Monday, August 11, 2014
Are you eating healthy? One common mistake that many healthy eaters overlook is the amount of sodium consumed. Often when you’re weighing healthy options, the focus is on reducing calories, fat and getting enough protein. Remember, since sodium is firmly tied to an increased risk of high blood pressure, the Institute of Medicine recommends people limit their intake to below 2,300 milligrams per day, and 1,500 mg for people 51 and older, African Americans, and anyone with high blood pressure or diabetes. Common foods loaded with sodium are canned soups, vegetables, beans, tomato products and packaged meats and meals. If needed, aim to salt your foods after they are prepared as you’ll consume much less sodium overall, or use spices and herbs for flavor instead.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Exercising too much? Pushing yourself is usually a good thing when it comes to physical activity. But your body needs rest too, especially after an extra-hard workout. Signs that you are working out too hard can be mental and physical, and include fatigue, difficulty sleeping, decreased immunity, muscle soreness, and injury. It is also common to eat more unhealthy foods throughout the day, when you’re fatigued, in order to increase energy. This only sabotages your efforts. To keep your workouts fresh—and avoid overuse injuries—it’s a good idea to vary your routine, and give yourself a day off now and then. On day 6 or 7 every week, sitting back and relaxing may be better for your body than going to the gym.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Choose the rainbow of colors! By now, pretty much everyone knows they should be eating at least five servings of varied colored fruit and vegetables per day. Eating plenty of produce helps reduce your risk of heart disease and several types of cancer, and can help you manage your weight as well. But a recent state-by-state survey, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that just one-third of adults reported eating at least two servings of fruit a day, and only about one-quarter ate three or more servings of vegetables daily. Aim to consume at least 2 vegetable servings at every lunch and dinner and 3 pieces of fruit as part of your snacks between meals.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Coconut sugar? Refined, white sugar is proven to raise your risk of all chronic diseases, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up sweet foods to eat healthy. Coconut sugar, made from the sap of coconut-tree blossoms, offers the same number of carbohydrates and calories as table sugar however, coconut sugar ranks just 35 on the glycemic index, while regular table sugar ranks between 60 and 75, so it produces a less dramatic blood sugar spike. Coconut sugar also contains trace amounts of vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper as well as phytonutrients, such as polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidin, and antioxidants. Despite the name, it doesn’t have a coconut flavor; it has more of a caramel taste, which works well in coffee or tea. And because it’s granular, it can also be a great substitute for white or brown sugar in recipes.
Friday, August 15, 2014
Looking for condiments that provide some nutrition? Try Dijon mustard, hot sauce, humus, guacamole, pesto, Tahini, salsa, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and of course all your spices. Ketchup also offers lycopene, an anticancerous phytochemical, and you can make your own to greatly lower its sugar content.