One healthy tip at a time!

Tip9
It is very important to include every food group (meats, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grains) in our diet. Each food group provides essential nutrients that our body needs for growth and maintenance. Eliminating any specific food group, that many popular diets ask for, may lead to quick weight loss but does not lead to a positive lifestyle change for long term results in weight loss, lower cholesterol, normal blood pressure, etc.

Make healthy choices:

– Eat lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish, and beans) more than red meat such as beef

– Eat more fruits and vegetables. Choose fresh or frozen instead of fruit juice, canned or dried fruit

– Include whole grain foods such as brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, oat meal in your diet. Read more about carbohydrates here

– Enjoy skim milk or 1% milk

– Drink more water and less sugary drinks

ENJOY in moderation!

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Should I take a multivitamin?

But what if, like most Americans, your diet falls short of the recommended intakes for some vitamins and minerals? Should you take a multi?

It depends how far you fall short. If your diet is merely “suboptimal,” there’s no convincing evidence that you’ll benefit from a multi. If, however, you have severe deficiencies (because of malnutrition, for instance, or absorption problems), targeted supplementation, under medical supervision, may be necessary. If you are living totally on junk food, no supplement— even one with dozens of components—can make up for the vitamins, minerals and other potentially beneficial compounds found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and the rest of a healthy balanced diet.

Are multis safe? There’s no evidence of harm from those supplying 100 percent of the recommended intakes (listed as Daily Values on the labels). But again, multis vary so much, it’s hard to give them all a pass. And some contain nutrients that can be dangerous in very high doses (such as beta carotene, vitamins E and A, iron, zinc, selenium or copper) or include herbs and other substances of unknown safety.

This post is quoted from an article on BerkeleyWellness.com: http://www.berkeleywellness.com/supplements/vitamins/article/should-you-still-take-multi?s=EFA_140701_001&st=email&ap=ed

 

10 Simple Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle

These 10 simple tips will help you and your family live a healthy lifestyle.

1. Start with yourself – be a positive role model for the kids, siblings, and everyone at home.

2. Do not buy “junk food” – If it’s not at home, you are less likely to eat it.photo 2

3. Have healthy snacks readily available– For example, washed and cut fresh fruit in the refrigerator, baby carrots and fat-free ranch dressing, fat-free yogurt, home-made smoothie, whole-grain pretzels, 100% fruit juice popsicle for the kids, etc. When I am hungry, I want something right away and it helps to have veggies and fruits that are ready to eat.

4. Stay hydrated! Many times we feel hungry but we are really thirsty. Drink at least 1500 ml of water a day (that is 3 of these water bottles).

5. On the road? Have healthy snacks (my favorite: a bag of mixed nuts) with you so you don’t have to stop at a convenience store or pickup fast food. Also, never leave your home without a water bottle.3water bottles

6. Don’t skip meals – waiting to eat till you are extremely hunger can cause you to over eat.

7. Avoid or limit sodas – these are empty calories that can easily be avoided. Get in the habit of drinking water, milk or 100% fruit juice.

8. Avoid or limit fast food – if kids insist on fast foods then help them choose the healthy sides from the menu. For example, instead of soda they can order milk and instead of fries they can order apple slices.

9. Park your car farther from the store entrance – every step counts!

10. Do physical activity together as a family – go to the park regularly or play your favorite sport together.
Remember: no one has to be deprived of their favorite chocolate as long as it is in moderation. There is nothing wrong with enjoying these foods once in a while.

Are Carbohydrates Bad?

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our brain.  Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend 45-65% of the calories from carbohydrates.  If we deprive ourselves of this essential nutrient, we won’t have the proper energy for our daily routine. Lack of carbs in the diet can make us feel tired, weak and light-headed.

When it comes to eating carbohydrates, here are two simple tips:

A. Eat the right type of carbohydrateThere are two types of carbs: simple and complex

  • Simple: white bread, refined rice or pasta, milk, candies, sodas
  • Complex: vegetables, some fruits, whole-grain, legumes (peas and beans), brown rice

Complex carbohydrates are a good source of dietary fiber and fiber is important for a healthy digestive system. Soluble fiber also helps lower cholesterol and slow the digestive system making us feel full. The feeling of fullness will prevent us from overeating. Simple carbs do not have fiber and are processed quickly in our bodies. But not all simple carbs are bad. For example, milk is a source of protein and carbohydrate and provides calcium that is necessary for strong bones.

B. Eat in proper portions:

Carbohydrates should be part of every meal in the form of whole grain bread, brown rice, fruit, and chickpeas, but in proper portions. Check out the link below to learn more about appropriate portion sizes.

portion-control-guide

http://www.webmd.com/diet/printable/portion-control-size-guide

ENJOY FOOD …in moderation!

Does Mediterranean Diet work?

People of Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy have healthy hearts and low rate of cardiovascular disease which is because of the Mediterranean eating pattern.

What is Mediterranean Diet?

The focus is on intake of fresh homemade meals consisting of: whole grain breads and pasta, fish instead of red meat, grilled and steamed food instead of fried, beans and soybeans, non fat or low fat dairy products and use of olive oil which contains monounsaturated fat.  It encourages whole grains, fruits and vegetables that provide fiber, and fiber improves motility and satiety. Refined sugars and high calorie processed foods are prohibited.

Ancel Keys, a nutrition expert, writes that the “heart of the diet is that it’s mainly vegetarian, includes far less meat and dairy than American and Northern European diets, and uses fruit for dessert” (Harvard Health Letter, 2008).

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

Does it work?

Mediterranean diet works because it is not considered a strict diet but more like a lifestyle modification and the person can enjoy different variety of foods.

Is Weight-loss likely?

This is not a low carbohydrate or a low protein diet. It is a balance of nutrients to ensure health, weight loss and satisfaction because there is no elimination of major food groups but only saturated fat, trans fat and processed foods are discouraged.

My Plate vs. My Plate

I know it’s not easy nor is it fun to count calories – you just want to enjoy the meal! USDA came out with the My Plate few years ago and I believe it is a great guide to eating healthy. It gives a quick visual of how our plate should look to be on the right track. It teaches us to enjoy a variety of foods in proper portions!

I decided to compare USDA My Plate with my plate. This is what it means to “Eat Right,Your Way, Every Day” – enjoy your cultural foods in moderation!

myplate

My Plate 1 labeled

  • Made half my plate fruits and vegetables
  • 1/4 of the plate was karhai chicken (lean protein) – popular dish in South Asian culture
  • 1/4 plate was nan – bread common in South Asian culture
  • Dairy – I did not have it at lunch but I did at breakfast

What one change would I try to make next time?

  • Make my bread whole grain

Theme for National Nutrition Month 2013 is “Eat Right,Your Way, Every Day

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