If you’ve read this blog very long you’ve probably read the basics of a health lifestyle and diet are plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercise daily, get plenty of sleep, and drink lots of water. Those basic building blocks to a health life haven’t changed. So keep on doing those things. However, here are some things about nutrition that you should be aware of and implement into your lifestyle if possible.
1. Just because the label says “whole grain” it might not be as healthy as you think. Don’t be tricked by “whole grain” cookies, cereal, and even some breads. A cookie is still a cookie and cereal still has a lot of sugar. Try to get whole grain sources from pasta, oatmeal, and popcorn. Whole grain bread is fine but make sure it’s high in fiber.
2. Don’t just eat a bowl of fruit or a smoothie for a meal. Fruit is good for you, but it’s all carbs and that means your blood sugar will spike and then leave you hungry and hour later. Complement the bowl of fruit with some protein such as peanut butter to keep you full longer.
3. Try to buy the “freshest” produce. Produce that has been on the shelf a long time loses it’s nutrients. Look for produce that is local and if you can’t find local then try the frozen produce section.
4. Don’t eliminate all fat from your diet. Your body still needs fat to help fight off disease. Go for an olive oil vinaigrette with your salad to give you the healthy fat you need. But don’t over do it.
5. If you have a craving for the sweet stuff, try a little bit in the morning. This will give you all day to burn it off. Plus you have more will power in the morning so you can tell yourself not to eat so much of it.
6. Eating health is all about preparation. It’s hard to grab fast food healthy food. So take a little time before the beginning of the week to prepare a few meals that you can take with you.
7. Under cook your pasta a little. Tougher pasta will make you chew it more versus the softer version where you gobble it down. You’ll probably eat less of it and it will digest better with all the chewing.
8. Kick out the sauces and welcome in the spices. Sauces are often packed with fat and sugar. To spice up your food try cayenne pepper, garlic, cinnamon, and ginger.
9. Don’t forget the coffee. A little coffee can do you some good. Skip the cream and sugar. I know black coffee is hard to drink, but once you get used to it, it’s not so bad. Try about 16 oz before noon and it can do a world of good for you.
10. Don’t be afraid of hunger. It’s o.k. to be a little hungry sometimes. Actually the first cues for hunger in your stomach are often related to hydration so drink water first and then if you still feel hungry eat a nutritious snack in between your balanced meals.
I know that’s a lot to take in, but if you can do some of these things or one or two at a time, you are going to feel better, think better, act better, and be healthier.
Here’s to Your Health!
Dr. K Bennett