What Are The Potential Benefits
When eaten in moderation, fruit can be a very healthy part of a nutritious diet. Some benefits from eating fruit include:
- Fruits contain fiber, which can help lower your cholesterol and encourage regular bowel movements. Apples, pears, blackberries, and raspberries are examples of fruits high in dietary fiber.
- Oranges, red peppers, and strawberries are examples of fruits that contain lots of vitamin C. This helps keep teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin C also supports the immune system.
- Bananas, guavas, cantaloupe, and mangos are examples of fruits higher in potassium. Potassium can help maintain a healthy blood pressure and regulate fluid balance in the body.
- Oranges and tropical fruits such as mangos are high in folate. This can help the body produce red blood cells. Folate also supports healthy fetal development. Looking for fruits that are low in sugar? Try these.
- Black plums, prunes, and all berries are examples of fruits rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants limit the production of free radicals. They can protect your skin and fight off illness.
Several nutrients that are vital for overall health are lacking in a fruit-based diet.
- B vitamins
- omega-3 fatty acids
Due to the diets highly restrictive nature, malnourishment is a significant concern. Your body might even go into starvation mode. This means that your metabolism will slow as it attempts to hold onto your nutritional stores and conserve energy.
This may mean giving up:
Food Choices Affect Your Mental Health
Its not just our physical health that can see a boost when we prioritize a healthy diet. Research shows that food choices also affect mental health. In a review published in July 2016 in Clinical Nutrition Research, study authors report that a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is associated with a lower risk for mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder .
How To Achieve A Healthy Balanced Diet
To achieve a healthy, balanced diet, it is important to eat at least three meals a day and not to skip breakfast.
Each meal should be composed of a variety of foods from each food group and portion sizes should be moderated to control calorie intake.
Limiting alcohol consumption is also recommended, the US guidelines being one standard drink per day for women and two for men with two alcohol free days per week.
The 2010 dietary guidelines from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture recommend that a diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugar, salt and alcohol should be followed.
A diet similar to the DASH diet is recommended to fulfil these requirements.
Calorie intake should also be balancedwith physical activity and sedentary activities such as watching TV should be reduced.
Hint: The MyPlate tool, developed by the USDA is a great tool for obtaining a more personal set of requirements.
The tool allows age, gender, weight, height and activity level to be entered to calculate more accurate requirements.
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How Can I Know What Nutrients I Am Lacking In My Diet
One of the best ways to determine what nutrients you are lacking in your diet is by taking a food diary. A food diary can be used as an effective tool for identifying any nutrient deficiencies that may have developed due to dietary changes.
It is important to know what nutrients you are lacking in your diet, and which ones you should be having more of.
Setting Yourself Up For Success
To set yourself up for success, try to keep things simple. Eating a healthier diet doesnt have to be complicated. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, for example, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed foods and opting for more fresh ingredients whenever possible.
Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what youre eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food. Youll eat fewer calories and avoid the chemical additives, added sugar, and unhealthy fats of packaged and takeout foods that can leave you feeling tired, bloated, and irritable, and exacerbate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, its important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing dangerous trans fats with healthy fats will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though , wont lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.
Read the labels. Its important to be aware of whats in your food as manufacturers often hide large amounts of sugar or unhealthy fats in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.
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Establishing Healthy Eating Habits In Children
If youre perplexed by the fact that Junior has declared he hates broccoli after liking it last week, or that he finds anything but chicken nuggets or boxed mac ‘n’ cheese offensive, youll be happy to know you dont have to force healthy eating habits on your child. What works better? Modeling those healthy habits yourself.
Home is where we can make the most impact on what our children are eating, says Heller. That means getting them involved in food shopping and preparation in age-appropriate ways. Make good-for-them food accessible by putting apples and oranges in a bowl on the kitchen counter give them a variety of foods to snack on when they get home from school and theyre naturally ravenous and make an effort to have family dinner together. The last point is especially important. Families who eat together generally consume healthier diets, including more fruits and veggies, and less fast and takeout food, according to a study published in November 2018 in JAMA Network Open.
Lean Meats And Poultry Fish Eggs Tofu Nuts And Seeds And Legumes/beans
One standard serve is :
- 65 g cooked lean red meat such as beef, lamb, veal, pork, goat or kangaroo
- 80 g cooked poultry such as chicken or turkey
- 100 g cooked fish fillet or 1 small can of fish
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup cooked dried or canned legumes/beans such as lentils, chick peas or split peas
- 170 g tofu
- 30 g nuts, seeds, peanut or almond butter or tahini or other nut or seed paste *.
*Only to be used occasionally as a substitute for other foods in the group.
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Work On Stress Management
Theres almost always an emotional component behind cravings. Sure, you really need the brownie because you like the flavor. Or your blood sugar is low and you need an energy boost. Youre more likely to grab the Cheetos or leftover cookies when youre upset or stressed by something.
Consider how you may be eating as a way to stuff feelings, distract yourself, or procrastinate. Try to be compassionate to yourself and do some gentle exploration. Practice redirecting yourself when you feel the urge to reach for food instead of doing what needs to be done, or saying what needs to be said.
Healthy stress management tools include:
- taking a walk or run
- talking to a trusted friend or family member
- doing something creative like painting
Experiment and find what works best for you. If your stress feels overwhelming, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. They can offer emotional support and suggest other effective, healthy, non-food coping methods.
How To Make Vegetables Tasty
While plain salads and steamed veggies can quickly become bland, there are plenty of ways to add taste to your vegetable dishes.
Add color. Not only do brighter, deeper colored vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but they can vary the flavor and make meals more visually appealing. Add color using fresh or sundried tomatoes, glazed carrots or beets, roasted red cabbage wedges, yellow squash, or sweet, colorful peppers.
Liven up salad greens. Branch out beyond lettuce. Kale, arugula, spinach, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are all packed with nutrients. To add flavor to your salad greens, try drizzling with olive oil, adding a spicy dressing, or sprinkling with almond slices, chickpeas, a little bacon, parmesan, or goat cheese.
Satisfy your sweet tooth. Naturally sweet vegetablessuch as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, bell peppers, and squashadd sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for added sugar. Add them to soups, stews, or pasta sauces for a satisfying sweet kick.
Cook green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus in new ways. Instead of boiling or steaming these healthy sides, try grilling, roasting, or pan frying them with chili flakes, garlic, shallots, mushrooms, or onion. Or marinate in tangy lemon or lime before cooking.
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How To Follow A Balanced Diet
- Start by reducing the portion size of unhealthy foods in your daily habits
- Try to prepare your home-cooked meals to have better control over the nutrition
- Look out for the unhealthy food ingredients and replace them with healthier substitutes, wherever possible
- Follow a proper routine for having your meals to allow adequate time for digestion
- Finally, avoid bingeing when you are not in the best of spirits as stress, loneliness, etc. create cravings towards junk foods
Don’t Eat Too Much Salt
Too much salt increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. Guidelines recommend that we should have no more than 6 g of salt per day. If you are used to a lot of salt, try gradually to reduce the amount that you have. Your taste for salt will eventually change. Tips on how to reduce salt include:
- Use herbs and spices rather than salt to flavour food.
- Limit the amount of salt used in cooking and do not add salt to food at the table.
- Choose foods labelled ‘no added salt’.
- As much as possible, avoid processed foods, salt-rich sauces, takeaways and packet soups which are often high in salt.
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Why Children Need A Healthy Balanced Diet
BNF Healthy Eating Week 11-15 June 2018
With Healthy Eating Week fast approaching, now is the perfect time to remind ourselves of the importance of healthy eating and how you can support this.
A healthy and balanced diet is important for all children, but even more so in a childs early years as it sets up eating habits for when they are older. Children need good diets in their early years as this gives their bodies a chance to properly grow children need carbohydrates for their energy and protein for their muscle growth and to strengthen their immune systems.
Did you know?
A recent survey carried out in the Leeds area found that around a quarter of British children under the age of 5 are overweight or obese. Worryingly, this means 1 in 4 children are already overweight before starting school!
It is recommended that we all eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day. However, according to the NHS most children are actually only getting around 3 portions, and many children will be having less than that. This is why it is really important for us to help and encourage all children in early years to eat healthily and to ensure they are getting their 5 a day!
What kinds of food should we all be eating to be healthy and why?
Advice for those choosy children during Healthy Eating Week
Food allergies and intolerances will need to be taken into consideration, here are some resources you may find useful:
Eating A Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.
This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
This page covers healthy eating advice for the general population.
People with special dietary needs or a medical condition should ask their doctor or a registered dietitian for advice.
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Why Should I Strive For A Healthy Lifestyle
In sum, the payoff of a healthy lifestyle is huge. Over time, when you make healthy decisions about food, you are at a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and even anxiety and depression. You will have more energy, feel better, and may even be in a better mood on a daily basis, says Samantha Heller, RD, a senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Health in New York City.
Again, it comes down to the length and quality of your life. In a review published in June 2017 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a healthy diet was found to decrease the risk of early death from any cause by 56 percent. Researchers defined a healthy diet as one that focuses on eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fish. On the other hand, a higher intake of red or processed meats increased the risk of early death by twofold.
How Aft Coaching Can Help You
Theres no one-size-fits-all strategy for following a balanced diet. Our nutritional needs vary from person to person, across the lifespan. At AFT Coaching, we offer customized solutions to help you define a nutrition plan that meets your bodys needs and your fitness goals. Our experienced team of fitness and nutrition experts is ready to help you learn to feed and nurture your body all the way to optimal wellness. Contact us today to discuss how AFT Coaching can help you meet and exceed your fitness goals.
Our parent company, AF Training Solutions, was founded in 2008. Since then, weve grown into one of the largest personal training and coaching organizations in the country. Currently, we operate the fitness departments for about 100 health clubs across the United States. As an organization, we have always had two main areas of focus the customer experience and company culture. Over the years, we have invested heavily in people, process, and technology to ensure that our customer experience is second to none.
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Think About What You Are Drinking
Many drinks, including alcoholic and many non-alcoholic drinks, contain calories. Think about what you are drinking.
- Choose healthier non-alcoholic drinks. Some tips: water contains no calories and can be both refreshing and healthy. Add a slice of lemon or lime to your water. Keep a jug in the fridge so that it stays cool. Also, think about switching your whole-milk latte coffee for a coffee made from skimmed or semi-skimmed milk.
- Keep alcohol within the recommended limits. Drinking above the recommended limits can lead to serious problems. For example, drinking heavily can damage the liver, brain, stomach, pancreas and heart. It can also cause high blood pressure. Also, alcohol contains a lot of calories and too much can cause weight gain:
- One unit of alcohol is 10 ml by volume, or 8 g by weight, of pure alcohol. For example, one unit of alcohol is about equal to:
- Half a pint of ordinary-strength beer, lager, or cider or
- A small pub measure of spirits or
- A standard pub measure of fortified wine such as sherry or port .
One Half Vegetables For A Healthy Metabolism
Vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients4, such as antioxidants. Vitamins and minerals keep our metabolism and organs running efficiently, which is essential for staying healthy. A number of vitamins act as antioxidants. These repair tissue damage caused by metabolic processes or some environmental pollutants. Vegetables, herbs and fresh fruit are also satiating while relatively low in energy, meaning they help maintain a healthy weight. There can never be too many vegetables on the plate provided there is a variety.
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Milk Yoghurt Cheese And/or Alternatives
Milk, yoghurt and cheese should mostly be reduced fat.
One standard serve is:
- 1 cup fresh, UHT long-life, reconstituted powdered milk or buttermilk
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 2 slices or one 4 x 3 x 2 cm cube of hard cheese, such as cheddar
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ¾ cup yoghurt
- 1 cup soy, rice or other cereal drink with at least 100 mg of added calcium per 100 ml.
If you do not eat any foods from this group, the following foods contain about the same amount of calcium as a serve of milk, yoghurt, cheese or alternatives:
- 100 g almonds with skin
- 60 g sardines, canned, in water
- ½ cup canned pink salmon with bones
- 100 g firm tofu .
Be mindful that some of these contain more kilojoules , especially the nuts.
Putting It All Together
A healthy diet will combine all the nutrients and foods groups mentioned above, but you need to balance them, too.
A handy way to remember how much of each food group to eat is the plate method. The USDAs ChooseMyPlate initiative recommends:
- filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables
- filling just over one quarter with grains
- filling just under one quarter with protein foods
- adding dairy on the side
But individual needs will vary, so the USDA also provides an interactive tool, MyPlate Plan where you can enter your own details to find out your personal needs.
Aim for around half your food to come from fruits and vegetables, around one quarter to be protein, and one quarter whole grains and starches.
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