Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

According to nutrition authorities, you're not going to find a "magic bullet" in the supermarket that will improve your wellbeing and protect you from disease. That one super food doesn't exist… you need a well balanced diet combined with exercise.

Your food choices combined with positive habits, such as getting regular moderate exercise and not smoking, can help you reach your healthful life plan. That adage-you are what you eat-is true! Studies show you will reduce your risk of developing heart disease if you reduce your intake of saturated fat and cholesterol. Watching your caloric intake is beneficial as well. Being overweight is linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers. As you reduce your intake of high-fat, high-cholesterol foods, design a diet for your well-being. Nutrition experts advise consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables and other complex carbohydrates, such as pasta. You'll enjoy satisfying and nutrient-rich meals designed for your good health.

In addition, eliminating a food group from your meals isn't necessary, and may, in fact, be harmful. Instead, vary your diet to include plenty of nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, grains, seafood, meat and poultry. At the same time, reduce your intake of high-sugar, high-fat and high-cholesterol foods that don't enhance your health.

Look to MyPyramid (http://www.mypyramid.gov), designed by the top health experts in the U.S., for customized suggestions to improve your nutrition. You're probably aware that meat, beans, nuts, poultry, eggs and fish provide protein you need to build, repair and maintain your body. If you're a woman, aim for 5 to 5½ ounces of meat foods daily; men can get 5½ to 6½ ounces. As an adult, include 3 cups of milk or the equivalent in cheese or yogurt daily to provide calcium and vitamin D for strong bones and potassium for healthy blood pressure.

Despite fruit's tempting flavor, you may not be eating the recommended 1½ to 2 cups (for women) or 2 cups (for men). Fruit is rich in vitamin C, potassium, folate and dietary fiber. And maybe you weren't a vegetable fan as a child., but don't let that bias linger in adulthood. Men, aim for 2½ to 3 cups; women, get 2 to 2 ½ cups a day to get adequate potassium, vitamins A, C and E as well as dietary fiber.

Don't skimp on grains either. Meals and snacks should add up to 5 to 6 ounces of grains a day if you're a woman and from 6 to 8 ounces if you're a man. Half your selections should be whole grains, such as breakfast oatmeal or brown rice. But you can still enjoy your favorite pasta and macaroni recipes using enriched refined grains, which are important sources of B vitamins, including folic acid and iron.