Monday, September 28, 2009

Eating a Healthy Balanced Diet

By Rob Baldaro

It is recommended to eat small meal portions throughout the day and to not skip a meal. Breakfast is the most common meal to skip as most people either do not feel hungry early in the morning or they simply don't have the time. By eating regularly throughout the day the blood sugar levels stabilize and you won't get hungry. Eating regularly also ensures that you get all the essential nutrients that your body requires to stay healthy.

Skipping a meal or waiting too long for your next meal causes your blood sugar levels to drop, which causes you to feel shaky and weak. You will find it hard to concentrate on your tasks, your energy levels drop and your mood changes. It is the carbohydrates that determine your blood sugar levels and by eating complex carbohydrates you can help stabilize the sugar levels and hunger pains. Eating sweets, chocolates, cakes and biscuits do not help as they are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and cause your blood sugar levels to rise rapidly and then just as quick to drop.

To stop these types of sugar level fluctuations you should choose starchy foods that are low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index tells you how quickly certain carbohydrates will trigger a rise in your blood sugar levels. It is best to go for foods that have a low glycemic index count such as wholemeal foods and oats.

As mentioned earlier you should not skip breakfast because your blood sugar level drops at night so it is important to replenish your body when you wake up in the morning. You are also likely to snack on sugary foods like sweets or chocolates throughout the morning.

Lunch should be your largest meal of the day so you have the rest of the day to work it off. Try not to eat lunch that is high in carbohydrates as this will make you feel sluggish for the rest of the afternoon. Eat a protein rich meal with some fruit or a salad and that will also go towards your five a day for fruit and vegetables.

It is good to have a snack between meals, say mid morning and mid afternoon. Rather than picking up a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps, go for a low-fat snack like fruit, dried fruit, yogurt or some nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein and help you feel fuller for longer.

Finally drink plenty of fluid during the day, preferably water. Keeping hydrated will stop your energy levels from dipping and stop you from getting headaches. Try to drink about eight glasses of water throughout the day and cut down on caffeine drinks. If you start drinking the recommended amount of water from today, you will feel more energized and alert within two weeks. To maintain a full healthy life, take up an activity to compliment your diet like walking for 30 minutes each day five times a week.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

By Shael Berni

In a society where most of the food available can be more harmful to you than helpful, eating right can be quite disheartening. But not all foods available today are unhealthy, if you know where to look. Some foods can actually be beneficial to the body, especially the brain. But what foods are beneficial to the brain and where can you find them? What if you have a strict budget and don't have hundreds of dollars every month to spend on exotic brain foods. Well, brain food is more readily available than you think, if you just know what to look for. You probably have tons of brain food in your house right now and don't even know it.

It is a very well known fact that many of the foods we eat today might lead to many illnesses we could be getting later in life. Such illnesses may be heart problems, diabetes, cancer, even Alzheimer's disease. There have even been reports that the top 5 cancer causing foods are donuts, chips, bacon, hot dogs, and cookies. This can be a frightening fact, especially if you have children. But instead of feeding your children food that may be rotting their bodies, as well as their brains, there is plenty of readily available food that kids like and is good for them. So, let's dive right in.

Some foods that are great for the brain are obvious choices, while some have benefits that are not so well known. We have all heard of the benefits of eating fish, but it is also very beneficial to the brain. Fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids that help circulation of blood vessels, bring more oxygen to the brain, and lower cholesterol. Vegetables also have a long standing reputation as being healthy for the body, but they are wonderful for the brain as well. Vegetables have low levels of GI (glycemic index) which means they help slow down the sugar distribution in your blood stream, preventing a sugar crash, while providing more oxygen to the brain.

Some other foods that contain low GI levels are grains, cereals, rice, and spaghetti. Other foods that are great for brain activity are turkey, eggs, oatmeal, oranges even peanut butter. Peanut butter's high range of protein is excellent for brain health and brain development. That is why in cooking classes for kids the first thing they always teach kids is how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because not only do kids love them, but they're great for their brain health as well.

Milk and dairy products oftentimes have lower GI levels than fruit and are needed for proper oxidation to the brain. Also, any food with high levels of protein is great for the brain. High protein foods release high levels of amino acids which help to improve brain power. Two of these amino acids found in high protein foods are tryptophan and tyrosine which are considered essential building blocks of neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters serve as carriers sending signals from one part of the brain to another and are essential in high brain activity.

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to post it to your site or blog and forward this link to your friends. Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Healthy Snacks on the Go

By Felix Alexander

With the families always on the go it is hard to give the kids and you a healthy snack when you are riding in the car to a game or on a long family trip. You need a healthy snack to keep up your energy and focus so you can finish the project. Some simple ideas can save you money and make some healthy snacks that your kids will eat; you can also let them help make their own snacks. You can get the things to make your own trail mix, cracker sandwiches, and vegetable sticks and dip. You can make all of this for little to no money and here are a few ideas to help you along your way.

When you go shopping, go down the cereal isle and look for some cheerios and a box of chex. Now get an inexpensive bag of chocolates and a bag of nuts. If you want to save money then you might just want to get a bag of peanuts in the shell. These are a bit cheaper but you have to shell the peanuts yourself. Next, find some cheap cheese crackers and a box of raisins. Now when you get home you can mix all of this together and you have a big bowl of chex mix with all of the natural flavors and you got a lot more food for a lot less money spent.

You can really save a lot of money if you have you own garden. You can grow some carrots, tomatoes and some cucumbers to make a healthy and easy snack for you and your family. Wash the vegetables off with cold water and then let the kids munch away. You can throw in a package of crackers and some lunchmeat and you got a whole supper on the go for a miniscule amount of money out of your pocket. All you need know is a thermos of water or what ever it is you want to drink and you got a weight watching meal packed with the vitamins and minerals that your whole family needs to grow up healthy and full of energy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Easy Tips For Cutting Calories

By Callie Durbrow

In today's society people are very conscious of weight loss, dieting, and getting in shape. While these are very important to overall health and quality of life, many people do not go about this the right way. In order to get fit and healthy, it is important to develop proper lifestyle changes. Here are some quick tips on how to reduce your calorie intake in a healthy manner.

1. Look before you buy
• Check the food label

• Read serving sizes

• Avoid processed and packaged food

• Avoid sugar, starch, processed coloring and oils

2. Where You Eat Matters
• Select restaurants that offer healthy foods

• Choose small portion options or appetizers for your main meal

• Choose grilled or baked options

• Order dressings and sauces on the side so you can control the portion

• Skip the bread basket

• If you must have dessert, share with a friend

3. Cook at Home as Much as Possible
• Grill or bake meat

• Steam or grill vegetables

• Make enough food for leftovers

• Measure portion sizes- 1/3 protein, 1/3 vegetables, 1/3 starch (sweet potato, brown rice)

4. Avoid liquid calories
• Skip soda, iced teas, flavored water

• If you drink coffee, try to avoid cream, sugar, and syrup flavorings

• Drink water with every meal and try to drink a gallon per day

• Limit the amount of alcohol you consume

To cut down calories be sure to eat every 3-4 hours, snack on nutrient dense foods such as vegetables, proteins, nuts, and whole grains, drink a gallon of water per day, avoid processed foods, cook at home, and get into great eating habits that you can continue on for the long run.