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even dangerous. This article will explain how to eat a healthy, balanced diet for life and avoid unhealthy diets.
Determine how many calories your body needs to function each day. This number can vary wildly, depending upon your metabolism and how physically active you are. If you're the kind of person who puts on 10 pounds just smelling a slice of pizza, then your daily caloric intake should stay around 2000 calories for men, and 1500 calories for women. Your body mass also plays a part in this: More calories are suitable for naturally bigger people, and fewer calories for smaller people. If you're the kind of person who can eat without putting on a pound, or you're physically active, you may want to increase your daily caloric intake by 1000-2000 calories, a little less for women. Also consider that the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you need to function. The bad fats are saturated and trans fat. Someone on a 2000 calorie diet should consume less than 20 grams of saturated fat a day, and trans fat can and should be avoided all together. The good fats are plain fat, which you should eat about 30% of your calories in, and poly- and monounsaturated fats. Ads by Google Why Quit Smoking? Get the facts and learn about The benefits of quitting today www.nicorette.com.my
Don't fear fatty foods. You need to consume fat from foods for your body to function correctly. However, it's important to choose the right kinds of fats: Most animal fats and some vegetable oils are high in the kind of fats that raise your
LDL cholesterol levels; the bad cholesterol. Contrary to popular belief, eating cholesterol doesn't necessarily raise the amount of cholesterol in your body. If you give your body the right tools, it will flush excess cholesterol from your body. Those tools are monounsaturated fatty acids, which you should try to consume regularly. These are the good fats, and they help lower the bad cholesterol in your body by raising the good cholesterol. Foods that are high in monounsaturated fatty acids are olive oil, nuts, fish oil, and various seed oils. Adding these "good" fats to your weekly diet can lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. Consider sautéing vegetables in small amounts of olive oil, and grabbing a hand full of mixed nuts for a snack instead of a candy bar. There are also various supplements that contain these good fats that you can take daily.
Carbohydrates are important. You need to eat foods high in carbs since they are your body's main source of energy. The trick is to choose the right carbs. Simple carbs like sugar and processed flour are quickly absorbed by the body's digestive system. This causes a kind of carb overload, and your body releases huge amounts of insulin to combat the overload. Not only is the excess insulin bad on your heart, but it encourages weight gain. Insulin is the main hormone in your body responsible for fat storage. Eat plenty of carbs, but eat carbs that are slowly digested by the body like whole grain flour, hearty vegetables, oats, and unprocessed grains like brown rice. These kinds of food not only contain complex carbs that are slowly digested by the body, but are usually higher in vitamins and other nutrients that are beneficial to the body and they are higher in fiber which keeps your digestive system running smoothly.
Eat larger meals early in the day. Your metabolism slows down towards the end of the evening and is less efficient at digesting foods. That means more of the energy stored in the food will be stored as fat and your body won't absorb as many nutrients from the meal. Many American families tend to have their big meal at dinner time. The problem with this is your day is basically over, and your body's need for energy isn't as great as it is early in the day. This large meal, late in the day, can also make you feel tired, and who wants to feel too tired to have fun now that the workday is over? Try eating a medium-sized meal for breakfast, a large meal for lunch, and a small meal for dinner. Better yet, try eating 4-6 small meals over the course of your day. That keeps
your body fueled for the whole day without dumping a large amount of food into your stomach, which your body might have a hard time digesting.
Don't skip breakfast! Many people do because they don't feel they need to eat breakfast, or they just don't feel hungry first thing in the morning. Research shows that people who skip breakfast are usually fatter than those who eat a well balanced breakfast. Although you might not feel hungry first thing in the morning, if you skip breakfast you will feel extra hungry come lunch time, making you more prone to overeating for your afternoon meal. In addition, skipping breakfast makes your body think that you are starving. After all, by lunch time, you may not have eaten in almost eighteen hours. For the rest of the day after you skip breakfast, your body will store up most of the energy you get from food, instead of allowing you to burn it, in anticipation of food scarcity. Not only will this cause you to be tired during the day when your body isn't using the food that you ate, but the extra energy stored up will result in weight gain.
Make eating fun. Avoiding simple carbs and fatty foods doesn't need to be boring. Have fun not only with the food, but with the meal. Eating with family and friends makes the meal more satisfying than eating in front of the TV or in the car on the way home from work. You will also eat more slowly when enjoying your meal, which gives your body time to feel full before you burst a button; your brain needs about 20 minutes to get the signal that you are satisfied (To be More precise: It is a region in the brain called the hypothalamus) , if you eat too fast you will overeat, your stomach will get bloated and you will still feel hungry. There are now on the market a new type of "plates for eating slowly" that keep your food warm while you enjoy, these totally new ceramic "heat retentive plates" remain hot for more than 30 minutes to keep food warm and can be handled safely with the bare hands. There are also more creative cooking resources available to us than ever before. You can find great tasting recipes in magazines, books, and right here on the Internet. Eating baked fish three or four times a week can get boring, so do a little recipe hunting to find more exciting ways to prepare your meals. If you make of eating slowly a pleasant experience you will acquire an habit that prevents overeating and obesity
Buy non-fat or reduced fat foods. This is done not to avoid getting fat, because eating fat will not make you fat. And it's not about eating fewer calories. It's about control. Control what kinds of fats you put in your body. For instance, olive oil has many health benefits, so buy non-fat or reduced fat salad dressing and add a table spoon of olive oil to the jar. You'll have a salad dressing that tastes great, and is also better for your health. So buy the non-
fat foods so you can replace the missing fat with "good" fats. Remember, you do need to eat a moderate amount of fat each day. Fat is something that can be very deceiving. For example, if you're trying to lose weight, you're going to look for food with low fat content. However,there are some foods that have good fats. These fats are monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. These fats add calories from fat, and so does trans fat and saturated fat, so they combine, which can be confusing. It's important to look at the saturated and trans fat content. If you see 20 calories from fat on the label, but 0g of trans fat and saturated fat, that means that there is polyunsaturated fat and/or monounsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat are good for you. They protect your heart and increase 'good' cholesterol. It's good to have enough good fats, but all good things have to come to an end. Also make sure to keep in mind that sometimes it can read 0g of trans fats on the label, but can still have trans fats. Take a look at the ingredients list; if it says, "partially hydrogenated" anything, that means it contains trans fat.
Give yourself a cheat meal. Cheating doesn't mean pigging out on all the wrong foods once a week, it means enjoying a food you really love once a week. Have a couple slices of greasy pizza on Sundays, or a big slice of double chocolate cake on Saturdays. This cheat meal will help you stick to the change in diet, and in some ways it's actually good for your body. Special occasions, such as birthdays in the family, count as cheat meals.
Give up alcohol. The negatives of alcohol outweigh the positives. Don't be fooled by advertiser's claims that a glass of wine is healthy for the body. You can get all the benefits of wine with out any of the negatives from "grape seed extract". Even drinking a glass of 100% grape juice gives you more benefits than a glass of wine. (Although, both juice and alcohol contain excess sugar.) If you are serious about optimal health, you need to give up alcohol.
If you feel tempted to eat fatty snacks like chips, once you start eating the bag, it's going to be easy to give in. Do not buy them in the first place, and do not start eating it if others are serving chip, and you'll soon forget about those chips in the store and concentrate on other things.
Losing weight is good as long as you're still at a healthy weight. It's not good to be too underweight unless you're naturally small.
Acquire the habit of eating slowly; it will get you satisfied with less calories and willprevent overeating and obesity with all its consequences.
Reduce sugar Check the label on food for the amount of sugar they contain. If it's not a raw food and has more than 5 grams of sugar in a serving, don't eat it. Refined sugar has little to no benefit to you body. When you crave something sweet, reach for a piece of fresh fruit, your body will thank you for it.
Food Guide Pyramid
The nutritional guideline known as the food pyramid, and formally titled the Improved American Food Guide Pyramid, was published by the FDB in Denmark in 1978 and later adopted by theUSDA (United States Department of Agriculture) in 1992 to replace the earlier food groupsclassification system.[citation
The food guide pyramid suggested optimal nutrition guidelines for each food category, per day,
using a mnemonic graphic of a pyramid with horizontal dividing lines to represent suggested percentages of the daily diet for each food group.
Groups based on the Food Guide Pyramid
Carbohydrates are a source of energy that can be transformed into glucose, the form of sugar that is transported and used by the body, more quickly than proteins or fats]. A diet too high in carbohydrates can upset the delicate balance of a body's blood sugar level, resulting in fluctuations in energy and mood that leave one feeling irritated and tired. A diet too low in carbohydrates depletes the healthy glycogen (the storage form of glucose) stores in the muscles and liver.
A vegetable is a part of a plant consumed by humans that is generally savory (not sweet) and not considered a grain, fruit, nut, spice, or herb. For example, the stem, root, flower, etc., may be eaten as vegetables. Vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals; however, different vegetables contain different spreads, so it is important to eat a wide variety of types. For example, green vegetables typically contain vitamin A, dark orange and dark green vegetables contain vitamin C,and vegetables like broccoli
and related plants contain iron and calcium. Vegetables are very low in fats and calories, but cooking can often add these. It is recommended that people consume 2-3 servings of vegetables in a day. They may be fresh, frozen, canned, or juiced.
In terms of food (rather than botany), fruits are the sweet-tasting seed-bearing parts of plants, or occasionally sweet parts of plants which do not bear seeds. These include apples, oranges, plums, bananas, etc. Fruits are low in calories and fat and are a source of natural sugars,fiber and vitamins. Processing fruits when canning or making into juices unfortunately may add sugars and remove nutrients. The fruit food group is sometimes combined with the vegetable food group. Note that many foods considered fruits in botany because they bear seeds arenot considered fruits in cuisine because they lack the characteristic sweet taste, e.g., tomatoes or avocados. It is best to consume 2-4 servings of fruit in a day. They may be fresh, frozen, canned, dried, pureed or juiced.
The fat group is the least needed in the body. One must have these in small amounts and not much per day, if consumed. These are insweets and chocolate.
Dairy products are produced from the milk of mammals, most usually but not exclusively cattle. They include milk, yogurt and cheese. Milk and its derivative products are a rich source of the mineral calcium, but also provide protein, phosphorus, vitamin A, and vitamin D. However, many dairy products are high in saturated fat and cholesterol compared to vegetables, fruits and whole grains, which is why skimmed products are available as an alternative. For adults, 3 cups of dairy products are recommended per day.
Meat is the tissue - usually muscle - of an animal consumed by humans. Since most parts of many animals are edible, there are a vast variety of meats. Meat is a major source of protein, as well as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Meats, poultry, and fish include beef, chicken,pork, salmon, tuna, and shrimp, eggs, spices and herbs are also in this group. However, since many of the same nutrients found in meat can also be found in foods like eggs, dry beans, and nuts, such foods are typically placed
in the same category as meats, as meat alternatives. These include tofu, products that resemble meat or fish but are made with soy, eggs, and cheeses. The meat group is one of the major compacted food groups in the food guide pyramid. Although meats provide energy and nutrients, they are often high in fat andcholesterol, and can be high in sodium. Simply trimming off fatty tissue can go a long way towards reducing this negative effect. However, this tactic may prove to be ineffective, so large portions of meats are not recommended; 2-3 ounces per day of meat or alternatives are recommended. This is 3-5 servings. For those who don't consume meat or animal products (see Vegetarianism and Taboo food and drink),meat analogs, tofu, beans, lentils, chick peas, nuts and other high-protein vegetables make up this group.
Before the dietary pyramid that most of people have become familiar with was invented, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) published the first list of dietary recommendations. In 1916, the first food guide was published and named "food for young children". In 1943 the "basic seven" guidelines that President Franklin Roosevelt introduced was deemed obsolete because of its complexity and was replaced by the much more simple "basic four". This consists of milk, meats, breads, and fruits & vegetables. In the 1970s, there was a fifth group added, fats, sugars, and alcohol. People were advised to only have this on a restricted basis though. Then in 1994, after careful consideration of all of the different dietary factors, the USDA released the commonly known food pyramid that consists of four levels with different types of food on each level. However, a recent change has been made to dietary suggestions yet again by editing the food pyramid released in 1994. Many nutritional experts, like Harvard nutritionist Dr. Walter Willett, believe the 1992 pyramid does not reflect the latest research on dietetics. Certain dietary choices that have been linked to heart disease, such as three cups of whole milk and an 8 oz. serving of hamburger daily, were technically permitted under the pyramid. The pyramid also lacked differentiation within the protein-rich group ("Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts").Some of the recommended quantities for the different types of food in the old pyramid have also come under criticism for lack of clarity. For instance, the pyramid recommends two to three servings from the protein-rich group, but this is intended to be a maximum. The pyramid recommends two to four fruit servings, but this is intended to be the minimum. The fats group as a whole have been put at the tip of the pyramid, under the direction to eat as little as possible, which is largely problematic. Under the guide, one would assume to avoid fats and fatty foods, which can lead to health problems. For one, fat is essential in a person's general sustainability. Unsaturated fats from a natural source can actually aid in weight loss, reduce heart disease risk, ower blood sugar, and even lower cholesterol. These fats can be found in olive oil, nuts, pesto, seafood (including fish, shrimp, squid, and krill among many more) and avocados.
Also, they are very long sustaining, and help keep blood sugar at a steady level. On top of that,
these fats help brain function as well.
There are claims that the USDA was (and continues to be) unduly influenced by political pressure exerted by food production associations. Food industries, such as milk companies, have been accused of influencing the United States Department of Agriculture into making the colored spots on the newly created food pyramid larger for their particular product. The milk section is clearly the easiest to see out of the six sections of the pyramid. This makes individuals believe that more milk should be consumed on a daily basis compared to the others. Furthermore, the inclusion of milk as a group unto itself implies that is an essential part of a healthy diet, despite the many people who are lactose intolerant and choose to abstain from dairy, and a number of cultures that have historically consumed little if any dairy products with the exception of breast-feeding.
Four Food Groups
From 1956 until 1992 the United States Department of Agriculture recommended its Basic Four Food Groups. The government's Basic Four involved (1) meats, poultry, fish, dry beans and peas, eggs, and nuts; (2) dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt; (3) grains and wheat products (4) fruits and vegetables. This was omnipresent in nutrition education in the United States. In 1992 it was replaced by the Food Pyramid.
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