62 Nutrition Facts to Make Your Life Healthier
Many of us have health issues that we need to deal with, whether its being overweight, having high blood pressure, too much sodium in out diets, or not getting enough exercies, there are a multitude of facts out there that, if known, can help you get on the right track and live a happier, healthier, stronger, more energetic life with less health problems.
1. Learn how to cut back on salt. Too much salt in our bodies is quite bad for us, and can have a detrimental effect on our health, including causing high blood pressure, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Start by replacing your regular canned soups with the “heart healthy” kind that says it is low in sodium. Stop putting extra salt on your foods with the salt shaker – your food already has enough salt in it, and many food items come with salt added already. When you make your foods, consider using alternatives to salt, such as salt-free seasonings like Mrs. Dash, other spices, or hot sauce, black or white pepper, hot peppers, or whatever catches your fancy. Do the same when you sit down to eat – add alternatives to salt to season your food. There is no reason to keep using high amounts of salt in your diet. Keep in mind that your body needs a certain level of sodium, found in salt, and that too little and too much are bad for your health – you need to keep in a balance. Most of us have too much sodium in our diets.
2. Many of us eat a large amount of food for our holiday meals, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or Independence Day. When we know these meals are coming, we tend to not eat the meal before in order to give us extra “room” to fit all of that good food. This is a big mistake, and is actually quite unhealthy for us. It causes us to eat too much during that holiday meal, and makes our bodies go into overdrive to try to keep up with all that food. Think of all the work that the kidneys, the liver, and the pancreas have to do to keep up with our demands – we are never closer to damaging our internal organs than we are then. A better approach is to have that meal before the big meal, but to eat lighter, and perhaps have a snack of fruit – this will cause us to not be so hungry during the big meal, and save us from overeating.
3. Many people drink milk because of the protein content found within. This is a good and healthy thing for people to have, and can provide the protein portion of the diet that we all need. When you drink milk, keep in mind that you can reduce your fat intake, while still getting the health benefits of milk by replacing what you drink with one that is lower in fat. Replace your 2% milk with 1% milk. Or, replace your 1% or 2% milk with skim milk. You may have to get used to a difference in taste, but it will be worth it. Your body will start feeling better.
4. Many people eat when they are bored, which causes many of us to put on unnecessary weight on our bodies. When we do this, we are not eating because our bodies tell us that it is hungry and needs food; we are eating for emotional reasons. We are eating because we are trying to fill an emotional void that grew as a result of our boredom. But, there are other ways to fill that void than to do something that is not beneficial to ourselves. Consider taking up a hobby, or a project, that allows you to stay busy when you have plenty of free time, and don’t have anything else to do – this could be as simple as scrapbooking, building something, or developing a website, or whatever your interest may be. Another possibility is to call up a friend and have a nice chat, although you don’t want to burn out your friends with too many phone calls. You might consider getting out of the house to take a walk, or go to the store, or some park down the road. If you have lots of free time, and some funds on hand, you might try improving your own personal human capital, by taking some college courses, and pursuing that degree part-time. There are so many possibilities you could pursue that there is virtually no reason to eat when you are bored.
5. Many people turn to food to deal with stress and anxiety in their life, but this is not a healthy habit. It causes a lot of people to gain extra weight that they don’t need. If you are one of those people, try turning to something else that might actually be beneficial to you. Try going for a walk. Or, if you don’t feel like doing some exercise, turn on the TV and watch something funny. Going for a drive through the countryside might do the trick for you. Maybe going to the movie theater would help. Sometimes sitting on a park bench and listening to the breeze, the birds chirping, and the things going on around you can give you a disarming and relaxing feeling, helping to take the stress and anxiety away. Whatever the case is, find something to do other than trying to fix your problem with food. All that will do is make you overweight.
6. Most animal-based proteins are complete proteins, meaning that they have all 9 of the essential amino acids, but most plant sources, save soy and possibly quinoa, are incomplete. This means that if you are a vegetarian, or are trying to cut back on animal proteins and add more plant-base protein to your diet, you will need to combine different food items together so that they can complement each other and create complete proteins together. So, what plant combinations can provide complete proteins, and thereby complement each other? Rice and beans, corn and beans, hummus (chickpeas and sesame seeds), chickpeas and rice, soybeans (or it products) and rice, tofu and sesame seeds, barley and lentils, cornbread and beans, oatmeal with soy milk, or peanut butter on multigrain toast, are all ways to get those complete proteins by letting different plant foods complement each other. So, don’t let the fact that plant sources don’t provide complete proteins scare you away – all you have to do is find ways to allow plant sources to complement each other, and you are good to go. You really can get less of your protein from animals and more from plants.
7. Once you get to your target weight, make sure to keep up a close monitoring of your weight. Don’t be one of those people that throw your scale in the attic because you are afraid of what you will find. If you find that you have gained a little weight, start working on losing those few pounds immediately. Make some small changes. By doing this, you will make your job easier, and reduce the need for some more drastic measures if you gain a lot of weight. Simple things that you can do include: not eating desert for a week or two, reducing your portion sizes in your meals, or adding an extra 15-30 minutes to your exercise regimen, all of which can help you lose those few pounds, and get you to your target weight.
8. One of the best things that you can do for yourself, including for your health, maintaining a healthy weight, and improving your quality of life into the future, is by making a simple lifestyle change. This change is trying to reduce the sugars that you have in your diet – especially the kind that have nothing but empty calories. This includes not just regular sugar, but other items that work as sugars as well, including corn syrup, sucrose, glucose, fructose, barley malt, dextrose, and maltose. So, how can you reduce the sugar intake in your diet? Start by reducing or eliminating the soft drinks that you drink so often – try to reduce it to about two or less per week. Another thing you can do is to cut back on sweet desserts – these are loaded with empty sugar and calories. You can replace your breakfast cereals that are high in sugar with ones that are low in sugar. Replace your processed foods that are high in sugar with foods that you need to prepare yourself, with much less sugar. Try to eat less candy; in fact, get rid of the candy in your home, and don’t buy any more! Eat low-calorie yogurt with little sweetener. All in all, there are many things you can do to cut back on empty sugar calories, which help you to reduce your weight, keep you from gaining that extra weight, put less strain on your body by needing to process less sugar, and greatly reduce your chances of getting diabetes.
9. One of the best ways to reduce the amount of calories that you consume with your meals, lower your fat intake, and reduce your chances for being overweight, is to make a lifestyle change, and stop having dessert with your meals. These all tend to be high calories, and have no nutritional qualities, meaning they are empty calories. Ice cream, cake and pie are all loaded with high amounts of empty calories. If, on the other hand, you do decide to pursue that idea of a dessert, consider having something that is good for you, such as fresh fruit. If you can make a lifestyle change regarding what you do with that segment of a meal known as a dessert, your life will surely thank you.
10. One way to improve your cardio-pulmonary fitness level is by power walking, which is walking at a very brisk pace, about as fast as jogging. This can be better for your body and your joints than jogging, and can still allow you to get that exercise that you need to get to improve your self-image, your energy level, your health, your mental stamina, and take off that extra weight that you’ve been trying to eliminate from that work of art that you refer to as your body.
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