18 DecSmart Tips For Food Intake

Food-IntakeHealth problems such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity are often related to a poor diet. These problems used to affect mostly older people, but that’s not true any longer. More and more young people, including teens, are having diet-related health problems. Will they affect you? They don’t have to. By making healthy choices at meals and snacks, you can cut your risk and have more energy. Now that’s something you can feel good about.

Nature’s Super Snack

If you are looking for food that you can eat on the run, check out apples. Apples are nature’s ultimate fast food. They are delicious, easy to carry, low in calories, natural mouth fresheners–and they’re inexpensive. Apples don’t contain any fat, sodium, or cholesterol.

Apples are also a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps to prevent cholesterol from sticking and building up in the lining of the blood vessels. Insoluble fiber provides bulk in the intestinal tract, holding water to cleanse and move food quickly through the digestive system. Most of the insoluble fiber in an apple is found in its skin.

Apples have about as many antioxidants as other fruits and vegetables, including oranges, grapefruit, carrots, spinach, onion, and green peppers. The antioxidants help strengthen your lungs and lower your risk of lung cancer as well as fight the damaging effects of cholesterol. Apples also contain the mineral boron, which has been shown to strengthen bones.

Start off your day with a glass of apple juice, bite into a crisp, juicy apple at lunch, or spread peanut butter onto apple wedges for a snack. No matter how you eat them, apples are a delicious and nutritious treat any time of the day.

8 Habits for Health

Eating a healthy diet isn’t hard, but it might take some time to revise your eating habits. Listed below are eight habits for healthy eating. Put a star by the habits that you already have—and give yourself a pat on the back. Put a check mark by the ones that you need to fit into your life. Then work on one each day until all eight habits become a way of life.

* Eat a minimum of 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit each day. Serving sizes aren’t as big as you might think. You can easily meet your goal with 1 cup salad, 1/2 cup vegetable juice, and 1/2 cup cooked vegetables. A small piece of fresh fruit and 6 ounces of juice will meet your fruit needs for the day.

* Eat at least 3 servings of whole-grain foods each day as part of the 6 to 11 servings in this group. Tempt your tastebuds with 100 percent whole-wheat bread or pasta, or graham crackers. If you aren’t used to those flavors, mix them in with enriched grains and ease into the taste. For example, have a sandwich with one slice of white and one slice of whole-wheat bread until you get used to the flavor. Then switch to two whole-wheat slices.

* Eat 3 meals starting with breakfast, and 2 to 3 small snacks a day. Keep fresh fruits and vegetables nearby and enjoy them for your snacks.

* Eat a variety of foods to get the nutrients you need.

* Limit soft drinks. Not only are soft drinks full of sugar and calories, many pack a punch with caffeine. Sugar-free types are calorie-free, but don’t let them take the place of more nutritious beverages in your diet.

* Drink water. Start with eight 8-ounce glasses each day. If the weather is hot or you are extremely active, you’ll need even more.

* Limit salty foods. Salt comes from the salt shaker and is found in many prepared and processed foods. Read food labels for sodium content, and choose fresh foods whenever possible.

* Limit the amount of saturated fat you eat. Usually, saturated fat is solid at room temperature. For example, butter, stick margarine, and the fats in meat and cheese are all saturated. Limit your portions of these foods and you will automatically limit your saturated fat intake.

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