Healthy eating

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1. Dt.05.11.2013 Module 2 “ Food,Health & Safety “  Healthy eating Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or…
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  • 1. Dt.05.11.2013 Module 2 “ Food,Health & Safety “  Healthy eating Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, stabilizing your mood, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible—all of which can be achieved by learning some nutrition basics and using them in a way that works for you. You can expand your range of healthy food choices and learn how to plan ahead to create a tasty healthy diet. To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. Healthy eating is about more than the food on your plate—it is also about how you think about food.  Eat with others whenever possible. Eating with other people has numerous social and emotional benefits—particularly for children—and allows you to model healthy eating habits. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.  Take time to chew your food and enjoy mealtimes. Chew your food slowly, savoring every bite. We tend to rush though our meals, forgetting to actually taste the flavors and feel the textures of our food. Reconnect with the joy of eating.  Listen to your body. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or have a glass of water to see if you are thirsty instead of hungry. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.
  • 2.  Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism, and eating small, healthy meals throughout the day (rather than the standard three large meals) keeps your energy up and your metabolism going.  Avoid eating at night. Try to eat dinner earlier in the day and then fast for 14-16 hours until breakfast the next morning. Early studies suggest that this simple dietary adjustment—eating only when you’re most active and giving your digestive system a long break each day—may help to regulate weight. After-dinner snacks tend to be high in fat and calories so are best avoided, anyway. Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. They are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Some great choices include:  Greens. Branch out beyond bright and dark green lettuce. Kale, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are just a few of the options—all packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.  Sweet vegetables. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, and squash—add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for other sweets.  Fruit. Fruit is a tasty, satisfying way to fill up on fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C, and so on. Protein gives us the energy to get up and go—and keep going. Protein in food is broken down into the 20 amino acids that are the body’s basic building blocks for growth and energy, and essential for maintaining cells, tissues, and organs. A lack of protein in our diet can slow growth, reduce muscle mass, lower immunity, and weaken the heart and respiratory system. Protein is particularly important for children, whose bodies are growing and changing daily. Calcium is one of the key nutrients that your body needs in order to stay strong and healthy. It is an essential building block for lifelong bone health in both men and women, as well as many other important functions. Good sources of calcium include:  Dairy: Dairy products are rich in calcium in a form that is easily digested and absorbed by the body. Sources include milk, yogurt, and cheese.  Vegetables and greens: Many vegetables, especially leafy green ones, are rich sources of calcium. Try turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, celery,
  • 3. broccoli, fennel, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and crimini mushrooms.  Beans: For another rich source of calcium, try black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, or baked beans. Sugar Sugar causes energy ups and downs and can add to health and weight problems. Unfortunately, reducing the amount of candy, cakes, and desserts we eat is only part of the solution. Often you may not even be aware of the amount of sugar you’re consuming each day. Large amounts of added sugar can be hidden in foods such as bread, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, fast food, soy sauce, and ketchup. Here are some tips:  Avoid sugary drinks. One 12-oz soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar in it, more than the daily recommended limit! Try sparkling water with lemon or a splash of fruit juice.  Sweeten foods yourself. Buy unsweetened iced tea, plain yogurt, or unflavored oatmeal, for example, and add sweetener (or fruit) yourself. You’re likely to add far less sweetener than the manufacturer would have.  Eat naturally sweet food such as fruit, peppers, or natural peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth. Keep these foods handy instead of candy or cookies. Salt Most of us consume too much salt in our diets. Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure and lead to other health problems. Try to limit sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 mg per day, the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt.  Avoid processed or pre-packaged foods. Processed foods like canned soups or frozen dinners contain hidden sodium that quickly surpasses the recommended limit.  Be careful when eating out. Most restaurant and fast food meals are loaded with sodium.  Opt for fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned vegetables.  Cut back on salty snacks such as potato chips, nuts, and pretzels.  Choose low-salt or reduced-sodium products.  Try slowly reducing the salt in your diet to give your taste buds time to adjust.
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