Tuesday, March 04, 2008

4 Easy Steps to Healthier Eating Habits

white pepper crabsHow many times have you heard of the saying, "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away," and yet how many of us are diligently following it. Most probably most of you will say, "Hey, I know that!" There is a saying, "To know and not to do is yet to know." There is another saying in Mandarin that illness comes from what go into our mouth. This is very true to a large extent. In order for us to have a healthier life, we not only have to exercise regularly, we also have to watch our diet. Exercises couple with healthy diet is a slow but sure way to lose that extra pounds too.

No matter what diet you decide is needed to address your personal health and body fitness goals, one of the best ways to ensure you succeed is to adopt healthy eating habits. This is not just about reducing your calorie intake or cutting out sweets, it is more about having an approach to food that will follow you throughout your life. It is about establishing a relationship with food that is comfortable and, most important, natural for you. The only catch is it will take practice until it becomes a habit.

1. Wide Variety of Healthy Food

Variety is the spice of life. If you have some variety in your diet you’re more likely to enjoy what you’re eating. So ensure that your eating plan includes a wide variety of foods. Choose foods that give you joy and eat them in moderation. Too much of anything isn’t good.

2. Eat More Fiber to Feel Full

A common complaint of many diets is that the portions recommended aren’t filling. Start incorporating more fiber into your diet. Not only is it good for you but it will help to make you feel full and satisfied.

3. Healthy Snacking

Part of the challenge of sticking to a diet is a nasty habit many of us have called unhealthy snacking. Retrain yourself to eat healthy snacks. The reality is you will continue to eat between meals and that is actually a good thing to do. Just ensure that what you’re snacking on gives your body much needed energy and nutrients.

The easiest way to snack on healthy food is to think ahead. Prepare fresh or dried fruit, raw vegetables with low fat dip or fill a small container with a handful of nuts or low fat yogurt. These are just a few ideas for some handy and tasty snacks that are easy to carry and will satisfy that “snacking” need.

4. Nine Servings of Fruit and Vegetables Dailyfruits and vegetables

Did you know that many health experts recommend that as part of a healthy diet one should eat up to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day? That works out to about 4 ½ cups. Not only can this approach provide delicious and energy boosting snacks and meals but these servings can help lower cholesterol levels. As well, for vegetarians and raw food enthusiasts, more fruits and vegetables means less room and need for meats and dairy in the diet. Reducing our meat and dairy intake reduces cholesterol-boosting saturated fat—an outcome that our hearts will appreciate!

Here are some pointers to keep in mind about fruit:

• Select fruits that are in season. This is not only a tastier alternative, since locally grown food is naturally fresher, but it is better for the environment as well. When we purchase locally grown food we help lower the demand for foods that must be transported cross country to fulfill customer needs. Less transportation = less fumes and pollution.

• Always choose fresh fruits whenever possible. When fresh fruits aren’t possible, choose fruits canned in juice or water rather than light or heavy syrup since this adds unnecessary sugar to your meal.

• Watch your intake of fruit juices. Many fruit juices have ridiculously high sugar content. Choose whole fruits as snacks rather than juice.

• Try to make it a habit to add fruit in salads, toppings, desserts and snacks, whenever possible.

Here are some handy tips for selecting and eating vegetables:

• Colorful vegetables (and fruits) provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals your body uses to maintain good health and energy levels.

• So when choosing green leafy vegetables the darker the better! Eat more dark-green vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale.

• Yellow and orange vegetables (and fruits) contain varying amounts of antioxidants such as vitamin C and when included as part of a low-fat diet may help to maintain a healthy heart, vision health and a healthy immune system. So eat more orange and yellow vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, winter squash and sweet potatoes.

• Control the amount of starchy vegetables (like potatoes) in your diet.

About the Author: For over 20 years, Diana Walker has assisted people like you in using natural, safe options for creating vibrant health and well-being. Get her gems of wisdom and healthy recipes mini- e-book via her free newsletter at: http://www.diana2.com

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Blogger M4M said...

Sound advice, and sure love the picture! Yum!

Diane Scott (oims)

9:32 PM  
Blogger Symphony of Love said...

That is one of the very popular foods among Singaporean, the white pepper crabs. If ever you get a chance to come Singapore. You must try out the Singapore's very own chili crabs. And usually we have black pepper crabs and butter crabs too.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great advice, isn't it funny how many times we have to hear what we should be doing before we actually do it? Especially love the fruits and veggies section...adding those to your diet can do wonders!

5:34 PM  
Blogger Symphony of Love said...

I agree totally with you on that Brandi.

6:04 AM  
Blogger miguel said...

Your right, too much of anything is not good. Its necessary to mix of your healthy eating with variety, and the same goes for your exercise routines. If you stick to the same routines, boredom will set in, including lack of interests, and your workouts will become less effective. Fine post! Simply, yet practical with excellent tips!

11:58 PM  
Blogger Symphony of Love said...

Yes Miguel! You have a great point there on exercise routine too. I do jogging about 3 times a week and I always feel great after a jog. And then it will be great if I can add in some variety besides the jog. I shall crack my brain on that. Thanks.

1:25 AM  
Blogger brainteaser said...

Thanks for sharing these things. Healthy living (nutrition, lifestyle) does us a lot of good.


8:54 PM  
Blogger Symphony of Love said...

You are certainly right brainteaser; healthy living. And yet it is something which most find it difficult to do. There are a lot of time when we know that doing something would be good for us and yet we do not do. For example, "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away." How many of us are doing that? Lets work towards a healthier life and support each other.

9:41 PM  

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