America is one of the fattest nations in the world. Taking the initiative to do something about your health and weight is an important step. Start slowly by following a few simple guidelines, and watch what you eat. Making smart food choice is only a start, however. It is important to combine good eating habits with regular exercise. You can not add more into your body than what your body is able to burn through later exercise. Together, a healthier diet and exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight.
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Eat foods high in fiber
A healthy diet should include a good portion of foods high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole-wheat pasta and whole grain breads. Studies show that fiber-rich foods leads to lower blood pressure and less risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Fiber provides the body with necessary nutrients and fewer calories. It also prevents overeating because it causes the body feel fuller, faster.
Limit your intake of sugar and salt
Eat sugary or salty foods in moderation. Most foods high in sugar are also high in calories and lack necessary nutrients for the body. Try to stay away from drinking soda and eating junk food. Make lemonade more often, and drink water instead. Water keeps the body hydrated and is good for kidneys.
Eat smaller portions
It is important to look the part size of the food on your plate. The more that is on your plate, the more calories consumed. Share a dinner entrée with a loved one or choose an appetizer as a main meal when you go out to a restaurant. Over the years, restaurants have been generous with their portion sizes, so it’s up to the Americans to control how much of the part they choose to eat at one sitting.
Eat lean meat
Stay away from fatty animal foods. These foods are high in saturated fat, which can contribute to higher cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, heart disease and clogged arteries. Instead, eat lean meat, skinless chicken and non-fat or low-fat dairy products. Remember that foods that come from animals contain cholesterol, while plant foods are not. High levels of cholesterol can lead to clogged arteries and heart problems.
Limit alcohol intake
Too much alcohol can greatly add to your calorie intake without providing the necessary vitamins and minerals. It is recommended that women limit themselves to one drink and men limit themselves to two drinks a day. Too much alcohol can also lead to other problems, such as hypertension, stroke or alcohol addiction.
Eat Unsaturated fats and calcium
Unsaturated fats are much healthier for the body. These foods include fish, nuts and canola or olive oil. Calcium is also important to keep the body’s bones and teeth strong. Pick low-fat calcium products, such as skim milk, low fat yoghurt, spinach, broccoli and soybean products. Calcium is important for women because it helps prevent osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become brittle.
Eat a variety of foods
The American Heart Association recommends eating a variety of foods to receive a well-rounded amount of nutrients. What nutrients a food from the basic food groups not offer may be obtained from another food from another food group.