Healthy Eating Tips For You

April 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured




Healthy eating is difficult to achieve because we have so many health factors to consider and food choices to make. We know antioxidants are good for us so we want to eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables because they contain phytochemicals like carotenoids and flavonoids which neutralize the free radicals that cause the age-related degenerative diseases. We know that we may not get all the antioxidants that we need in our food so we take supplements to ensure an adequate supply of antioxidants. But what about the actual food we eat. One of the major problems with our modern diet is that the food we eat is a tasty combination of saturated fats and highly processed and quickly digested carbohydrates. However in the last several years, people have become so concerned about fats in their diet that they have substituted carbohydrates and avoided even the good unsaturated fats in lean meat, olive oil and other plant oils. Now everybody seems to be eating a medium- to high-carbohydrate diet without giving proper attention to the type of carbs that they eat.

Not all carbohydrates behave the same in our bodies. We have been told for years to avoid simple carbs like honey and white bread and eat complex carbohydrates that our body doesn’t digest and turn to glucose as quickly. However determining whether a food containing carbohydrates is absorbed and raises our blood sugar quickly or slowly is not at all intuitive. Scientists have done a lot of rigorous testing over the past several years and have found that white bread and baked potatoes raise our blood sugar level much faster than honey, jams and chocolate bars. These scientists developed a numerical index called the Glycemic Index or GI to compare the ability of different carbohydrate containing foods to raise the body’s blood sugar levels – or in other words the speed of conversion to glucose. GI values are determined by feeding human subjects who have fasted overnight a fixed amount of the food and then measuring their blood glucose levels at fixed intervals of time. Pure glucose is set at 100 and then other foods are compared to this profile. Testing is time consuming and the tests have to be averaged for a number of individuals. However these studies have yielded some surprising results such as the fact that the starches in rice, bread, potatoes and many types of cereals were absorbed and raised blood sugars very quickly but the sugars in fruit, candy, chocolate and ice cream did not result in prolonged rises in blood sugars. In other words many of the starchy foods had a much higher Glycemic Index than many of the sugary foods. Needless to say these results seem counter intuitive and have caused a lot of controversy in the food industry. The rate of absorption is very dependant on how the carbs are bound up with the food fiber and the particle size. For example less gelatinized products like al dente spaghetti and oatmeal have lower GI values and stone ground flours have lower GI values than finely ground flours. The fibrous coat surrounding beans and seeds stop enzymes from getting at the starchy carbs inside and will slow the digestion of grainy breads, legumes and barley. The acidity of foods also slows down digestion and vinegar, lemon juice, pickles and sourdough bread will result in lower GI meal values.

The Glycemic Index is important not only to diabetics but also to non-diabetics because we need to know what foods will keep our blood sugars on an even keel and not raise them too high and then have them plummet down again causing hunger. The slow digestion of low GI foods and the gradual rise and fall in blood-glucose response helps people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels and increase their sensitivity to insulin. Low GI foods will help healthy people delay hunger pangs and promote weight loss in overweight individuals. In addition low GI carbohydrates can reduce blood cholesterol levels and also reduce our risk of heart disease. High blood glucose spikes can result in oxidative stress leading to the formation of plaque that can cause atherosclerosis and even blood clots. So keeping our blood sugar levels fairly level and low seems like what we should be trying to achieve through healthy eating. How do we go about achieving this?

The first step is to look at what carbohydrates we are consuming and the GI levels of the meals that we are eating. Then we should try and ensure we have at least one low GI food in each meal to keep the overall meal GI close to 50. Most fats and proteins have no effect on the GI level of our meal because they don’t contain carbs. However watch out for saturated fats and too many calories. Let’s look at some meals and see what substitutions we could make. The GI values are shown in brackets.

Breakfast

Cut back on Corn Flakes (92), Rice Krispies (82) and substitute All-Bran (32) or switch to a cereal based on oats, barley or bran. Stop eating white bagels (72), white bread (70) or whole-wheat bread (77) and switch to pumpernickel (50) or sourdough (55). Fruits are mostly low GI foods and surprisingly orange juice (46) is very good.

Lunch and Dinner

Eat your colored vegetables and make your salad dressings with olive oil and vinegar. Avoid parsnips (97) and substitute pastas like al dente white spaghetti (38), linguini (46) or macaroni (47) for Instant white rice (87) and potatoes – baked (85), red-skin peeled and boiled (88). Except for parsnips and potatoes most vegetables have a low GI value.

Additional information on GI values can be found at the University of Sydney website http://www.glycemicindex.com/ or in the “The New Glucose Revolution: Shopper’s Guide to GI Values 2006.

A Practical Approach To Healthy Eating

March 9, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured




I have been doing push-ups five days a week for over 25 years. My arms are pretty strong but it did not happen overnight. I did not do push-ups for a couple weeks or months and then stopped. I had to make push-ups a habit if I wanted to continuously get the results I have.

Exactly the same holds true with healthy eating. You will never be healthy, eating healthy foods occasionally. You have to make healthy eating a habit if you want to obtain nutritional health. People jump on the “band wagon” of healthy eating when they read books or view websites that talk about nutrition. While many of these books and websites tell you what you should eat in-order to be healthy, they fail to teach you how to make healthy eating a habit. Thus in a short period of time when temptations come, people fall right back into their old unhealthy eating habits.

What is a Habit? According to Webster’s dictionary a habit is “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.”

Can you see that if we simply apply this principle to healthy eating we will be on our way to vibrant health?

Bad Eating Habits:

Bad eating habits do not develop overnight. For most people these habits began forming when they were kids. Thus one reason why many adults have a hard time breaking their bad eating habits is because these habits have been a part of their lifestyle for many years.

Why Do We Eat Food?

There are two main reasons why we eat food. One is to supply fuel for our body. The other reason is for pleasure. Unfortunately some of the foods that gives us pleasure are unhealthy.

Most people make their food selections based on what they see, smell or taste. Look at these three sentences: That pie sure looks good! That pie sure smells good! That pie sure taste good!

Notice that all three statements involve food and pleasure. However the food that is producing the pleasure (in this situation the pie) may or may not be good for you from a nutritional standpoint. That is why we need to be wise in our food selections and not simply leave it up to our sense of sight, taste or smell.

Eating Healthy Can Be Enjoyable:

Some people think of eating healthy as being boring and tasteless. I think that one reason they feel this way is because most of the commercial ads we see promote foods high in calories, fat, or sugar and only a small percentage of food advertising is done for fruits, vegetables, grains and beans. Thus if there was more nutritional education, more and more people would find eating healthy to be pleasurable and tasty.

How Healthy Eating Habits Changed My Life:

In 1998 my wife finally talked me into going to the doctor to get a check-up. I was not feeling sick but she clearly said that it was a good idea to get a yearly physical examination. Thank God I listened to her.

I have been athletic all my life. I run 18 miles a week. So when I went to the doctor I was not expecting to hear the bad news he gave me. He told me I had borderline diabetes.

Diabetes can be very dangerous if not treated. It is one of the leading cause of death in the United States. It is a disease of the pancreas that causes the body to stop producing the insulin it needs to regulate blood sugar.

My doctor told me that I did not need to be put on medication, however he suggested I start reading some books on healthy eating. That was the beginning of my path to healthy eating habits that turned my health situation around. Today I can honestly say that I am in excellent health. I feel great, I sleep great, people tell me that I do not look my age, I maintain a healthy weight, I do not take any type of medication, my blood pressure is normal, my blood sugar is normal, my cholesterol is normal, my immune system is strong, and the list goes on.

It is great to be in good health and I thank God for it. However I do not believe that I am healthy because of chance. I strongly believe that one main reason that I am healthy is because I take personal responsibility for my health. Making healthy eating a habit is a great part of this responsibility. Our physical bodies have laws that are governed by proper nutrition. If we violate these laws by consistently eating unhealthy foods, we are going to get sick.

Healthy Eating For Life

February 10, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured




We have all heard and read probably a thousand times about the importance of healthy eating. We have been encouraged time and time again to trade fast food meals for meals full of fruits and vegetables. For most of us, healthy eating is a matter of changing the habits we have carried for years. How amazing would it be if we did our children a favor and helped them to establish healthy eating patterns from the time of their birth?

I’m confident that the generation behind us would grow up much healthier and in much less need of major diet or fitness alterations in their adult years. The more we teach our children about the importance of healthy eating and the more we provide healthy options for them to eat, the better off they will be.

One of the biggest reasons that parents do not take the time to provide healthy meals for their children is lack of time. I mean really, who has the time to prepare a home cooked meal filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains every night? My suggestion to all busy parents is to realize how important the health of your children is. Only as you begin to make their health a priority will you fight for ways to provide healthy eating for them.

Establishing healthy eating patterns for children can be as simple as making some easy substitutions in your grocery shopping and menu planning. Trade whole milk for lowfat or skim milk and only get reduced fat yogurts or ice creams. Go for whole grain crackers and breads rather than filling your cart or their lunch boxes with potato chips or unhealthy snack crackers. Start their day off with healthy eating by only purchasing cereals and oatmeals that are low in sugar and high in essential vitamins and minerals.

Healthy eating is a matter of making better food choices. The next time your children beg you to get them fast food, do so only under the condition that they must choose from the healthier chicken or salad items on the menu. Look for ways to compromise as you bring healthy eating principles into your family. As the parent it is your responsibility to make sure that your children are developing healthy eating habits. There is no better time to do this than now. Your kids will thank you one day when they are still eating healthy as adults.

Advice On Healthy Eating To Help Kids Eat Better

August 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Tips


Looking for advice on healthy eating to help your kids eat better? If you are really looking for advice on healthy eating for your kids then you came to the right spot. help your kids We are here to provide you with healthy eating tips and advice that you can use to help improve your family eating habits. Most of us have a pretty good idea of what healthy eating is: lots of fruits and vegetables and not too much fat and sugar. But when it comes to kids, knowing what is healthy is only the start. And even if you shop ‘healthy’ it does not mean that your kid will willingly eat it.

There is hope. Kids need some extra encouragement and guidance along with a few of these strategies your kid is sure to eat healthy.

Be a gatekeeper.

It’s likely that the easiest way to get your kids to eat healthy is to remove the less-healthy options. Take control over what food and snack choices are in your home. If a kid is hungry they will eat it when there isn’t an alternative. Have you ever heard of a kid starving to death because his parents would not feed him potato chips?

Keep healthy food in sight.

As for those less-than-good-for-you foods, keep them in high cabinets and out of your kid’s reach. Arrange your refrigerator and cabinets so that healthy foods are the first foods that you see. If you choose to have some unhealthy options in the house keep them out of sight and you and your kids will be much less likely to choose them as an option.

Make healthy food convenient.

Wholesome foods, particularly fruits and vegetables require little preparation which is great for your ‘starving’ kid and you. Have a fruit basket at eye level on the counter at all times or have a container with carrots and celery sticks ready to go in the refrigerator. You might be surprised at how many more fruits and vegetables your kid will eat simply by having them visible and easy to grab.

Make learning about food fun.

Taking some of the mystery out of where foods come from can work wonders for some selective eaters. Prepare family meals together, have your kid mix the ingredients and serve the food to the rest of the family. Plant a vegetable garden as a family project and put your kid in charge of watering and picking the ripe vegetables. Kids that are involved are more likely to be a willing participant in the eating process.

Keep an eye on Portion sizes.

Parents often stress over how much their kids should be eating. Whether you are trying to get a selective eater to take a bite of anything green or limit the amount of dessert your sweet-toothed kid wants watching portions is necessary. Knowing the size of a healthy portion will give you some needed perspective. You can use the USDA’s Guidelines for Healthy Eating to learn about what a healthy portion is.

Set a healthy example.

Keep in mind that eating meals together isn’t just a great way to catch up on your family’s day it is also the perfect time to role-model healthy eating habits. Kids learn by watching their parents…That’s food for thought! So be conscious about what you eat and what you feed your children. Hopefully you found our advice on healthy can help your kids eat better. It is never too late to start on a healthy eating journey, it is good for you and definitely good for your family. Stay happy, eat healthy!

Health Benefits And Nutrition Value of Vegetables

February 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Information




Curious about the health benefits and nutrition value of vegetables

You came to the right place cause here you will learn about the true health benefits and nutritionn value of vegetables. For some particular reason, why the vegetables never got eaten was forgotten but not eating them is a common theme among the smaller set.
As we aged the idea of not eating vegetables tended to go out the window, simply because we knew that we should eat vegetables. Unfortunately, the idea and the practice rarely went hand-in-hand. Adults are no less likely to eat their vegetables then they were as a child. They just hide it better by eating them when others were around to appear as healthy eaters. Those often sited “studies”, however, saw through to the true eating habits of adults and reported that, more often then not, you’re not eating your vegetables or at least not near enough.

How much to eat

Any reasonable person knows that the government guidelines and those studies are about as realistic as a child forgoing chocolate. The studies indicate the need for 4 cups (9 servings) of vegetables per day, based on a person needing 2,000 calories per day. To some this might sound like grazing rather then eating. Unfortunately, the studies do indicate time and again that these nutritional requirements are about the right levels for keeping a body in balance with regard to all the nutrients it needs to function properly.

Which nutrients are important?

All of the nutrients found in vegetables are important in one way or another. Each helps in the functioning of the body. Some, however, are a bit more important for particular body parts then others. All are important; it’s just that some are just more important. As far as the studies are concerned, they tend to look at: Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron as the big ones to think about. There are other nutrients in vegetables that are just as important, but for the average person these are the big ones. Past the nutrients also consider that the Carbohydrates, fiber and proteins found in vegetables are important and things you need to consider in your vegetable and overall diet.

Why eat vegetables?

Vegetables have always been looked at as healthy food that is really good for our health and body. Consider that eating is like putting gas in your car. You need it to make the car go. Food is the gas for the body. Don’t eat it and you won’t go. Any food will do, it’s just that some gas blends are better then others. Put a low grade gas in your tank like McDonalds and eventually the engine is going to start running rough. Put a better grade fuel in your tank and the engine will run smoother without hick-ups. The problem is, every once and a while every engine gets hick-ups. Vegetables are a better grade of gas that helps to prevent hick-ups. From these studies that have been talked about, heart hick-ups are the area where vegetables have proven, through very reliable studies, to prevent hick-ups. There are other hick-ups where some have suggested that vegetables help with preventing hick-ups like cancer, but the very reliable studies cannot say 100%, or close to it, that this is so. The heart, however, is very reliably linked to vegetables and heart health.

Which vegetable to eat

Considering the number of vegetables found around the world and the way that they fit into differing regional cultures, it would be fairly difficult to list the seven best or worst vegetables and their nutrient values. What can be done is to pick seven vegetables that might represent seven types of vegetables, with particular nutrient values associated with them.

Leafy greens

This group of vegetables is the absolutely most important type of vegetable that a person could eat for overall health and general heart health. This is a hands down eat it every single day; the darker the leaf the better in a general sense. Heart health is where you will find the most benefit. There are many of these vegetables but Kale is the one most often mentioned from a nutritional, cooking and taste perspective to try. For 100g it has 450mg of potassium, 180% of recommended daily requirements (RDR) for vitamin A, 200% of RDR of vitamin C, 15% RDR of calcium and 19% of DRR of Iron.

Medium green bell pepper

The green bell pepper is a bit short on its calcium <2% RDR Calcium and 4% RDR of Iron but it is solid in Vitamin C with RDR of 180%. Potassium is at about mid-point at 210mg. 3 medium spears Broccoli Broccoli is also a bit short on Calcium and Iron because of its water composition at 4%RDR but is mid-pack on Potassium 300mg and 30%RDR vitamin A, at 140% RDR of vitamin C it is a bit higher then other vegetables. 1 medium carrot Carrots are a good vitamin source for potassium and vitamin A at 270mg of potassium and 270 RDR Vitamin A but low at 2% and 0% for Calcium and Iron respectively. 1 cup butternut squash Squash is above mid-pack with 4490mg Potassium, 220% RDR Vitamin A, 50% RDR Vitamin C and 6% RDR for Calcium and Iron. 3 medium Roma tomatoes Tomatoes are big on Potassium at 410mg and lower on other Vitamins and minerals at less then 60%RDR. As you can see, vegetables have great health benefits and good nutrition value in them. If you are out food shopping, remember to grab a few of these nutritious veggies and start getting into your health. if you want to get more nutrition facts on vegetables, see the nutrition chart for vegetables on the site below. Click Here --> Vegetable Nutrition Chart Link

Healthy Eating Information: Fruits and Vegetables For Better Health

January 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Information




Do you get healthy by eating more fruits and vegetables?

We all have heard at one time or another that eating more fruits and vegetables is actually good for our health. We also may have read that fruits and vegetables contain great nutrients like vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and much more. While it is common to see scientific studies on how health can be improved by using certain, particular supplements of vitamins and minerals it is not the same for the real McCoy. In other word, eating or drinking fresh fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals is way better than taking vitamins and minerals in a pill or capsule form.

How true? Ask yourself and do a goggle search (or a PUB Med or any advanced search of scientific articles) about how many times you see a study–any study–on a particular fruit or vegetable that comes out proving some health improvement. Not a group, but a particular fruit or vegetable. And proof of health, not disease (this is an important distinction).

We are talking about real science here not just made up stuff from some science nut or health nut. And we are talking about real fruits and vegetables like a particular apple or broccoli as opposed to a group of fruits or vegetables. In other words we are talking about something very concrete and not at all abstract–this is where real scientific study comes in very handy: such study is not abstract or it is not science. And, importantly, if I can prove it and you cannot, it is not scientifically provable. Period.

How many? Which vegetable? Which fruit?

There are plenty of promoters of eating fresh fruits and vegetables and many of them provide solid credentials like the Harvard, Tufts, Eat 5 a day, and so on (for a really good goggle search try vegetables and health or fruits and health).

For example, the Harvard site cites the latest dietary guidelines that, “call for five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day, depending on one’s caloric intake. For a person who needs 2,000 calories a day to maintain weight and health, this translates into nine servings, or 4½ cups per day.” The citation for this is The USDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is a helpful abstraction but not a particular guide to particular fruits and vegetables and how they can promote your health.

But most of what these prestigious institutions promote is air–no scientific studies demonstrating the health effects of a single fruit or vegetable could be found on the Harvard site, not one. True, it’s nice air, but air nevertheless.

Now we are not talking about the genuine research on fruits and vegetables like this one listed in Pub Med, “Electron beam and gamma irradiation effectively reduce Listeria monocytogenes populations on chopped romaine lettuce”, (J Food Prot. 2006 Mar;69(3):570-4, for those who need to know) . This kind of research is not after the health promoting effects of eating, in this case, romaine lettuce. And it does not pretend to be anything other than what it is.

Of course sites promoting the health benefits of eating of fruits and vegetables could be hiding the scientific studies and don’t want to bother their visitors with all those numbers and scientific names for turnips or plums. Or farmers who grow the really good stuff and how to buy them.

I remember a study concerning folate and green leafy vegetables and some kids on an island in the South Pacific. The study, a genuine scientific study, had to be halted because the scientists found that the children in the study could not get enough folate for their diets from the fresh vegetables because the vegetables themselves were deficient. So the study stopped because, ethically, depriving the children’s diet of this essential ingredient could hurt them–especially when the science proved the children would be deficient on a natural diet. So much for the health promoting benefits of this entire group of vegetables–and I have not seen another study to refute this single isolated, particular controlled scientific study on green leafy vegetable and exactly how they promote health in humans.

So how do you know if the fruits or vegetables you eat can really promote better health? Simple answer is you don’t. But then again, if you stopped eating fruits and vegetables what would happen? Could be all those diseases they write about in Pub Med and cited by the Tufts nutritionists and become the cover story about our fat nation for Time Magazine: eat your fruits and veggies and stay healthy or until we know, for sure, something different.