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healthier diet for healthier lifestyle

Updated on December 18, 2010

althy diet does not mean eating of cranks and a particular fad. It also does not mean diet that consists of nuts, cutlets and never far away from the health food store.

But healthy diet involves choosing a balanced diet or eating plan. It is about eating well and can be considered both challenging and rewarding.

The challenge is your willingness to take on new ideas about food stuffs which you may not have been happy with for many years. The rewarding part comes when you start to feel the benefits of a change of diet habits.

Though we seem to hear contradictory information almost daily about which foodstuff are good for us, there is a general consensus about the main items.

For many years now there have been mounting evidences that our dietary regimes are not altogether beneficial. Illness such as heart disease, obesity and certain bowel problems have been shown to be linked to the kinds of food we eat. The consensus recommends that our daily intake of fat, sugar and salt should be reduced but our intake of fiber in the form of roughage should be increased.

Healthy diet habits need not disrupt your normal lifestyle, nor increase your budget. You do not need to go on a special diet or start eating strange foods. The changes you make will be almost unnoticeable, except for the improvement on your health that you will undoubtedly feel.

To get you started on your healthy diet campaign here are some basic questions you might like to consider.

How often do you have chips?

The calorie count of chips is three times higher than jacket   potatoes. This is due to the fat used to fry the potatoes.Likewise, any fried food will contain extra calories, so try to use the grill   or microwave more often.

Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less then 300 mg/day of cholesterol and keep Trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible. Keep total fat intakes between 20 to 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of poly-saturated and mono saturated fatty acids such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils.

How regularly do you eat fruits and vegetables?

Fruit juice has little or no fiber and its calories content many be high. Fresh canned or frozen fruit is often better. If you eat canned fruits, opt for fruit packed in water rather than syrup. For vegetables, select a mix of colorful vegetables each day. Vegetables of different color provide different nutrients. Choose dark leafy such as spinach, kale, collards and mustar, greens and reds, and oranges such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers and tomatoes.

In particular, select from five vegetable subgroups (dark, green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetable and other vegetables). If you eat more of fruits and vegetables, you intake of fiber and vitamins will increase. Fruits are also an excellent choice of snacks between meals if you are feeling hungry.

Do you have sweet tooth?

 All sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks are full of sugar. One of the famous cola drinks contains the equivalent of seven spoonful of sugar. Also, limit food and beverages that are high in added sugar fresh fruit, muesli bars, unsalted nut or low calories fruit drinks are for healthier alternatives.

Do you eat beef, lamb, or pork regularly?

When selecting and preparing meat and poultry, make choices that are lean or low fat. If you eat beef lamb or pork regularly you may be eating more fat that is really healthy. Try to base your main meal around chicken, turkey or fish dishes to reduce excessive fats intake. Fish oil has a lot of benefits. You can use fish such kippers, mackerel, and sardines. The oils these fish contain can actually help reduce cholesterol level in the blood


.

What type of cereal do you have for breakfast?

 Choose cereals that are low in fat for breakfast. Remember weet-abix-type cereal have a far higher fiber content than the cereals snap crackle and pop.

What kind of milk do you pour on your cereal?

 Full fat milk has twice the fat content of semi-skimmed milk. By changing to semi skimmed milk your fat intake reduces instantly and you will hardly notice the difference in taste.

If any of these questions about diet have rung a bell with you and you are prepared to make a few simple adjustments to your daily diet, then you are on your way to a healthier pattern of eating.

Finally, do not be tempted to do too much too quickly. A sensible approach to diet and dieting is called for. Try to incorporate these changes as permanent long term proposition.  

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