To be healthy, you need to eat the right foods. You also need to pay attention to how much you eat.
Benefits of Eating Healthy
Better skin, hair, and nails
Healthier cardiovascular system
Stronger bones and muscles
When you eat a healthy diet, you feel better, look better, and you have the energy you need to make the most of every day.
“One should eat to live, not live to eat.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Make Healthy Choices
Making good choices and eating a balanced diet will provide your body with the nutrients necessary for good health.
Fruit – Fruit makes a great snack, and it’s an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.
Vegetables – The more veggies you eat the better. Fresh and steamed vegetable have the most nutrients.
The USDA recommends that half your daily intake of food be fruits and vegetables.
Grains – choose whole grains. Whole grain bread and rice have more nutrients and flavor than white bread and rice.
Protein – foods that provide protein include meat, beans, eggs, fish, and nuts. Choose lean meats that are grilled or baked – not breaded or fried.
Dairy – look for fat free or low-fat dairy products, and choose yogurt over ice cream.
Treat your body well! Eat fresh foods whenever possible and stay away from high calorie processed foods.
Healthy Eating Tips
Eat a healthy breakfast. It will provide you with the fuel you need to function effectively throughout the morning.
Drink water. One of the best things you can do for your body is to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day.
Choose to be around people who have healthy eating habits. (It’s hard to eat healthy when everyone else is eating pizza.)
Diet and exercise go hand in hand. If you are active, you are more likely to eat healthy.
Choose healthy snacks, such as nuts, yogurt, fruit, and energy bars. They are filling and taste great.
Use a smaller plate. You can’t put as much food on a smaller pate, and your portions will look larger.
It takes about 20 minutes for you brain to realize you’re full. Eat slowly, relax, and enjoy your meal.
Can’t eat just one potato chip? Then don’t start. Pick up a piece of fruit instead.
Salads are great, as long as they aren’t loaded with cheese; croutons, etc. avoid high calorie/high fat salad dressing and order dressing on the side.
Break the habit of automatically munching while watching TV, surfing the web, etc.
Read Food Labels
Here are a few tips to help you become a savvy label reader.
Note the serving size
You might assume that a label is giving you information on the bag of chips you are about to eat, not realizing that there are 3 servings in the bag.
Avoid trans and saturated fats
Both contribute to heart disease and diabetes. Try to limit yourself to less than 2 grams of trans fat and 15 grams of saturated fat a day.
Check the calories and carbohydrates
Most nutrition calculations are based on a daily diet of 2,000 calories and 200-300 grams of carbohydrates.
Watch for hidden sugar
Sugar is often added to processed food to make it taste better. All of the following usually mean that sugar has been added: syrup, fructose, maltose, dextrose, glucose, lactose, and sucrose.
Beware of deceptive advertising
Many products use healthy sounding words like “all natural”, “lean”, or “low fat”. Read labels and decide for yourself is a product is healthy.
Your body uses calories for energy. Most young people eat between 1,500 – 3,000 calories a day. The number of calories you need each day will depend on your size, gender, and activity level.
If you take in more calories than you use, you gain weight. If you burn more calories than you take in, your body will use calories that are stored as fat, and you will lose weight.
Can you match the food to the calorie count?
Celery (1/2 cup) 80
French Fries (medium) 300
Ice Cream (1/2 cup) 10
Pepperoni Pizza (1 slice) 145
Snicker’s Candy Bar 105
“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” ~ Brillat-Savarin