Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Eat Healthy and Stay Fit

I came across this article and will like to share with my readers.

Health is important in order for us to do whatever we want to do. Do take good care of yourself.

Here are some tips for eating healthy at home, work, and elsewhere to help you get started. Try some of these ideas.

1 . Start your day off right!

Eat breakfast! Breakfast is an important meal and having a good breakfast just help give you the right start to your day.

Have a piece of toast with peanut butter, unsweetened cereal with low-fat milk, or a steamed bun with lean meat/vegetables.

Try livening up your cereal with some fruit like sliced banana or diced apple.
If you are in a big rush, take a piece of fruit to munch on during your commute (OK, OK– not on the MRT!)

2. Eat a variety of foods

Our body requires over 40 nutrients for good health. No one food or food group can provide you with all the nutrients, so have a variety of food to ensure that you are getting what your body needs. Use the Healthy Diet Pyramid as a guide for what to eat and how much of each type of food.

3. Eat more fruits & vegetables

Wouldn’t it be easier to eat something if it was right in front of you? The next time you go grocery shopping, make sure you stock up on fruits & vegetables. Then keep bowls of fruit on the kitchen table or counter. Reach for a piece between or after meals. Don’t forget to cook up those vegetables you had bought too!

4. Eat less fat & foods high in fat

What can we say about fried foods? They taste great, but are not great for you. They’re high in fat. Here is a few suggestions that will save your heart.
Deep-fry less often. Try grilling/barbequeing, baking, steaming or boiling your foods more often.

Use oils sparingly in cooking or when flavouring foods. Choose less saturated oils, try olive and canola oils which are high in monounsaturated fats. Watch those fast foods. Many of them are high in fat.

If you use butter and margarine, use them sparingly. Even better, switch to reduced-fat margarine or use a little jam/jelly on your bread, bagels, and other baked goods.

Use low-fat dairy products such as non-fat or Hi-Lo milk, reduced fat cheese, low-fat yogurt, or light ice cream. You’ll still get the nutrients and taste but half the fat.

If you like to eat meat, you can help reduce fat by choosing the leanest cuts. If you are preparing it at home, trim all visible fat and drain the grease that cooks out of the meat. Also take the skin off chicken and substitute meat with bean curd, lentils or dal a couple of times each week.

5. Watch those snacks

Why do we eat snacks? They taste great, they’re easy, and they satisfy our sweet and salt cravings. And, let’s face it, crunchy food is fun. However, some snack foods are high in fat & salt.

6. Eat everything in moderation

There is no "good" or "bad" food. As the American Dietetic Association suggest – All Foods Can Fit – as long as you have them in moderation. Too much of any food is bad; if you only eat vegetables and nothing else, that would be a problem too. And just because something is fat free or low fat does not mean you can eat as much as you want. Many low-fat or nonfat foods are also high in calories. Eat everything in moderation. Reduce, don't eliminate foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt.

7. Maintain a healthy body weight and feel good

Being overweight increases your risk for a wide range of diseases including heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Excess body fat results when you eat more calories than you are using up. If you are very active, you can eat more. However, if your lifestyle is sedentary, you need to:

cut back on the amount of food eaten;

choose lower calorie items; and

increase your activity.

Calories come from all food - protein, fat, carbohydrate or alcohol - but fat have the most calories, followed by alcohol, then protein and carbohydrate. To maintain weight, cut back on calories and be more active.

8. Drink plenty of fluids

Adults need to drink at least 1.5 litres or 6 cups of fluid a day! You need more if it is very hot or you are physically active. Plain tap water is obviously a good source of fluid but variety can be both pleasant and healthy. Choose also from unsweetened juices, lightly sweetened drinks, tea, broth, milk, etc. Coffee is not a good source of fluid as it acts as a diuretic (draws water from your body).

9. Get on the move

As we have seen, too many calories and not enough activity can result in weight gain. Moderate physical activity helps burn off those extra calories. It is also good for the heart and circulatory system and for general health and well-being. So, make physical activity part of your daily routine. Use the stairs instead of the lift/elevator (up and down!). Park your car a little further. Go for a walk in your lunch break. You don't have to be an athlete to get on the move!

10. Start now! - and make small changes

Making gradual changes in your lifestyle are much easier than taking a big jump all at once. To start on the road to healthy eating, pick one tip and work on it for a couple of weeks. When you feel comfortable with that, move on to the next one.

If you want to know how your current diet is, write down the foods and drinks you eat at meals and as snacks for the next three days. Check your diet again in 3 months & see if your diet has improved.

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