Friday, February 13, 2009

Diet Essentials For Everyone

I was browsing through Google Reader and I would just like to copy these 2 lists about healthy and unhealthy foods. No, I did not make this list myself but I want to have a copy here in my blog to serve as my personal reminders. Thanks to ThatsFit.com for these fantastic posts!

Diet Essentials For Everyone
10 Essential Diet Basics

Eat a diet full of color
Colorful fruits and vegetables are stocked with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They're low in calories and can help you stay satisfied longer.

Eat whole grains
Unlike white products, whole grains are unrefined products with their nutrients and fiber intact. Make your grains 100% and they'll help you maintain blood sugar levels with less spiking and crashing throughout the day. They'll also keep you satisfied longer.

Eat good fats
Not all fats are bad. Some fats are good for us -- like olive oil instead of butter or margarine, and some nuts and seeds.

Eat often
Start with a hearty breakfast and commit to eating throughout the day to keep your metabolism stable. Aim for three meals a day, plus a few healthy snacks too.

Snack before meals
Snacking before dinner won't ruin your appetite. It may actually help it. Healthy snacking can prevent you from overeating come meal time.

Eat whole, fresh foods
Whenever possible, purchase fresh foods and avoid the pre-packaged items lining the shelves at your local grocery store. These foods are typically higher in calories, fat, and sodium and have depleted nutrients due to preservatives.

Keep moving
Our bodies were designed for movement. And we need daily exercise to keep them strong. Exercise is good for our muscles, our hearts, even our sleep patterns.

Treat yourself
It's OK to indulge once a while. If we don't, deprivation sets in and so might overindulgence. So have your cake -- just have it moderation.

Decipher food labels
Read your labels. And make sure when you review the details you understand whether the calories and fat listed are per serving or for the entire container. And if there's a word you can't pronounce, it's likely something you don't need to ingest.

Beware of liquid calories
One 12-ounce can of regular soda can contain 10 teaspoons of sugar and enough calories to ruin the day. Sure to add weight, these drinks should be replaced with water.


Surprisingly Unhealthy Foods

Pasta Salad
The veggies included in most pasta salad recipes is great, but the white-flour pasta is not (close relative to white bread).

Pretzels
They may be low in calories (around 110 calories per ounce) but they can raise your blood sugar faster than jelly beans or ice cream -- so be careful!

Baked Beans
Although beans are high in fiber (which can help you feel fuller) in baked bean recipes they're often covered in a sauce full of brown and white sugars -- 1 cup of baked beans can have as much sugar as an 8oz soda.

California Rolls
The seaweed wrap is full of essential nutrients, but the imitation crab and white rice are both high in carbs and low in protein. Men's Health calls California rolls "Japanese sugar cubes."

Low-Fat Salad Dressing
Taking the fat out of the dressing does drastically reduce its calorie count, but studies have shown that taking the fat out of a salad also reduces the nutrients and antioxidants a person absorbs. So it's better to go with a full-fat dressing made with olive oil or canola oil.

Yogurt with Fruit on the Bottom
Yogurt is healthy and fruit is healthy, but when you put the two together they almost never are. Cornsyrup is the culprit, causing the sugar content to go so high it pretty much cancels out any health benefits the yogurt had to start with.

Corn Oil
It has lots of Omega-6 fatty acids, but very few Omega-3s. Both are good for you, but studies show ingesting them out of balance can cause inflammation. Olive oils and canola oils are better choices because their fats are more balanced.

Granola Bars
While granola is made with whole oats (full of nutrients and fiber) in a granola bar they basically get glued to each other with sugar (corn syrup, honey, and barley malt).

Croutons
Croutons are usually made with refined flour -- which has a higher glycemic index than sugar. Thankfully they're tiny, so their negative impact usually is too.

Fruit Cocktail in a Can
Again, it's the sugar! Most fruit cocktails are canned in heavy syrup and can include as much as 23g of added sugar. Look for fruit canned in "100% fruit juice," or better yet make your own fresh fruit cocktail!

photo credit, jenny downing

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