Having a healthy diet does not nullify you from the occasional carb-filled indulgences. But, when you are serious about your health and fitness, dieting and exercise are the most important habits to hone in on. Take time to learn about your body and how healthy eating habits can make a drastic difference in your lifestyle.
While studies have shown the advantages of a glass of wine, it’s important to note that the health aspect stops after that one glass (for women). The maximum for men is two drinks. The benefits of alcohol include raising HDL cholesterol and perhaps even warding off dementia. However, overstep your boundary and you’ll see a different result. Alcohol has serious effects on your liver. Ironically, your liver is the major organ for detoxing your system. When consume too much alcohol, it becomes harder to stay hydrated.
One of the greatest indulgences for men and women is sugar. Sometimes it seems as if sugar is everywhere. You want a snack, it has sugar in it. You want a meal, it has sugar in it. A drink—filled with sugar. And, of course, sweets have sugar. The average American consumes 475 calories of added sugars on a daily basis. If calculated in teaspoons, that roughly 30! The American Heart Association recommends a mere six teaspoons for women and nine for men. Sugar has serious effects such as high blood pressure and high triglyceride levels. One healthy habit to make is to avoid processed foods. These foods are often filled with added sugars. When you need a snack, choose fruit—nature’s sweets.
Similar to sugar, salt is over-consumed by most Americans. Make it a habit to limit your sodium intake. When you do, you’ll notice incredible changes in your lifestyle and energy levels. Reducing the risk of heart disease, avoiding processed foods and added sodium helps keep you healthy and gives you more energy to stay active.
If you are a foodie you know how wonderful saturated fat is. Sure, it doesn’t sound appeal when put in a more scientific form, but milk, butter, cheese, and meat are delightful to the taste buds. When in proportion, eating saturated fat isn’t bad for you. However, when you eat saturated fat, your LDL cholesterol is raised and can clog arteries. Cut back on saturated fat by choosing healthier alternatives such as olive oil and nuts.
One of the healthiest decisions you can make is to switch to whole grains. Eating refined grains wastes your daily caloric intake and leaves you without any nutrients. White rice is a prime example. This refined grain has no beneficial fiber, minerals, or vitamins to give you in exchange for calories consumed. Choose whole grains. They taste just as good.
In general, processed foods are not good for you. A huge misconception in America is that eating at home equals eating healthier. While this can be the case as opposed to fast food, there are numerous bagged pastas and frozen entrees that are processed to the core. Healthy habits equal a healthier you.