Healthy living is something we can all achieve with sensible food choices and by keeping active. It’s forgivable to eat treats sometimes and party on the weekend. But the majority of the time it is important to look after our bodies that we live in, and not poison them with tobacco, alcohol and excessive sugar and fat consumption. If you want to learn more, read the 7 tips for healthy living, below.
Healthy Living Tip #1 – Eat a Combination of at Least 5 Fruits and Vegetables a Day
Make sure you are eating enough fruit and vegetables every day. Most health departments recommend a combination of 5 fruit and vegetables a day, not weighing less than 400 grams. Fruit and vegetables contain many nutrients and minerals. One other important fact to note is that both fruit and vegetables contain daily fiber which is essential for gut health and being regular. Various fruit and vegetables contain nutrients for various body functions. E.g carrots are good for eye health, broccoli protects against cancer, oranges contain vitamin C which protects against cold and flu. You can buy vitamin C tablets, but tablets are sugar lolly-like tablets compared to the juicy and tasty, orange fruit.
Healthy Living Tip #2 – Ensure That You Include Omega 3 Fatty Acids In Your Diet
You can buy Omega 3 and 6 capsules and vitamins but is far healthier to eat oily fish that contain these nutrients. The best sources of Omega 3 are Salmon, sardines, and trout. If you are allergic to fish taking supplements is the next best thing. Certain vegetables contain Omega 3 fatty acids but not in large enough quantities to make a difference to your health. Omega 3 helps keep:
- your heart healthy, prevent cardiovascular disease and helps prevent an irregular heartbeat otherwise known as arrhythmias, which can cause sudden death
- lower blood pressure
- prevent asthma in children
- maintain healthy brain tissue
- keep the retina of your eyes healthy
- prevent stroke
- lower the risk of dementia
Healthy Living Tip #3 – Reduce Saturated Fat and Sugar.
It’s important to eat less saturated fat, as saturated fat can increase cholesterol, which can cause heart disease. Many of the foods that are high sources of saturated fat are treat foods. These treat foods include cakes, donuts, chips, biscuits, hard cheese, sausages, cream, butter, lard, fried foods, pies, and oven foods from the supermarket.
Eating excessive amounts of sugar can cause weight gain and lead to obesity. It has been found that the human body can metabolize up to 6 teaspoons of sugar but beyond this figure, health problems begin to eventuate, including diabetes. From diabetes, a whole host of other diseases can begin, from heart disease to cancers. Excessive sugar can also damage your liver and cause scarring of liver tissue and liver failure.
Eating too much sugar and particularly drinking sugary sodas can also increase the rate at which your teeth will decay. Teenagers are particularly prone to drinking sodas as it becomes almost a staple in their diet.
Healthy Living Tip #4 – Limit Salt (Sodium) to 6 Grams a Day
A pinch of salt is healthy, but any more than 6 grams a day for adults can lead to heart problems and high blood pressure. To limit salt intake, read food labels thoroughly and buy salt reduced products where possible. Another idea is, that you could limit the number of processed foods which will get you closer to the goal of limiting your salt intake to 6 grams a day. But as many people eat snack foods and shelf foods, most people exceed this limit. Even with healthy choices like pasta and noodles, the sauces and flavor sachets have increased levels of sodium (salt). Over a day it adds up and most people eat more salt than recommended.
Healthy Living Tip #5 – Get Enough Exercise
With the widespread use of computers and video games, children and adults are much less active than past generations. People playing with their phones has become the norm. Some people even continue this as they walk along the street, and this can sometimes cause road accidents. Childhood obesity has increased, well beyond figures of previous generations. Many people will tell you that they don’t have time to exercise, but as with any event or activity, it is a matter of priorities.
Walking is good exercise and brisk walking is even better, which increases your heart rate and helps you burn fat. Exercising every day is beneficial, but many people take the weekends off. Cycling is also good exercise and good for fat burning. Rather than limit your exercising to the gym, try to get out and breathe fresh air while exercising.
Healthy Living Tip #6 – Eat Good Meals But Don’t Feast
Eat foods with the nutrients your body needs to ensure that you don’t need to supplement your diet with vitamins, as the foods containing the essential nutrients and minerals are a natural and healthier source. At meal times remember to only eat until you are full and not overeat. Everyone has a different set point to how much they can eat. Try to eat the recommended amount of calories or kilojoules that are correct for your sex. For men, this is 2,500 calories or 10,500 Kilojoules and for women, this is 2000 calories or 8,400 Kilojoules.
Healthy Living Tip #7 – Switch to a Low Glycemic Index Diet For Weight Management
Eat Low GI foods, as these keep you feeling full, whereas High GI foods give you a sugar rush but moments later you feel hungry. Unlike conventional diets, low GI foods that are best to eat are non-starchy foods. This means avoiding white potatoes, which like white flour and white bread, are high GI foods. Replace these foods with dried beans (these can be tinned), chickpeas, lentils, and multi-grain and sourdough breads.
Sugar is high GI which means that eating sweets and biscuits are not recommended. If you want to eat sweet foods replace these sweets with fruit and dried fruits and mix with plain yogurt. Fruit yogurts contain an increased amount of sugar. Choose the full-fat yogurt as the no fat yogurt’s fat is often replaced with sugar or artificial ingredients. The best low GI drink you can drink is water. If you need some flavor add a squeeze of lemon juice.
Healthy living means healthy choices. It is recommended to eat a diet with fresh fruit and vegetables, limited amounts of saturated fat, sugar, and salt. Preferably, eat a low GI diet to keep you from snacking on snack foods, and if you are overweight this option will help you lose weight. For good heart, brain and eye health eat oily fish twice a week, and if you are allergic to fish, fish supplements are the next best thing. Remember to exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week, and keep digital device usage down, to reduce the amount of time you are sedentary. As with anything balance is important. Eat a balanced diet, and eat good meals but don’t feast.