In our previous article, 6 HEALTHY HABITS TO LOSING WEIGHT, we discussed why starvation was not the right way to reaching your ideal weight. Today, we're tapping into an equally important topic: good nutrition.
Diets and losing weight are not just about burning calories, but also, and most importantly, about improving life quality and staying healthy. In fact, balanced nutrition can help you reduce serious health problems, including heart diseases and cancer. So what does proper nutrition refer to? It mainly entails eating a variety of foods to ensure the correct combination of nutrients, monitoring consumption of specific foods and beverages, and counting calories. As such, good diets offer a balanced nutrition that reduces cholesterol and blood pressure while helping with weight control.
Here's what a good diet should include:
· Carbohydrates. They are your primary source of energy. Your body breaks them down into glucose which can be used immediately or stored for later. Too much glucose, however, is stored as fat. Carbohydrates are either simple like sugars, or complex like starches and fibers.
· Proteins. Proteins help your body build and maintain muscles and other tissues. They also contribute to the creation of hormones. There are animal proteins and vegetable proteins noting that excess protein is stored as fat and too much animal protein can cause high cholesterol.
· Fat. Yes fat, you need it. It comes in saturated and unsaturated forms, and saturated fats can put you at risk of health problems. Unsaturated fat, on the other hand, is healthy.
· Vitamins. From helping generate energy to preventing diseases, different vitamins perform different tasks within the body: Vitamins A, C, and E help prevent coronary artery disease; Vitamin B-1 aids digestion and proper nervous system function; Vitamin B-2 ensures normal cell growth; Vitamin B-3 detoxifies the body; Folic Acid promotes the production of red blood cells; Vitamin D supports the absorption of Calcium, and Vitamin K helps the blood to clot.
· Minerals & Trace Elements. Both are used in many different body processes. Minerals, like Chlorine, help make your digestive juices. Phosphorus helps build strong bones. Your body also needs salt, but not more than 2,400 milligrams per day as it might raise your blood pressure.
Now that you know what kind of nutrients you should include in a good diet, here are 7 additional tips to keep it healthy and balanced as well:
1. Limit your total fat intake to between 10% and 30% of your calories. Less than 10% of your calories should come from saturated fats, and you should always try to avoid trans-fatty acids of unsaturated fats.
2. Eat your fruits and veggies. Consume 2 ½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits per day. When
making your daily selection, include as many colors as possible, as this will help you consume foods
from all five vegetable subgroups at least four times per week. You can also read our previous article,
FEEL ALIVE WITH LIVING FOODS, for more information about colorful foods.
3. Don't forget your whole grains. At least half of your grain intake should be whole-grain based, average of three ounces per day.
4. Drink milk. Consume at least forty-eight ounces of milk or milk products daily.
5. Go low-fat or fat-free. Keep in mind that meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products should all be lean, low-fat, or fat-free.
6. Favour fiber-rich (barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, apples, berries, pears, etc...) and potassium-rich foods (bananas, oranges, apricots, raisins, dates, potatoes, mushrooms, peas, cucumbers, zucchini, leafy greens, tuna, lentils, etc...).
7. Consume alcoholic beverages in moderation.
With these tips in hand, you're now set to customize your own wholesome diet that will help you lose those extra pounds, or at least put you on the right track towards reaching your ideal weight.
Till the next read, craft yourself a nutritious diet for a healthy and fit life!