Sensible diet tips
Categories Advice, Diet, Health

Sensible Diet Tips

Sensible Diet Tips

Start your diet with a food diary, record everything you eat,
what you were doing at the time, and how you felt.

Instead of eating the forbidden piece of candy, brush your teeth.
If you’re about to cheat, allow yourself a treat, then eat only
half a bite and throw the other half away.

When hunger hits, wait 10 minutes before eating and see if it
passes. Set attainable goals. Don’t say, “I want to lose 50
pounds.” Say, “I want to lose 5 pounds a month.” Get enough
sleep but not too much. Try to avoid sugar. Highly sweetened
foods tend to make you crave more.

Drink six to eight glasses of water a day. Water itself helps
cut down on water retention because it acts as a diuretic. Taken
before meals, it dulls the appetite by giving you that “full
feeling.” Diet with a buddy. Support groups are important, and
caring people can help one another succeed. Start your own, even
with just one other person.

Substitute activity for eating. When the cravings hit, go to the
“Y” or health club if possible; or dust, or walk around the block.
This is especially helpful if you eat out of anger.

If the pie on the counter is just too great a temptation and you
don’t want to throw it away, freeze it. If you’re a late-night
eater, have a carbohydrate, such as a slice of bread of a cracker,
before bedtime to cut down on cravings. Keep an orange slice or
a glass of water by your bed to quiet the hunger pangs that wake
you up.

If you use food as a reward, establish a new reward system. Buy
yourself a non-edible reward. Write down everything you eat – –
everything – including what you taste when you cook. If you
monitor what you eat, you can’t go off your diet.

Weigh yourself once a week at the same time. Your weight
fluctuates constantly and you can weigh more at night than you did
in the morning, a downer if you stuck to your diet all day. Make
dining an event. East from your own special plate, on your own
special placemat, and borrow the Japanese art of food arranging to
make your meal, no matter how meager, look lovely. This is a trick
that helps chronic over-eaters and bingers pay attention to their
food instead of consuming it unconsciously.

Don’t shop when you’re hungry. You’ll only buy more fattening
food. Avoid finger foods that are easy to eat in large amounts.
Avoid consuming large quantities of fattening liquids, which are so
easy to overdo. And this includes alcoholic beverages.

Keep plenty of crunchy foods like raw vegetables and air-popped
fat-free popcorn on hand. They’re high in fiber, satisfying and
filling. Leave something on your plate, even if you are a charter
member of the Clean The Plate Club. It’s a good sign that you can
stop eating when you want to, not just when your plate is empty.

Lose weight for yourself, not to please your husband, your parents
or your friends. Make the kitchen off-limits at any time other
than mealtime. Always eat at the table, never in front of the TV
set or with the radio on. Concentrate on eating every mouthful
slowly and savoring each morsel. Chew everything from 10 to 20
times and count! Never skip meals. carbohydrate, such as a slice
of bread of a cracker, before bedtime to cut down on cravings.

Categories Diet

Safeguarding Your Food

Safeguarding Your Food

Every year, an estimated 7 million Americans suffer from cases
of foodborne illness. Some cases are violent and even result
in death. Of course this is commonly known as “food poisoning.”
The culprit is food that has dangerously high levels of bacteria
due to improper cooking or handling.

Food safety is usually taken for granted by the buying public but
everyone’s attention was recently directed to food poisoning
involving some meat that was undercooked. It was determined that
the problem never would have happened if the meat had been cooked
properly. E.Coli 0157.H7 is a potent virus, but it can be
completely destroyed when the meat is fully cooked.

It is important for consumers to take an all-around safety approach
to purchasing, storing and preparing both traditional and new meat
and poultry products. Ultimately, consumers and food handlers bear
the responsibility for keeping food safe once it leaves the store.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 85 percent
of foodborne illness cases could be avoided each year if consumers
would handle food properly. The most common foodborne illnesses
are caused by a combination of bacteria, naturally present in the
environment, and food handling mistakes. Ironically, these are
also the easiest types of foodborne illnesses to prevent. Proper
cooking or processing of raw meat and poultry kills bacteria that
can cause foodborne illness.

When you’re out, grocery shop last, take food straight home to the
refrigerator. And never leave food in a hot car! Don’t buy anything
you won’t use before the use-by date. Don’t buy food in poor
condition. Make sure refrigerated food is cold to the touch. Frozen
food should be rock-solid. Canned goods should be free of dents,
cracks or bulging lids which can indicate a serious food poisoning
threat.

The performance and maintenance of your refrigerator is of the
utmost importance. Check the temperature of your refrigerator with
an appliance thermometer. To keep bacteria in check, the refrigerator
should run at 40 degrees F; the freezer unit at 0 degrees F.
Generally, keep your refrigerator as cold as possible without
freezing your milk or lettuce.

When you prepare food, keep everything clean and thaw out any frozen
food you plan to prepare in your refrigerator. Take it out of the
freezer in advance and place it in the refrigerated section of your
refrigerator. Always wash your hands in hot soapy water before
preparing and handling any food as well as after you use the
bathroom, change diapers, handle pets, etc. Remember, too, that
bacteria can live in your kitchen towels, sponges and dish cloths.
Wash them often and replace the dish cloths and sponges you use
regularly every few weeks.

Be absolutely sure that you keep all raw meats, poultry and fish
and their juices away from other food. For instance, wash your
hands, your cutting board and knife in hot soapy water after
cutting up the chicken and before dicing salad ingredients. It is
best to use plastic cutting boards rather than wooden ones where
bacteria can hide in grooves. Don’t take your food out of the
freezer and leave it on the kitchen counter to thaw. This is
extremely dangerous since the bacteria can grow in the outer layers
of the food before the inside thaws. It is wise to do your
marinating in the refrigerator too.

Categories Diet, Health

Macrobiotic Diet

Macrobiotic Diet

Macrobiotics refers to the science of longevity and health. It is based on the view that each person is largely influenced by their environment and social interactions as well as the geography and climate of the place they live in.

Macrobiotics views illnesses as the body’s attempt to return to a more dynamic and harmonious state with nature. It highly stresses the importance of a healthy diet as one of the major factors that affect a person’s health and well-being.

A macrobiotic diet not only refers to a daily diet, but it also embraces the importance of living with healthy lifestyle habits for the long term.

What Foods Are Included in a Macrobiotic Diet?

A macrobiotic diet prioritizes locally grown foods which are prepared in a natural manner. Undertaking a macrobiotic diet also means taking extra care in the way the foods are being prepared and cooked. There is a strong emphasis on eating foods that are baked, boiled and steamed and using little fried and processed foods.

Whole grains, vegetables, fermented soy, fish, nuts, soups, seeds and fruits are the main composition of a macrobiotic diet. Other natural food products can also be incorporated in the diet.

The composition of a macrobiotic diet can be altered in order to suit an individual’s needs, with consideration of their particular health status.

This allows those with specific conditions, or even dietary requirements or preferences, to fine-tune their diet, whilst still adhering to macrobiotic principles and recommendations.

People who are utilizing a macrobiotic diet are encouraged to condition themselves to eat slowly and chew their food thoroughly.

What Foods Are NOT Included in a Macrobiotic Diet?

Since a macrobiotic diet strongly recommends that foods must be eaten in their most natural state, processed foods should be avoided. Fatty meats, dairy products, sugar, caffeine, refined flour, alcohol, poultry, zucchini and potatoes are some examples of foods that should not be included in the macrobiotic diet.

Macrobiotics aims to achieve balance in every aspect of your life. Therefore, foods which are highly-concentrated and over stimulating should also be eliminated from the daily diet.

Macrobiotic Diet Studies

Some studies reveal that following a macrobiotic diet has helped many people lower their levels of blood pressure and serum lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides). This is why some experts suggest that this kind of diet can also be used as an effective means of preventing the emergence of many cardiovascular diseases.

Many experts also believe that a macrobiotic diet can also serve as a valuable inclusion in a cancer prevention plan. However, the macrobiotic diet remains the subject of controversy as many experts doubt its benefits when practiced by people who have diagnosed malignancies.

On the other hand, many anecdotal reports claim that its therapeutic effects are remarkable to patients who are suffering from advanced cancer diseases. However, to date very few studies have been conducted that would prove or disprove the benefits of a macrobiotic diet.

Further studies are warranted in order to prove the effectiveness of a macrobiotic diet in cancer prevention. Other concerns expressed by some experts include claimed risks of nutritional deficiencies.

However, it is difficult to dismiss the long term health benefits of any diet which is based on the consumption of organic and locally grown foods and the exclusion of highly processed ingredients.

Categories Diet, Health

10 foods that sound healthy but aren’t

1. Sweetened yogurt

The average cup of flavored yogurt has 30 grams of sugar (7.5 teaspoons) — that’s as much as a chocolate bar! Some sugar occurs naturally in the yogurt, but most is added. Instead: Cut the sugar by making your own blend. Start with plain Greek yogurt and add fresh fruit, one teaspoon of jam or a drizzle of honey.

2. Bran muffins

They sound healthy because of the word bran, right? Reality check: the average donut shop bran muffin has almost 400 calories and a whopping 36 grams (9 teaspoons) of sugar — but only 4 grams of fiber. Instead: Make your own small muffins and freeze them for grab-and-go mornings.

3. Sushi

The fish is great, but when you’re mostly eating white rice and dipping it in soy sauce, you’re getting lots of refined carbohydrates and sodium. Instead: Opt for more fish (sashimi), less white rice (or choose brown rice if it’s an option), and some vegetables on the side. Use soy sauce sparingly, and add flavor with wasabi.

4. Gummy fruit snacks

Any time “fruit juice concentrate” appears on the ingredient list, translate it to mean sugar. Isolating the sugar from fruit to make processed fruit-flavored gummies is not the same as eating nutrient-rich, fiber-filled, fresh fruit. Instead: Opt for fresh fruit or real dried fruit, such as raisins, dates or prunes.

5. Hazelnut-chocolate spread

The health halo is about milk, cocoa and hazelnuts, but the ingredient list tells a different story: sugar and palm oil are the main ingredients, and neither is nutritious. If you compare a hazelnut-chocolate spread to chocolate frosting, you will see the same amounts of sugar and fat. Instead: Stick with peanut or almond butter.

6. Veggie sticks

I don’t mean carrots and celery! I’m talking about those bags of fried or baked snacks — crunchy sticks made from corn flour and potato starch with a dusting of spinach or beet powder for color. Yeah, those don’t count as vegetables. Instead: Try a platter of real vegetable sticks — cucumbers, peppers and carrots.

7. Water with vitamins

Water is essential to life, and so are vitamins. But when the two are combined in a bottle with food coloring and sugar, an unnecessary product is created. Instead: Drink plain water or jazz it up with citrus or mint. You get all the vitamins you need from food, or you can take a multivitamin when indicated (they have no sugar!).

8. Sweetened oatmeal

Oats are a nutritious whole grain, but not when your morning bowl is coated in three teaspoons of sugar. Skip the maple or brown sugar flavor packets. Instead: Make your own plain oatmeal with grated apple, coconut, mashed banana or fresh berries.

9. Granola bars

Often touted for their whole grain goodness, most granola bars are sticky-sweet junk food in disguise. Don’t let a few oats fool you — especially when you also see marshmallows and chocolate chips. Instead: If granola bars are a must-have, choose one with 6 grams of sugar or less per bar, and hopefully some fiber.

10. Pretzels

In the low-fat era, pretzels were the king of snack foods. But now we know that their refined flour and salt are just as detrimental to heart health as fatty foods, so pretzels have been reclassified to junk food. Instead: Crunch on air-popped popcorn.

None of these foods are off-limits, but it’s important to know the honest truth behind what you’re eating. Consider the 80:20 rule: If you eat well 80 per cent of the time, it’s alright to choose some of these indulgent foods 20 per cent of the time.

Categories Diet, Weight Loss

Eating Bread Causes Bloating and Other Digestive Problems

Eating Bread Causes Bloating and Other Digestive Problems

Do you or a member of your family experience bloating after eating bread? If you answered yes, then it is possible that you are sensitive to foods made from wheat. It is also quite probable that bread is such a regular part of your diet that you can’t imagine doing without it.

The simple sandwich is a staple for most families. However, if you want the symptoms to stop you have to eliminate the cause. You can either reduce your bread intake or look for other (gluten-free) types of bread.

If symptoms persist you may need to further limit or cease your intake of other wheat-based food also. As most bread is cooked from wheat flour a sensitivity to wheat will result in discomfort. An allergy may produce even harsher symptoms.

Wheat Allergy

If you are allergic to wheat you may experience itching, rashes, wheezing and your tongue and lips swelling within minutes of eating wheat bread. You must consult your doctor right away if you experience symptoms this severe.

Wheat Sensitivity

If you are sensitive to wheat you may experience bloating, stomach cramps, or diarrhea hours after eating wheat food products. In milder cases you may experience abdominal discomfort, especially after consuming a large serving.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease occurs is an extreme form of gluten intolerance. This is a condition in which an individual’s intestine becomes damaged by a protein in the gluten. While affected, the intestines are unable to perform their proper function of nutrient absorption and excretion. If you suspect yourself to be gluten intolerant, consult a doctor and expect to undergo blood testing for an accurate diagnosis.

Avoiding wheat-based foods

Many people who are either sensitive or allergic to wheat products have made the choice to abstain from wheat-based foods and have found relief from their symptoms. Cases of wheat sensitivity are increasingly common especially as bread has now become part of a staple diet of many people and cultures.

What should you do if you are suffering from bloating and other stomach problems after eating food products that contain wheat? If your symptoms of wheat allergy persist for a longer period of time, or if blood is observed in your stool then you should seek medical help right away.

Any other serious symptoms such as vomiting and severe stomach cramps should also be referred to a doctor. If your symptoms are mild or if you are suffering from a bloated stomach, you can try an elimination diet. You can do this by avoiding foods made from wheat for at least a month.

If your symptoms cease, then wheat is almost certainly the culprit. Resume eating wheat products in small quantities to check if your symptoms recur. Do not start on bread immediately. Try pasta first for a couple of days before you choose to eat wheat bread again.

Monitor the after-effects of any food containing wheat. Do not overload your system. If you have a wheat sensitivity rather than an allergy you may be able to continue to eat wheat products in moderation. If this is the case, overloading your digestive system with wheat foods will cause any discomforting symptoms to return.

Aside from bread, other foods that can contain wheat include cereals, doughnuts, beer, soy sauce, biscuits, pastries and cakes. Make a point of reading food labels. If you choose to go on a wheat-free diet, alternatives are quinoa, buckwheat pasta, porridge, cornflakes and rice cereals. Some people who are sensitive to wheat may find the FODMAP diet helpful. This diet allows people to cut out fermentable foods that may lead to bloating and diarrhea.

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