Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Health Kick Tips by Mer

So I'm getting ready for my impending health kick and just encountered this very motivational list of healthy nutritional tips. I thought I'd share with you fine folks to inspire more healthy eating habits for you, as well. Enjoy!

Love, Mer

Basic Dietary Tips to remain lean and healthy...

Learn how to create healthy balanced meals with proper portions. Throw in a delicious vegetarian meal or two per week. Observe healthy diets such as Asian (i.e.: various vegetables with lean meats) and Mediterranean diets (i.e.:hummus, lean shish kebobs, finely prepared raw vegetables with healthy spices). Start a collection of very healthy recipes that you feel are delicious and enjoyable. Consider learning more about healthy cooking, vegetable juice recipes, etc.

If you need a healthy energy boost try drinking homemade vegetable juices such as carrot juice with some red beets thrown in. If you wish to drink certain fruit juices for their phytochemical benefits, consider adding 50% purified water to lower the sugar level of the juice. This will also lower the level of beneficial phytochemicals.

Rotate a wide variety of vegetables every week and try to eat at least 2-3 different colored vegetables per day. Do not overcook vegetables, because it destroys vitamins, enzymes, and beneficial phytochemicals. Raw is best, followed by gently steamed with some crispness left.

Start some of your meals with a garden salad when possible, and consider making your own healthy salad dressings, or else squeeze a lime over your salad and learn to love it. Be very careful with salad dressings. Try to make your own salad dressings with olive oil, or even look for innovative healthier options such as using a thin Hummus as a salad dressing.

Cook with olive oil. It has a very good balance of saturated, unsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Avoid or limit processed and prepared foods. Avoid or limit eating man-made food substances and chemical ingredients. Learn how to cook completely "from scratch" using basic simple ingredients that are natural.

Avoid or limit trans fatty acids and hydrogenated vegetable oils such as margarines and commercially baked goods containing these synthetic substances.

Avoid burnt, overheated, oxidized, or rancid fats and oils.

Avoid or limit all burnt foods, as in blackened with fire or high-temp frying.

Avoid or limit all sources of dietary aluminum-containing ingredients such as aluminum silicate or sodium aluminum silicate. This is sometimes used as an anticaking agent for powders and baking mixes and to make some processed cheeses flow smoother. Also do not allow acidic or salt containing foods to come in contact with aluminum. Avoid cooking foods in aluminum pots or pans. Avoid storing liquids or foods in aluminum containers. Use glass or quality stainless steel for all of the above.

Avoid or limit meats with nitrates. Eat natural cuts of lean meats, especially salmon and fish that's low in mercury. Know that tuna contains mercury., as well as other fish. Shellfish generally have a much higher potential to store toxics in their tissues than actual fish because they live on the bottom and actually filter the water. Some top predator fish will also bioaccumulate and store toxic pollutants.

Exercise Moderation in everything you consume. This statement is also good from a toxicology perspective.

Hydrate your body with 100% natural beverages, not man-made beverage drinks. Drink purified water or homemade lemonade (or limeade) with lowered sugar, for example. Make your own refreshing "fruit waters" using pureed fruit and purified water with a little sugar.

Avoid most restaurant food, especially fast food, if you are prone to gaining weight. (Some restaurants are good for you if you exercise portion control and take part of your meal home with you.) If you must eat at a restaurant and you do not wish to break your diet, go for the soup and salad as your main course if there is not anything else that falls within the parameters of your "balanced sensible meal". Another good choice would be to ask for broiled salmon with two full portions of different vegetables - with no starches such as rice, noodles, or potatoes.

When it comes to food, USUALLY the better it tastes the worse it is for you. (This is not true for fruits, which are "nature's desserts".)

In general, usually the less calories you consume over your lifetime, the longer you live. This is related to the biochemistry of aging and the free radicals produced when your body burns a calorie (an indogenous source of free radicals, vs. exogenous sources such as air pollution or inhaled tobacco smoke.)

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