picky eaters seem to be turned off by the sight, smell, and texture of foods, according to .Dr. Bradley C. Riemann, the clinical director of obsessive compulsive disorders at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee.

Also, this disorder should not be confused anorexia nervosa (a disorder characterized by a fear of food due to issues related to body weight).

How to Help
One important thought to remember is that the picky eater is not trying to be difficult or stubborn. A small number of children do not grow out of their picky eating behavior. They become adults who without help develop problems with their social life and careers. Therefore, if this behavior persists into preteen age, parents should speak with their pediatricians who then may refer them to a specialist.

research

Research is currently under way at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Eating Healthy For your Heart

portion control lesson plan

Eating Healthy For your Heart

Heart disease is the major cause of death in the United States and many other countries of the world. It could be considered as a life-threatening lifestyle disease due to our high intake of trans-fats from foods like cakes, biscuits and chips, as well as saturated fats from meats and dairy products. Eating healthy for your heart can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Switching over to a healthy diet and leading an active lifestyle are the way to go. We give you some tips on eating healthy for your heart…

Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No. 1: Limit Unhealthy Fats

Our diet usually consists of saturated fats from red meats and dairy products, increasing the bad cholesterol and making us prone to coronary diseases. The best way to reduce this risk is to reduce our intake of unhealthy fats like butter shortening and margarine added to the food. Also, ensure that you are eating lean meats without the fat and skin. Use mono-saturated fats like olive or canola oil for cooking.

Baked products like cookies and cakes or a bag of chips will usually contain trans-fats that are also bad for the heart. It’s much healthier to snack on a handful of nuts or use a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and lime on your salads instead of mayonnaise. The American Heart Association recommends that trans-fats should form less than one percent while saturated fats should be less than 7 percent of your total calorie intake.

Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No. 2: Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables

Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and are also a good source of fiber. Vegetables eaten in the form of salads (without high-fat dressing) are low in calories but high in fiber. Leafy vegetables like spinach are an excellent source of iron. Five servings of vegetables and fruit or more, each day are ideal for the body. You can easily snack on fruits like apples or bananas and include a vegetable dish with lunch or dinner.

Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No. 3: Select low-fat protein sources

Meats are a rich source of proteins, but you must opt for lean meats so that your fat intake is reduced. Include low fat poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products in your meals. Opt for skim milk instead of whole milk and skinless chicken breast instead of fried chicken. The idea is to reduce fat as much as is possible. Including fish in your meals at least three times a week is good for the heart. Certain kinds of fish, namely salmon and tuna contain Omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce blood fats. Plant sources of protein include lentils, beans, peas, canola oil, flaxseed, soybeans and walnuts. When you include these foods in your diet, you not only get the proteins but also other essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. And it’s quite easy to work these into your diet – just add a can of beans to soup or use canola oil for your cooking or sprinkle some powdered flaxseed on your low-fat yoghurt or your green salad.

Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No.4: Eat whole grains

The best way to include whole grain in your diet is to switch over to whole grain bread and pasta, have brown or parboiled rice instead of white rice. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber as well as vitamins and minerals that help to regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of coronary diseases.

Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No.5: Use portion control plates

Although it is important to eat heart healthy foods, it is equally important that you take them in the right proportion. Heaping your plate with two helpings of each food item will finally lead to you towards the path of coronary problems. So make sure that you know how much of each food item you should eat, and if you are not too sure of the portions, use a portion control plate. That way you’ll never go wrong and it’s easy to get portion control plates from any crockery store or websites selling these items.

Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No.6: Reduce salts and drink plenty of water

To maintain heart health, it is necessary to reduce the salt in your foods. Use products that are low in sodium or simply add a dash of lime juice to your salad instead of salt. Drinking plenty of water (more than eight glasses a day) not only keeps you hydrated but it also flushes out the toxic waste from the body.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out

free nutrition lesson plans

Eating Healthy When Dining Out

When we eat out at restaurants, the food that is served is very high in saturated fats and sodium. With the huge portion sizes becoming the norm, you also end up eating a lot of unwanted calories. And if it is a regular affair and you don’t follow the principle of eating healthy when dining out, you are likely going to be a candidate for heart disease and obesity. Many of us would say that it is almost impossible to be eating healthy when dining out, but this isn’t so.

It is up to you to exercise the self control when you are dining out by making healthy eating choices. And believe me, all restaurants cater to the diet conscious patrons, you only need to ask. The thumb rule for eating healthy while dining out is to avoid deep fried foods, refined starchy foods and sugary foods like sodas. Here are some more detailed tips to avoid those unhealthy trans-fats, processed sugars, refined oils and starches present in restaurant food.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #1: Avoid starchy carbohydrates

When eating out at restaurants take a careful look at the menu and opt for dishes made with whole grain. Dishes with brown rice, whole wheat bread or whole grain pasta are much healthier that white rice or white bread. Food items made with refined flour have hardly any nutritional value apart from needlessly increasing the calories. Instead of fries with your sandwich or burger, ask for baked potatoes on the side.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #2: Select more vegetable dishes

Rather than opting for meat based items on the menu, try out the vegetable platter. You might be surprised at the variety of vegetable dishes that are available and find them to be extremely delicious. If you order pizza, ask for one with vegetable toppings like onion, tomato, mushroom and bell peppers rather than cheese or meat.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #3: Choose low saturated fat cooking methods

The way the food in is cooked in restaurants makes it too rich for those looking to eat healthy. Choose meats that have been steamed, broiled or roasted or those cooked in their own juices. Grilled chicken is a better option for your sandwich than fried chicken. Select sautéed or stir fried vegetables.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #4: Avoid heavy sauces and cream based gravies

Request for rich sauces, salad dressings and gravies to be served on the side so that you have a control over how much of saturated fats and cholesterol you consume. Order salads with a light dressing, like a vinaigrette and go easy on the cheese toppings.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #5: Portion sizes

You may have portion control plates and scoopers at home, but when you dine out, you have to deal with “super size” servings which pack a huge quantity of food. So share your meal with a companion, or better still, order appetizer-size portions or side dishes that are usually a smaller portion size.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #6: Go easy on the soda

Go for iced tea or plain mineral water or water with lemon when you order a beverage. Tea with skim milk or coffee are other options. Avoid sodas or sweetened juices as these are only empty calories with little nutritional content.

Eating Healthy When Dining Out Tip #7: Choose a healthy desert

If you must have desert, choose fresh fruit salad or sorbet or low-fat ice-cream to satisfy your sweet tooth. Ideally, it would be best to skip desert at the restaurant and have a small piece of low fat chocolate at home.

Eating Healthy When Traveling

balanced nutrition for kids

Eating Healthy When Traveling

Those of us who have driven hundreds of miles on American freeways known what it is like; cheap fast food joints, sodas, pies, jelly, fries and burgers. At the end of the day we have a bloated stomach that could do us proud at a burp and gas contest. You may laugh at the memory of your own road trips but you also know there’s little to joke about our road experiences. In this article we present you some helpful tips on how to keep both your stomach and your spirits up and alert on the long stretches of highway.

Eating Healthy When Traveling: tip 1 Plan your pit stops

Plan your trip with precision. We know it’s difficult especially when there are kids traveling with you but do your best to estimate arrival times at various towns and cities along the route. Plan your trip in such a way that you pass through a town at lunch, snack and dinner time. Google the selected towns and create a list of the best restaurants. These days you can probably also view their menu online if so, look for restaurants that have a wholesome menu i.e. menu that has salads, vegetables, baked potatoes, whole grain breads and so on. If in doubt, call them up to make inquiries and reservations if required.

Eating Healthy When Traveling: tip 2 Prepare the first snack at home

Prepare for the journey by carrying sandwiches with you for the first half of the day. Spiced Turkey or Chicken sandwich with salad leaves and herbs would be ideal. Each person including kids should have one large bottle of water in their hand and an equal quantity in the luggage hold.

Eating Healthy When Traveling: tip 3 Snack every two hours or so.

Roughly two hours into the journey, hand out the prepared sandwiches to all. Often in the excitement of the trip, we forget to drink water so you need to make sure everyone consumes the water provided to them. Stop as often as required to pick up more drinking water.

Eating Healthy When Traveling: tip 4 Top up!

When you stop at a gas station, stop for gas or drinking water or to visit the rest room – not for food. Most of us do not want to ‘waste time on eating’ but trust us, you and your family will be more than glad you did not eat junk food at the gas station.

Eating Healthy When Traveling: tip 5 The Restaurant.

Make whatever detour is necessary to stop at the restaurant that is on your list. When ordering request for little or no fat cooking. Start with a healthy soup. Order a salad such as the Sesame Chicken Salad. It is usually made with Grilled chicken strips tossed with Romaine lettuce, fresh cilantro, sliced almonds, sesame seeds, green onions, and crispy wonton strips sesame vinaigrette. Order meat only if it is grilled or baked. If grilled or baked is not on the menu, select fish if available. If your kids insist on pizza, order thin, non-stuffed crust with pineapple or broccoli or grilled chicken toppings. If this is a Mexican restaurant order soft, non-fried tortillas as in burritos or enchiladas.

Eating Healthy When Traveling: tip 6 On the road snacks

Stop where you are likely to get a healthy sandwich or other snack. If your kids see a McDonald’s and holler for a stop, order the Egg McMuffin – it’s healthy and your kids will love it.

Some Tips to Eating Out Healthy

portion control plates bowls

Some Tips to Eating Out Healthy

  • Make careful menu selections when eating out healthy: Pay attention to the description of the items in the menu. Items that are deep fried or batter dipped or those that contain creamy sauces are high in sodium and trans fats. Choose dishes with lean meat, grilled chicken or go for a vegetable dish or soup. These food items will ensure that you are eating a good helping of vegetables and proteins that are good for you.
  • Watch what goes as topping and dressing when eating out healthy: Salads are the healthiest of foods if they are prepared with healthy dressing. Choose light vinaigrette on your salad or ask for the dressings to be served on the side. Also, you could substitute ketchup or mustard as a sandwich topping served on the side, so that you can control how much of it you eat. Avoid cheese spreads, mayonnaise or sour cream dressings.
  • When eating out healthily ask for specially prepared dishes: As mentioned earlier, items served at a restaurant would be healthy but for their method of preparation. When placing your order, ask for the dressings and sauces to be placed on the side. Order food items that are steamed, broiled or grilled. Vegetable dishes can be lightly grilled or cooked in canola or olive oil.
  • Be careful of the salt content in junk food: The salt content in restaurant food and takeaways is always on the higher side. Sodium is a major cause of high blood pressure, so avoid adding more salt to the dish.
  • Portion Control: The average portions at restaurants are usually very large, and so you end up consuming more than a thousand calories in one go, and your plan of eating out healthy goes out the window. Still, you might want to be a little careful to order smaller portions of the items or avoid fries as a side dish but instead opt for a salad with a light olive oil dressing.
  • If you aim to eating out healthy, avoid “All-you-can-have” buffets: Buffets will usually tempt you to eat more than you should; it is all a matter of self control. Don’t eat to get your money’s worth. Instead, choose fresh fruits and salads so that you would be eating healthy. Also, go for second helpings only if you are hungry.
  • Eat healthy and drink healthy: Your body needs at least 8 glasses of water each day, so drink water instead of soda with your meals. Sodas are another source of empty calories that your body could do without. For dessert, select a fresh fruit salad or have a tiny scoop of low-fat, sugar-free ice cream.

Important Tips to Eating Healthy

healthy kids portion plate
Important Tips to Eating Healthy

  • Our first tip to eating healthy is to include all varieties of foods from all the food groups. For good health, the body needs more than forty nutrients which are available from different food sources. Your daily meals must include plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables whole grain, milk and other dairy products, fish, lean meat, poultry and eggs. These are to be consumed daily in the right quantity depending on your body’s need for energy.
  • Our second tip to eating healthy is to maintain the ideal weight. A good diet is only half the battle won. To be truly effective a healthy diet must be supported with daily exercise so as to maintain the ideal weight. Your optimum weight depends on your height, sex, age and heredity factors.
  • Our third tip to eating healthy is to have regular meals and on time. It is important not to skip meals, especially breakfast. Skipping meals will lead to severe hunger pangs that can ultimately lead you to binge on food. It is equally important to have your meals on time. Breakfast should be as soon as possible after you wake up, lunch should be finished by 1pm and dinner should be before 7pm. This will help with the proper digestion of foods.
  • Our fourth tip to eating healthy is not to leave your stomach empty for long periods. Snacking in between meals is considered a good practice. Snack on healthy foods like whole grain sandwich, fruits, nuts and seeds in between major meals. This keeps the stomach full till your next big meal. If you snack between meals remember to eat slightly smaller meals.
  • Our fifth tip to healthy eating is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water keeps the body hydrated and helps you burn off calories. Cut down the sodas and drink plenty of water as often as possible.
  • Our sixth tip to healthy eating is not to eliminate certain foods from the diet. Each food item provides different kinds of nutrients to the body which are all equally important. If your favorite food is high on fat or sodium, make a conscious choice to eat the low-fat version or one that has less salt but do not eliminate it completely from the diet.
  • Our seventh tip to healthy eating is to learn to cook your own food. By learning to cook your meals, you can control the amount of salts, sugars and fats that you consume. Cooking your own meals would also limit the consumption of readymade meals that are high in trans-fats, sodium and other unhealthy items. It is quite easy to whip up a healthy dish of stir-fried vegetables in no time. Try discovering new recipes to prepare at home, not only will you enjoy your food, but you will be eating healthy as well.

Benefits of Eating Healthy

nutrition control system

Benefits of Eating Healthy

We are what we eat. Our food determines the how well developed and maintained our bodies and minds are. The level of alertness, whether we have the adequate energy to see the day through, whether we have the capacity to ward off diseases especially modern lifestyle diseases and lifestyle effects all depend on the food we eat.

There is a lot of misconception about the quality of the food we eat. Just because our burger has a nice thick slice of ham sandwiched within does not make it ‘good’. Nor is the deep fried chicken any better just because it happens to be protein. Quality goes far deeper than the source of our nutrients and that is what eating healthy is all about. So in this article we explain 5 great benefits of eating healthy.

First, a small summary on what healthy eating means: Eating healthy means including all five food groups (see our article on food chart), in your daily meals. Foods from each of the five food groups should be present in quantities that are right for your age, gender and level of activity. This also includes adequate quantities of water (at least one glass per hour). Also, eating healthy means reducing our intake of junk food to no more than once a month and that too, in vastly reduced quantity. Otherwise, a single junk food binge has the ability to undo all that you have achieved in the past one month.

Benefits of Eating Healthy – We look good!

When our meals are healthy and we have good levels of physical activity we automatically lose fat (not weight) and keep it off. The burning of fat results in bodies looking good and well toned. The reduced fat also reduces the stress on our internal organs especially the heart. Therefore, eat healthy to look good.

Benefits of Eating Healthy – Our skin glows in good health!

What is common between world class athletes like runners, and ballet dancers? Yes, they all have beautiful complexion i.e. healthy skin. The state of their health is visible by the healthy, blemish-free glow of their skin. Do you think healthy skin comes from junk food? No way! In fact, one of the first victims of unhealthy food is the skin. All that oil and fat seal off the pigments in your skin and does not allow your skin to ‘breathe’. This results in the dull, ‘dead’ look. So eat healthy for a healthy skin.

Benefits of Eating Healthy – A fully charged body!

There would have been many times you wondered how certain people seem to have limitless energy and achieve so much within the span of a single day. Their secret is good food and it starts with a healthy breakfast. Then a couple of hours later, an apple or a pear or half a turkey sandwich and so on. A balanced healthy lunch at the proper time followed by another tiny meal a couple of hours later and finally, an early dinner. Yes, these ‘busy’ top achievers know the relationship between food and their body and hence, take the time off to eat three well balanced meals in addition to two or three tiny meals consisting of either fruits or nuts or a sandwich. Not burgers, fries or hot dogs.

Benefits of Eating Healthy – Insurance against diseases!

A healthy diet on the one hand provides all the nourishment and nutrients that your body and internal organs need in the right quantity and on the other keeps away all the unhealthy foods. This ensures your organs don’t get clogged with fat and malfunction. After all, if we put rubbish in our car gas tank how far do you think the car will go?

Benefits of Eating Healthy – Restful sleep!

When you follow the principles of healthy eating, it means you eat a well balanced dinner at around 7 p.m. Assuming you sleep at around 10 p.m., you have given your stomach enough time to digest the food so that you are not uneasy when you sleep. Also, proper food means no bloating or unhealthy gases giving you sleepless nights. Good daily physical activity also ensures you are sleepy at the right time which when coupled with healthy eating at the right times, gives you good restful sleep.

Eating Healthy On the Run

kids diet and nutrition

Eating Healthy On the Run

We all have our ‘big days’. Days of high excitement when we know we are going to be busy and we are not going to have the time to even breathe. When we communicate this to our brain, it releases more adrenaline in anticipation of the extra energy that might be required. But we need to remember that adrenaline is a very short term energy booster – more like an instant burst of energy.

To really see us through our ‘big day’ we need a ‘long run’ booster. The best, cheapest and healthiest source of long run booster is high carbohydrate food. However, carbohydrate on its own will not do as it needs to be taken in combination with other foods so it can metabolize efficiently and release energy. Here then are our recipes for your big day and may it help you shine bright.

Eating healthy on the run tip # 1: Power up with Protein and complex Carbs

Start your big day with a healthy breakfast consisting of protein – think egg, turkey or chicken recipes. For complex carbohydrate think peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread. Top up with fruit juice.

Eating healthy on the run tip # 2: Add mini boosters

Two hours after breakfast, have a high-fiber, carbohydrate-rich snack. Something like half a cup of high-fiber cereal topped with nuts and half teaspoon of honey.

Eating healthy on the run tip # 3: Add traffic stops

Add small 10 minute breaks. Trust us you can do it – the World is not going to end during your ultra small 10 minute break. A break in your activity does not mean sitting down at a meeting. A break is doing absolutely nothing. Doing absolutely nothing for 10 minutes will not only help you overcome fatigue, it actually gets more done in the course the day. Think of yourself as the woodcutter who stops to sharpen his (or her) axe.

Eating healthy on the run tip # 4: Add a mini jog

Sounds strange, but this works very well. If your big day involves mostly sitting at marathon meetings or has little physical activity, take a 2 minute jog down the corridor. When you jog adrenaline and energy is released. And this serves as an instant ‘perk up’.

Eating healthy on the run tip # 5: Add a 3-minute Meditation

MeditateThe fatigue-fighting effects of meditation are too well documented to be ignored. There’s no need to be dramatic and add candles or incense. Just sit quietly on your chair and meditate on the activities up to that moment. You will not only feel refreshed but might also have a few brainwaves.

Eating healthy on the run tip # 6: Power lunch

Don’t skip it. It will hardly take 10 minutes. Give yourself either a whole wheat bread Tuna sandwich with salad or whole wheat bread Turkey sandwich with salad. Top up with fruit juice.