Food can be the greatest medicine or the worst poison for your body. It can bring optimum health or destroy your health. Educating yourself on nutrition is paramount to living a long healthy life. “You are what you eat” as grandma used to say. She was right.
According to the HHS ; Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States: about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese. Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death. These include heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. By making smart food choices, you can help protect yourself from these health problems.
The risk factors for adult chronic diseases, like hypertension and type 2 diabetes, are increasingly seen in younger ages, often a result of unhealthy eating habits and increased weight gain. Dietary habits established in childhood often carry into adulthood, so teaching children how to eat healthy at a young age will help them stay healthy throughout their life.
The link between good nutrition and healthy weight, reduced chronic disease risk, and overall health is too important to ignore. By taking steps to eat healthy, you'll be on your way to getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, active, and strong. As with physical activity, making small changes in your diet can go a long way, and it's easier than you think!
Many Americans consume less than ideal amounts of certain nutrients needed for a healthy diet. Even when you think you are doing good you have to remember that the food itself in todays word is often void of absorbable calories due to the soil being over farmed over the last few decades. Supplements can help overcome that and are critical for overall health, but we will get into that later on.
To get on a good road to improving your health through nutrition we recommend including the below listed components when developing your healthy eating lifestyle:
- A variety of vegetables: dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy and other vegetables.
- Fruits, especially whole fruit.
- Grains, at least half of which are whole grain.
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or
fortified soy beverages.
- A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry,
eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seeds.
- Oils, including those from plants: canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower. Oils also are naturally present in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados.
More than 75% of Americans are overweight or obese, often as a result of unhealthy diets and a sedentary lifestyle. To improve your health overall these foods should be limited in intake.
- SALT. ADULTS should limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day, and children younger than 14 years should consume even less. Use the Nutrition Facts label to check for sodium, especially in processed foods like pizza, pasta dishes, sauces, and soups.
- Saturated and Trans Fats. Less than 10% of your daily calories should come from saturated fats. Foods that are high in saturated fat include butter, whole milk, meats that are not labeled as lean, and tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil. Saturated fats should be replaced with unsaturated fats, such as canola or olive oil.
- Added Sugars. Less than 10% of your daily calories should come from added sugars. These are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. This does not include naturally occurring sugars such as those consumed as part of dairy products and fruits.
So what is the best diet not related to trying to lose weight or shred inches off your waist or reduce belly fat? Those are targeted diets not meant for health.
- Simply eat more vegetables, especially deep-green and yellow- orange vegetables.
- Aim for at least five servings a day.
- Count one cup of raw leafy greens, 1⁄2 cup of cooked or raw vegetables, or 1⁄2 cup of vegetable juice as one portion.
- Consume more fruits, try for at least four servings a day.
- Count one medium-size piece of fruit or half a cup of fresh fruit as one serving.
- Try and stay away from canned fruit and fruit juices. Frozen fruit is ok in a smoothie.
- Try and eat more fish, try and eat at least two 4-ounce servings each week. Remember to broil, bake, or grill instead of frying.
- If you eat red meat, do it sparingly maybe a 4-ounce servings once a week. Avoid other fatty meats, and processed meats like in sandwich meat deli packages.
- Stay with lean chicken and turkey, always removing the skin lean pork can be ok. Eggs, but it is best to eat the egg whites only. Cholesterol is in the yolk and very inflammatory for the body, including those used in cooking and baking. Use egg whites when possible.
- Include seeds and unsalted nuts in your diet. Nuts have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer in both men as in helping stop prostate cancer and women with multiple cancer locations.
"Eat CLEAN and LEAN!!!" is my motto. It isn't that hard with todays precut up, pre washed, and measured portions. Also, there are many healthy food delivery programs. Fad diets do not work. Just stay the course snd you will be fine.