Food & Diet
- Published: Thursday, 17 November 2011 18:20
There are often small tweaks and decisions we can make with respect to our dietary habits that can have big effects on how healthy we are, as well as how much fat we retain in our stomach. Often, the combination of such small tweaks can lead to big gains that may help you lose that weight faster and become the person you want to be. Make sure you are following these tips!
1. Limit Fat Intake
Sure we hear this all the time, however, it is really important to watch your fat intake. You can do this by not eating out often and reading food labels. Some fats are good for you (in low to moderate amounts) such as those found in olive oil, avocados and walnuts. You will want to avoid foods high in saturated fats – monosaturated fats are those that are better for your body. This will keep your heart healthy and avoid trips to the cardiologist. Once your arteries are clogged, you’ve got a major problem.
2. Limit Sugar Intake
Sugar – it makes everything so good, but it has several drawbacks. It of course causes tooth decay, ages your body at the cellular level, and promotes free radical damage. Sugar is also known to weaken the immune system, making your more susceptible to colds and illnesses. You can start reducing your intake by avoiding sugar in coffee and teas – eliminate sodas all together and other beverages with sugars. Not only will you feel better - your energy levels will be more consistent and you will avoid sugar rushes - which cause an insulin reponse and will make your drowsy. Also, think of all the money you'll save by not paying for cavity fillings and those unwanted trips to the dentist.
3. Salt – The other white demon
Salt is so heavily used in some foods it is terrifying – salt, while needed in very small amounts is used heavily in cured and preserved foods such as cold cuts, frozen foods, and some cuisines. Chinese takeout restaurants are known to use exorbitant amount of salt in some of the popular dishes such as Kung Pao Chicken. Other cuisines are just as guilty – you can measure the amount of salt by reading the food labels, which is listed under sodium. Salt can you make you bloated – which can make you seem more out of shape than you actually are! Reduce your salt intake, drink more water, and you may notice a rather quick way to reduce your belly size. The next time you are passed the salt shaker, pass it up!
4. White Flour
White flour is used in a multitude of popular foods, such as white bread, sugar, pastas and several baked goods. It is not healthy for us because it is refined, which means the grain has been modified, usually by removing the outer shell or bran, the germ, and the endosprerm. These components all contain healthy vitamins and minerals which are not present in most white flour products. Additionally, some white flour products are bleached, which means you are essentially adding chemicals to your food. A large problem with white flour products is the sugar rush that gives you a burst of energy, and then also causes an insulin response which makes you drowsy and tired. This is turn can cause you to fall asleep, which of course isn’t very good for burning calories. Whole grain products are now available and should be consumed instead when possible.
5. Increase Fiber Intake
Increasing your fiber intake can promote and provide for a happy stomach. Fiber will make your feel fuller longer and restrain you from eating unhealthy snacks and foods. You can find fiber in a variety of foods such as legumes, fruits, and vegetables. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, make sure you are consuming both. With increased fiber intake, it is essential you drink more water, so that your body may process it. Otherwise you will have an unhappy stomach.
These five simple steps can dramatically help you start living more healthy. With today’s ever increasing amount of healthy choices, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Combined with a healthy total diet and exercise program you will be well on your way to achieving your health and fitness goals.