The following are brief comments on how to achieve a healthy lifestyle. The first 10 of 20 are shown here. The next 10 are shown in “10 more good health guidelines.” Details on each health topic are included throughout our web site.
1. Avoid processed and packaged foods whenever you can
Most processed foods are stripped of natural nutrients. Hulls and germs are removed because we like the smooth taste of the remainder. Then the producers chemically altered vitamins and load them with preservatives. Not good. For example, frozen peas and blueberries are one thing; potato chips, toaster pastries and breaded chicken nuggets are another.
2. Avoid starches & sugars.
Enriched grain (that’s grain with the hulls and germ removed), in the form of bread, cereal, pasta, rice, desserts, and other starchy or sugary foods wreak havoc with your blood sugar, cause carbohydrate cravings, and are a major factor in America’s epidemic of obesity. Ma Nature meant for us to eat whole grains, the way they are grown, and without adding sugar to pamper our sweet-tooths.
3. Curb your consumption of fried foods and other unhealthy fats.
Deep fried foods are a nutritional land mine, loaded with calories and the most harmful type of fat known to science: trans-fatty acids. Many packaged food producers use trans-fats so their products will have longer shelf life. Please read labels. Many fast food restaurants are cutting back on the trans-fats because they are known to be so bad for you. Check out whether your local eatery has done that.
4. Don’t overeat.
Beware the monster portions served in restaurants and prepackaged foods — in many cases they contain twice as many calories as they did 25 years ago. Restaurants have found that they can charge more for large servings, with very little extra cost on their part. They do so because we love our “extra large” servings. While we tend to eat what’s put in front of us, we urge you to set aside a part of any large serving to take home for another day.
5. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
Fresh fruits and vegetables (produce) , the way Mother Nature made them are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that protect against disease. In most grocery stores the fresh produce is found on the outside aisles. As you can see from the picture, it’s often quite colorful.
6. Eat moderate-sized servings of protein at every meal.
Skinless poultry, fish, seafood, liver, and lean meat fill you up, tide you over, and help with weight control. Moderate means about 4 ounces, not a half pound. Lean is best, even though we love fats with our animal protein. Unfortunately many ranchers today feed their animals grain rather than grass. Grass fed meet is what Ma Nature meant for us to eat.
7. Exercise regularly.
Exercise is a great stress reliever. While it doesn’t solve the underlying stress issues, it burns off the resulting tension in your body. Regular exercise clearly appears to boost immune system function. Our bodies are meant to be active. Our ancestors lived very active lives because they didn’t have today’s time and energy saving features. While more is better, some will do. Half an hour of physical activity most days of the week is imperative for health and longevity. No one is so busy that they can’t carve out 30 minutes for a brisk walk now and then.
8. Include wild salmon and other fatty fish in your diet a couple of times a week.
Wild salmon, sardines, herring, and other fatty fish are nature’s richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation, nurture your brain, and protect against heart disease. These particular fish are also small so they are low on the food chain which means they have less mercury contamination than larger fish. Mercury contamination is worldwide and comes from factory smoke.
9. Include strength training in your exercise regimen.
We all lose more than six pounds of muscle per decade after our twenties if we don’t regularly lift and carry things, and the only way to restore it is with what is called weight training. If you want to avoid having your chest muscles sag down to waist-line fat, you have to make an effort to keep the muscle. Lean muscle mass not only improves strength and agility, but it also helps with weight control.
10. Maintain your ideal weight.
Obesity is on the verge of overtaking smoking as our leading cause of preventable death and disability. Everything we discuss on this web site will help you maintain your ideal weight.
For ten more good health guidelines, click here.
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