5 Healthy Eating Benefits You Never Thought About

A lot of people mistakenly believe that in order to be eating healthy, you have to be on some sort of diet. You can get healthy eating benefits if you are on a diet but it is not required. Eating healthy involves making changes in the way you live and the way you eat and sticking with these changes for a lifetime. Eating healthy is easy to do if you eat a nutritious and balanced diet that gives your body all the healthy nutrients you need.

If you are not sure you are ready to make the necessary changes to your life and your diet, here are some healthy eating benefits to consider.

Why eat healthy?

One of the rewards of healthy eating habits is you will look and feel better and you will not have to diet to get these results. Eating a well balanced diet provides the nutrients you need to look and feel good. Avoiding fatty foods is a good way to eat healthy and feel better. You do not have to avoid all your favorite foods to eat healthy.
You will be less likely to get some illnesses if you eat healthy. This is an important benefit of a healthy diet. Eating foods rich in vitamins and nutrients will allow your body to better fight off disease and you will be healthy and feel good. This will save you money since you will not be going to the doctor as often or taking as many medications.
You will find that your brain works better. You will be able to think better and faster if you are eating three healthy meals a day and you are not feeling hungry and weak. It is important to have good brain function. You will do better at school or at work if you are eating healthy because your brain also needs the nutrients you get from healthy foods.
You will be stronger and feel better than other people who are not aware of the healthy food benefits. Eating nutritious meals and avoiding bad foods will make you both physically and mentally strong, which can give you and advantage of others at school and work and make tasks you do at home easier as well.
You will find that you get along better with others. When you are eating healthy, you are going to feel better and be happier so that will make your relationships with others better at home, school and work. People will enjoy your company more. Your boss may even notice the improvement in your attitude and demeanor and raise your pay. Being happier and feeling better can help you in so many different ways. Eating a balanced diet is good for you mentally, physically and socially.

To get the full benefits of eating healthy, you should also get regular exercise or participation in sports. The thing to remember about eating healthy is that moderation is the way to go. You can have a little of everything including your favorite foods.

Eating smaller servings of your favorite foods will help. Also, try to find similar foods that are better for you. You should not have to stop enjoying food in order to get healthy eating benefits. You do not have to feel like you are missing out on your favorite foods. Just watch what you eat and watch your portions

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Healthy Eating, Exercise and Lifestyle Guide For Senior Citizens

Healthy Eating and Lifestyle

While it is important for people of all ages to stay healthy, it is especially important for senior citizens to maintain healthy eating habits as well as to stay active which is important in the prevention of chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. By practicing healthier living practices, senior citizens can maintain a healthy weight, avoid depression, and stay mentally sharp. Those participating in caring for the elderly should be aware of these healthy living practices and work to both encourage and facilitate them.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a healthy diet includes many different types of food that are rich in nutrients. They have outlined specifically what this eating plan entails at the website.. Because this eating plan is designed specifically for senior citizens, it focuses on the types of foods that are important for preventing common ailments of older Americans like obesity and serious chronic illnesses.

Healthy Eating 101:

By following some of the tips listed, senior citizens can start a healthier lifestyle today:

Don’t skip meals. It is important to eat regularly in order to maintain normal metabolism and not become tempted to eat higher fat foods when food is consumed.
Eat a diet that is high in fiber. By eating foods like whole-grain breads, beans, vegetables, and fruits, you can lower your susceptibility to diabetes and heart disease.
Senior citizens especially should begin to adjust their diet to one that includes less calories and fat because the body will need less as it ages.
Calcium and Vitamin D are very important for nutrition and keeping bones strong. You can get this by either getting in at least three servings of dairy every day, or substituting these with soy-based beverages and proteins.
Senior citizens will have a harder time absorbing adequate amounts of the B12 vitamin. For this reason, it is important to eat cereals fortified with this nutrient or taking vitamin B12 supplements with meals.
Snack the smart way. Senior citizens will want to limit the amount of unhealthy snacking they do which involves foods high in calories and sugars. Instead, keep small portions of dried fruit, peanut butter, or crackers at hand to keep the appetite under control while remaining healthy.
Drink plenty of water. Although senior citizens often feel less thirsty then they used to, it is important to stay hydrated by either drinking water or water-based beverages like tea, coffee, soup, and skim milk.

Planning and Preparing Meals

Sometimes people find it hard to eat healthily because eating is often a social event which involves many people with different eating preferences and goals. While it is important to be able to enjoy a meal with family and friends, it is also important to maintain your own eating integrity by making sure everyone is on board with your personal healthy eating goals. Friends and family, as well as those providing elder care should facilitate healthy eating, not detour from it. The following tips address ways that senior citizens can maintain the healthy eating habits without sacrificing the social aspect of sharing a meal with others or learning to adjust to a lifestyle that involves eating with less people on a day-to-day basis.

Grocery shopping with others. This can be a fun and smart way to control the cost and quantity of food that you consume. If you don’t live with many people, this is a good way to split large-quantity items like potatoes and eggs which you may not be ableto use before expiration.
A time saving a smart way to eat healthy is cooking large quantities of food ahead of time and portioning for heating on later dates.
A quick way to prepare meals for yourself or for guests involves keeping frozen or canned fruits and vegetables on hand. Draining and/or rinsing canned foods is a good way to lower sodium or calories in foods that are kept in high sugar or high salt fluids.
Eating or preparing a meal shouldn’t always be a chore. Trying new recipes or eating outside can be a fun new twist on a meal with someone special.
Try to eat with people you enjoy to be around.
Some senior citizens have difficulty preparing meals, which is why it is important to become informed about home health care agencies or eldercare facilities that can aid in providing meals. The Eldercare Locator number is 1-800-677-1116.

Loss of Appetite or Desire to Eat

There are various reasons for why some senior citizens may not eat as well as they should or lose the desire to eat completely.

If you find that it is difficult to eat well, then it is best to speak with a healthcare provider or someone involved in your elder care about what can be done to help you eat better.

Some senior citizens are unable to eat well due to issues involving the condition of their teeth or issues with dentures. Checking with a dentist about physical pain that occurs when eating or other issues can help with these issues that lead to poorer eating habits.

When senior citizens lose family and friends or become depressed about events in their life, they may lose the desire to eat. In these instances, it is of the utmost importance that these individuals seek help from people they trust like their family, friends, church community, or those assisting with their elder care that will happily help them in finding ways to continue a healthy lifestyle and eating plan.

Some senior citizens complain that the flavor of foods change when they begin to take certain medications. While it is best to consult with a physician about issues surrounding medication, people can also take vitamin supplements with food that will help them stay healthy.

If you have someone who assists with your in home care, ask them to be vigilant about helping you eat healthy. Have them remind you to eat, and ask them to lend you a hand in preparing meals that are good for you.

Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for being able to function in day-to-day life as well as stay mentally sharp. Senior citizens often lose or gain weigh as they age. If you are unsure about what weight you should maintain, consult your physician.

Health Risks Associated with Being Underweight

poor memory
compromised immunity
osteoporosis (weak bones)
decreases strength
hypothermia (lowered body temperature)
constipation

Health Risks Associated with Being Overweight

type 2 diabetes
high blood pressure
high cholesterol
heart disease
stroke (lack of oxygen transported to the brain)
some cancers
gallbladder disease

Because healthy weights will differ for everyone, it is important to verify with a physician whether it is healthy for you personally to lose or gain weight.

Staying Active

Participating in regular healthy amounts of physical activity can not only make you feel better, but it can make you less prone to diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer. Staying active can be difficult for senior citizens, still it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

The following are some tips for maintaining a lifestyle that incorporates physical activity:

Know what amount of physical activity is appropriate for you. Everyone has different levels of activity that is safe for them, and while remaining active is important, always consult a health care provider about what is right for your lifestyle.
Take time to warm up, cool down, or take breaks when participating in a session of increased physical activity.
Take it slow. Always start slowly and build up to more intense levels of physical activities.
If you experience any pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath during exercise, stop the activity immediately.
Drink water.
Dress appropriately if you decide to exercise outdoors. Wear warmer clothes during the winter and wear lighter clothes during the summer while applying sunscreen or wearing sunglasses.
Wear the correct shoes for the activities that you participate in.

Types of Activity

Aerobic activities include activities that increase the heart rate and work the larger muscle groups. You may be able to speak a few words, but would not be able to carry on an entire conversation due to breathing patterns. Some examples of aerobics include:

brisk walking
water aerobics
tennis
house work
active play with children or pets
dancing

Begin incorporating small periods of this activity into your schedule during the week while slowly increasing the duration and frequency as time progresses. It is also important to incorporate different types of exercise that focus on balance and flexibility. Becoming used to a lifestyle with regular patterns of aerobic activity can reduce the effects of aging, control weight, lower risk of heart disease, improve flexibility, increase mood and energy, and expand social networks by meeting new people while doing various activities.

Strengthening activities involve the use of muscle groups against resistant forces like when lifting weights or doing yard work that involves lifting, digging, or pushing a lawn mower. This type of activity can keep muscles strong, reduce the need for a cane, reduce risk of bone injury, and help maintain a healthy weight.

Balance activities focus on muscles in specific areas of the body that encourage control as you move through space, reducing the likelihood of falls. This kind of activity could include walking heel to toe, standing on one foot, getting out of a sitting position without the use of the hands, and standing on the tip of your toes. Balance activities can help you stay steady on your feet and reduce the risk of fall and subsequent injury.

Flexibility activities increase the length of the muscles and can include stretching, yoga, and popular exercise programs like pilates. These activities can maintain the felxibility of joints, prevent stiffness, prevent injuries, and lower stress levels in general.

Weight-bearing activities require the muscles to work against gravity where the arms or legs bear the weight of the body. Activities like walking, tennis, and climbing stairs can build and maintain bone mass or reduce the risk of bone fractures.

Some activities incorporate multiple types of strengthening addressed above. What is important is that senior citizens find an enjoyable and do-able activity that will help them incorporate as many benefits as possible which will have far-reaching benefits to their health.

It’s Easy to Stay Healthy

A common misconception is that it takes an excessive amount of time and extra energy to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, by just taking short walks for ten minutes a time or cleaning the house regularly can be practical ways to incorporate different physical activities into your daily schedule. And remember, staying healthy as a senior citizen will have increasing benefits as you continue to age.

Staying Motivated to Take Care of Yourself

Just because we age doesn’t mean that we are any less stressed by occurrences in life that may make us feel bad about ourselves or decrease our motivation to be good to ourselves. If anything, many of the challenges senior citizens face add stress. Losing loved ones and friends or having trouble being independent with the added stressed of disease and functioning due to aging can cause depression or lifestyle changes that contribute to bad health. Here are some important tips for being good to yourself when you may not feel motivated due to circumstances out of your control:

Get plenty of sleep
Stay connected with family and friends
Join clubs or other social groups that you enjoy
Spend time with people that you enjoy
Volunteer at organizations in your community
Work a part-time job that isn’t too stressful or demanding
Watch a funny movie or find a way to laugh
Take up a hobby that you enjoy

Most importantly, senior citizens should remember that it is relatively easy and worth-while to maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. Be sure to keep family, friends, and those involved in your elder care informed of your goals as they can help assist you. And remembering to eat healthy meals regularly, getting in physical activity, getting enough sleep, and being good to yourself are critical for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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A Short Healthy Eating Guide For A Healthier Life

Eating healthy foods can help lengthen lifespans, decrease risk of chronic diseases and increase physical and mental well-being. Foods for healthy eating can be really delicious, and there are plenty of simple food recipes out there for a good, healthy diet. If you’ve got specific dietary condition, you should see a doctor for a healthy food list tailored to your needs. This healthy eating guide presumes no special dietary requirements.

Try to match your calorific intake to the energy you use. While the odd exception won’t be problematic, you can’t eat Christmas recipes every day. Normally women use about 2000 calories a day and men use 2500.

Healthy recipes use less saturated fats and more unsaturated fats. Roughly speaking, saturated fats are fairly solid at room temperature and unsaturated fats are liquid. Seeds and nuts are great for healthy nutrition party because they contain healthy oils: similarly oily fish can be a starting point for healthy, easy recipes.

For a good healthy diet try to eat complete proteins. Animal proteins are usually complete, but also contain a lot of saturated fats which people keeping healthy foods diets should avoid. To get complete proteins from plant sources pair a grain (such as rice, wheat or oats) with a pulse (such as beans, lentils or chickpeas). A more comprehensive healthy food list for pairing can easily be found in an online or print healthy food guide. This combo is so good it’s used in simple food recipes around the world, like Jamaican rice ‘n’ beans and Indian dal with rice. There are Middle Eastern healthy, easy recipes combining wheat (in couscous, bulgur and bread) and chickpeas (e.g. houmous, falafel) which make great diet foods for healthy eating.

A healthy foods diet avoids sugary foods and drinks. Even too much 100% fruit juice can be bad for you, because simple sugars are less healthy than carbohydrates like starch. Diet foods and healthy snacks tend to be low in sugar, so that can be a safer bet. Instead of processed foods, eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, which can be used in healthy, easy recipes from any good healthy food guide.

It doesn’t matter how many meals you eat a day: this differs between cultures and time periods. However, consistency is important to avoid feeling hungry and if hungry between meals eat healthy snacks. Avoid missing breakfast too, because slow-release energy helps get you through work or school.

Speaking of school, it can be hard keeping track of kids’ healthy nutrition. School dinners might not always use healthy recipes, but healthy kids’ snacks are out there. With a lunch-box and a healthy eating guide they’ll be eating healthy foods in no time.

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Promote a Healthy Diet for Your Children at Home and at School

Children are likely to eat the same as their parents. As parents, you can be a positive role model for healthy eating. By purchasing and preparing nutritious balanced meals, you can establish a healthy diet at home.

A healthy environment at home is a good start, but the kids take most of their meals at school. By sending your kids to school with nutritious lunches and encouraging healthy choices for school events, you can also help to create a healthy nutritional environment in schools.

The offering healthy foods at school improves student learning. Research shows that children who have a healthy diet are:

• more willing to learn;
• more likely to achieve better results at school;
• less likely to have chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

The government is working with schools, educators and parents to encourage healthy eating at school. In April 2008, the Act on Healthy Food for Healthy Schools was passed to make schools healthier learning environments. By working together and making all our part, we can help our children to make healthier choices.

Create a healthier school environment

The idea supporting the Act on Healthy Food for Healthy Schools is to help children make healthier food choices. This means that healthy and tasty foods should be made available to children in schools.

In September 2011, the Ontario schools will implement the policy on food and beverages in schools. It provides guidance on the types of foods that can be sold in school cafeterias, vending machines and at school events. Policy helps schools determine which foods they can or can not sell.

Your children need YOU

Wherever possible, try to participate in the school life of your child, making sure that the foods offered in the school are healthy. Make your voice heard. Here are some ideas:

• Talk to your child and tell him why healthy foods are important in school and why some food he could buy during the previous school year are no longer available.
• Prepare lunches and healthy snacks to school with your child.
• Join a parent / teacher committee to help make good decisions on proposed school food.
• Opt for healthy recipes at bake sales and fundraisers with the proposed ideas Bake it Up!(English only).

What can you do to encourage healthy eating?

The Policy on food and beverages in schools covers only food sold at school. It does not apply to meals from home. Does this mean that you should not put anything in any lunch box for your child? No, especially if you encourage healthy eating! It is important to be consistent and to provide healthy meals for your children at home and at school. This will allow them to learn to make healthy choices for food.

At the grocery store:

Choose products from the four food groups of Canada’s Food Guide.

Go shopping with your children to teach them to make good choices. They can learn the value of food, provenance and revenue opportunities.

Teach your children to read food labels. Watch these videos on nutrition labeling with your children.

During the preparation of lunch:

Involve your children in the selection and preparation of food. When children are involved in meal preparation, they are more likely to consume.

Get creative! Use cookie cutters to make sandwiches fun shapes, make fruit kebabs and pastries offer whole grain low fat. Read the FAQ Prepare lunches and healthy snacks for students for more ideas.

During the meal:

Eat together as often as possible. Children who eat with their parents (at least four times per week) tend to eat more fruits and vegetables, have a higher fiber intake, eat less fried foods and drink less soda.

They are also less prone to being overweight or obese.

Be a good role model. When you make healthy food choices for yourself, you teach your children to eat healthily.

In conclusion:

Promote healthy eating by helping to feed your children at school and at home. Bring the kids to the grocery store, prepare healthy meals and encourage healthy activities in school. As a model for your children, you must teach them healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

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