Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

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Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

The steps you take toward a healthier home food environment need not be extreme. Here are four small steps you can take today. 1. Ditch the sugary soda: It may seem simple, but for some households, this may be easier said than done. A Gallup poll, the results of which were published in July 2012, found that nearly half of Americans drink soda daily. This despite the fact that most of us certainly know by now that drinking it regularly, is not the best thing we could be doing for ourselves. While plain water is an ideal alternative, many other low-calorie or no-calorie alternatives exist that might soften the blow of a no-cola policy in your home. Club soda, for instance, gives the same fizzy feeling with no calories. Add a bit of lemon or lime, and you may not have the sugary jolt you had before, but you will still have a refreshing beverage in your hand.

2. Banish bad foods to the back:

Is it all too easy to reach for sugary snacks when you want them? Consider relocating these snacks to a less convenient area of the fridge, cabinets, or kitchen pantry. In their place, substitute healthier options—fresh-cut vegetables and fruit, refreshing yogurt, or whole wheat snacks. Knowing that the less-healthy snacks are still available may help make the switch seem less restrictive, but you will also know that a healthy option is always close at hand. On the other hand, some of us find it easier to keep the cookies and candy out of the house because our ability to resist temptation is too low.

3. Out with the white foods, in with the brown:

One of the easiest swaps you can make in your cupboard may be whole grain pasta and brown rice instead of their refined counterparts. These sources of carbohydrates are more filling and more nutritious, and they provide more nutrients with your meals. It may be an adjustment at first, but you might find that the change is worth making.

4. Capitalize on your free time to set yourself up to succeed:

When you aren’t hungry and have your food “wits” about you, prepare fruits, veggies, and protein snacks so that you can pick them up and go in the morning. Brown rice can be prepared, boiled, and frozen in individual containers and then warmed up during the week to accompany a healthy protein choice and some greens. Taking this extra time in advance helps minimize your excuses for not choosing wisely when it comes to nutrition.

Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”

Four Simple Food Environment “Home Improvements”
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Eating well and losing the pounds

Eating well and losing the pounds

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The Best Weight Loss Tips

Chapter 2: eating well and losing the pounds

Eating well and losing the pounds

1. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables that have high water content. These are foods like tomatoes, watermelons, cantaloupe, kiwi, grapes – you get the idea. All of those fresh and flavorful, juicy fruits and veggies are good for you.

2. Eat fresh fruit instead of processed fruit. Anything that is processed as more sugar. Processed and canned fruits also do not have as much fiber as fresh fruits.

3. Increase your fiber intake as much as you can. This usually means eating more fruits and veggies.

4. Veggies are your friends when it comes to shedding pounds. There are tons of options here, and you may even want to try some you haven’t had in the past. The leafy green varieties are the best, and you always want to work in a salad when you can. Salads are packed with nutrients as long as you don’t pour too much dressing on and load them with too much cheese. The leafy greens also have a lot of natural water.

5. Watch everything you consume from the food itself to what you top it with. Garnishments and condiments can sabotage a healthy meal because they are typically high in fat.

6. Set meal times and stick to them. Try to have your meals at specific times and eat them at that time. An eating pattern will help you to control what you eat and when you eat it. Also, it is better to have five small meals a day rather than just one or two huge meals.

7. If you must have a snack make sure it is a healthy one. If you travel a lot, try to find healthy snacks and not junk food.
8. Veggies make great snacks. They can get you through the hunger pangs if you have them. Carrots are great because they satisfy hunger, and they are packed with nutrients.
9. Counting calories is a good idea for those must-have food items. If it is a packaged food item, then it will have the calories on the packaging. Be sure to pay attention to serving sizes in terms of calories as well.
10. Work off the extra calories by the end of the week. If you feel you have splurged too much this week, be sure to get to the gym or go walking a little longer to work off those extra calories you have consumed.
11. Stay away from all things fried. If it is breaded, it is better than it is baked. Fried foods are immersed in fat and oil. Even after the excess has oil has been drained away, there is still oil absorbed into the food item itself.
12. Don’t skip meals. You should have, at the very least, three meals a day, but preferably five small meals. This will keep you from getting hungry during the day and overeating out of starvation.

13. Just like fruits, fresh vegetables are better than those that are canned. It is even better if you can eat your veggies raw. When you cook them, you cook away the nutrients. If you must cook them, try to boil them to the point that there is still some crispness to them. Also, don’t soak them in butter. If you can buy organic and pesticide-free veggies, that is even better.

14. Eat foods from all of the food groups each day. This is a great way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs, and it helps to ward off any diet deficiencies. Also, don’t eat the same foods all the time. Experiment so that you don’t get bored with the same old diet.

15. Try to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. This is the best way to give your body the jump start it needs. Don’t wait until you are really hungry. Breakfast is essential, but you don’t need to stuff yourself.

16. Eat more white meat than red meat. White meat includes chicken, fish, and some other fowl. Red meat includes beef and pork.

17. White bread is good, but high fiber multigrain breads are much better. These breads are another way to add more fiber to your diet.

18. Don’t worry about cheating, but don’t cheat for a meal. Eat sweets and your favorite cheat food for the flavor only. If you want dessert after dinner, share one with the whole family. You’ll get the flavor, but not the pounds.

19. Pork does not assist in weight loss in any way. The less pork you eat, the better off you will be when trying to lose weight. Pork has a high-fat content and includes food items such as bacon, ham, and sausage.

20. Limit your sugar intake as much as possible.

If you must have sweetener in your coffee and tea, try to find an artificial sweetener that you don’t mind the taste of. However, these things are not all that healthy either and should be limited as well.

21. Take it easy on the salt and try to cut what you use in half.

Salt is one of the main causes of obesity.

22. Opt for dark chocolate as an occasional sweet.

Look for a brand that has at least 70% cocoa content (75% or higher is even better). Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants but doesn’t look at it like a “healthy meal.” Try to have no more than one or two small pieces per day, perhaps after lunch or dinner, so you get the taste without going overboard.

eating well and losing the pounds

eating well and losing the pounds

eating well and losing the pounds

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Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer

Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer

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Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer?

Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer?

There’s some evidence that certain types of fruits or vegetables work against specific cancers. Examples include the following: Prostate cancer. Lycopene from tomatoes and cooked or processed tomato products, such as tomato sauce and ketchup, seems to be involved in the prevention of prostate cancer. In the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, for example, men who consumed several servings of tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato juice a week were less likely to develop advanced prostate cancer than those who ate one to two servings a week. This finding has been supported by studies that look at blood levels of lycopene and other carotenoids.

Breast cancer.

One problem with studying breast cancer is that it isn’t a single disease. It is several different diseases, each with its risk factors. One type, estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer, is particularly aggressive and more likely to be deadly. By combining data from cohort studies around the world, researchers were able to examine breast cancers by their estrogen receptor status. They found that consuming more vegetables was linked to a lower risk of developing estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. Eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have been linked to lower risk of developing breast cancer.

Colon and rectal cancer

There is strong evidence that the vitamin folate (also called folic acid) helps protect against colon and rectal cancer. Vegetables such as spinach and beets are good sources of folic acid and so can help fight these cancers. Today, though, with so many foods fortified with folic acid, the contribution of this vitamin from fruits and vegetables to protection against colon and rectal cancer may be dwindling.

Bladder cancer

Eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli has been linked with lower rates of bladder cancer.

Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer?

Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer?

Do fruit and vegetables help prevent cancer?
Ref

1. Boffetta, P., et al. “Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Overall Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 21 (2010): 529– 37. 2. Smith-Warner, S. A., et al. “Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Risk of Breast Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of Cohort Studies.” JAMA 285 (2001):769–76. 3. Hendrickson, S. J., et al. “Plasma Carotenoid- and Retinol-Weighted Multi-SNP Scores and Risk of Breast Cancer in the National Cancer Institute Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium.” CancerEpidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention 22 (2013): 927–36. 4. Giovannucci, E. “Tomatoes, Tomato-Based Products, Lycopene, and Cancer: Review of the Epidemiologic Literature.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 91 (1999): 317–31. 5. Farvid, M. S., et al. “Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Adolescence and Early Adulthood and Risk of Breast Cancer: Population Based Cohort Study.” BMJ 353 (2016): i2343.

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Too Much of a Good Thing Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

Too Much of a Good Thing Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

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Too Much of a Good Thing
Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

Too Much of a Good Thing
Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

Almost all essential nutrients can be toxic if you take in too much of them. That cautionary note likely applies to fruits and vegetables as well. Legendary biochemist Bruce Ames once pointed out that plants evolved to make chemicals that are toxic to insects and other animals that might eat them or to ward off infections by bacteria, yeast, and other organisms. Many of these chemicals are natural carcinogens when tested, but, as Ames pointed out, we have evolved multiple detoxification mechanisms to protect us. Some of these plant-made agents may slip through our defenses. And we have also altered the chemical content of the foods we eat, especially fruits and vegetables, by selective breeding for many characteristics, such as sweetness, that could increase the natural carcinogens.

Brussels sprouts

Many people like the edgy bitterness of this cruciferous vegetable. But this bitterness is sometimes a signal of potentially cancer-causing chemicals. In a pooled analysis of cohort studies, showed a modest increase in pancreatic cancer among people consuming Brussels sprouts three times a week. In a separate analysis, the high consumption of Brussels sprouts was also linked to a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. If you think about the unusual shape of the Brussels sprout, the tight packages of leaves that we eat emerge from the stalk, which would usually be covered with bark or spines for protection. The fragile sprouts don’t have anything like that, and so turn to a different defense mechanism: chemical warfare. Given what we’ve found, it makes sense to eat this vegetable not more than once a week while we wait for more data.
 As we dig more deeply into the roles of specific fruits and vegetables, I expect to see more of the unexpected. Plants may seem like simple organisms compared to animals, but their biology is complicated!

Too much spinach.

. This green leafy vegetable is a healthy, versatile plant. You can eat it raw in salads, use it as a bed for salmon, or sauté it as a side dish. But spinach is quite high in oxalates. The kidneys can turn these naturally occurring acids into kidney stones. The more oxalates consumed, the higher the risk of developing these painful stones. This doesn’t mean you should avoid spinach. But if you have had a kidney stone, it would make sense to limit spinach to a few times a week and rely on a wider variety of greens, most of which are lower in oxalates. You might also eat cheese or some other dairy food along with spinach because these foods reduce the absorption of oxalates.

Grapefruit juice

. This popular juice contains potent compounds that alter the metabolism of many drugs. Depending on the drug, these changes can lead to too much or too little of the drug in the bloodstream. If you take medications and you like to drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit, talk with your health care provider about possible interactions.

Too Much of a Good Thing
Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

Too Much of a Good Thing
Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

Too Much of a Good Thing
Could eating too much of some kinds of fruits or vegetables be bad for you? The answer is yes.

Ref

1. Taylor, E. N., and G. C. Curhan. “Oxalate Intake and the Risk for Nephrolithiasis.” Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 18 (2007): 2198–2204.
2. Koushik, A., et al. “Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer in a Pooled Analysis of 14 Cohort Studies.” American Journal of Epidemiology 176 (2012): 373–86.
3. Borgi, L., et al. “Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and the Incidence of Hypertension in Three Prospective Cohort Studies.” Hypertension 67 (2016): 288–93.
4. Wang, X., et al. “Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Mortality from All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer: Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies.” BMJ 349 (2014): g4490.
5. Bhupathiraju, S. N., et al. “Quantity and Variety in Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 98 (2013): 1514–152.
6. National Potato Council/USDA, U.S. per Capita Utilization of Potatoes, by Category: 1970–2014. http://www.nationalpotatocouncil.org/files/6414/4223/8719/Pg._76_US_per_capita_Utilization_of Potatoes_by_category_1970- 2014.pdf
7. Muraki, I., et al. “Potato Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Results from Three Prospective Cohort Studies.” Diabetes Care 39 (2016): 376–84.
8. Borgi, L., et al. “Potato Intake and Incidence of Hypertension: Results from Three Prospective US Cohort Studies.” BMJ 353 (2016): i2351.

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Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

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Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

Many people are afflicted with depression at some point in their lifetimes. Globally, it is among the most important causes of disability. Depression can be mild and brief or prolonged and severe. Seeking professional help is essential in any case. Maintaining overall wellness through diet and regular physical activity can help promote good mental health. One specific aspect of diet linked to mental health is the consumption of caffeinated coffee, which is strongly related to lower risk of depression and suicide. In both the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, women and men who consumed three or more cups of coffee per day had about half the risk of suicide compared with those who didn’t drink coffee. This isn’t surprising, because coffee has long been known to have mild mood-elevating effects. We also found that consumption of flavonoid-containing fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and juices, was associated with lower risk of depression.
In spite of the intense interest in the possibility that higher intake of omega-3 fats might prevent depression, the evidence for this is weak. Some researchers have hypothesized that higher dietary intakes of omega-6 fatty acids, found in many plant oils like soybean and corn oil, could increase the risk of depression by boosting inflammation throughout the body. But higher intake of omega-6 fats may reduce inflammation. In our research on suicide risk, we saw no evidence of a reduction in suicide with a higher intake of omega-3 fats or lower intake of omega-6 fats.

Many people are afflicted with depression

Many people are afflicted with depression at some point in their lifetimes. Globally, it is among the most important causes of disability. Depression can be mild and brief or prolonged and severe.

In spite of the intense interest

In spite of the intense interest in the possibility that higher intake of omega-3 fats might prevent depression, the evidence for this is weak. Some researchers have hypothesized that higher dietary intakes of omega-6 fatty acids, found in many plant oils like soybean and corn oil, could increase the risk of depression by boosting inflammation throughout the body. But higher intake of omega-6 fats may reduce inflammation. In our research on suicide risk, we saw no evidence of a reduction in suicide with a higher intake of omega-3 fats or lower intake of omega-6 fats.
Many people are afflicted with depression
In spite of the intense interest in the possibility

Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

Changing Your Diet Can Help Tamp Down Depression, Boost Mood

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