Happy National Nutrition Month!
Here are seven healthy eating habits to hang on to:
1. Eat breakfast every day that includes lean protein and vegetables(yes vegetables for breakfast!).
Studies have shown that eating lean sources of protein can help you stay fuller, longer. Whether it is eggs, organic meats or even just a protein shake, having a protein-rich meal in the morning can help you feel more satisfied all day long. Vegetables provide vitamins and select nutrients to keep your body healthy and your immunity strong. Vegetables also provide a comfortable amount of fiber that will assist in maintaining a regular digestive system.
2. Eat every three hours.
Consuming small, nutrition-packed snacks every few hours can transform your health. Eating small amounts of food continuously prevents your body from experience “sugar highs” or “food comas”. Instead of energy highs and lows, eating every three hours helps to maintain a consistent energy level. Snacks also decrease mealtime hunger, which in turn prevents overeating throughout the day.
3. Drink three liters of filtered water daily.
One of waters primary functions in the body is to transport oxygen to your cells while helping remove toxic waste from your cells. Without an adequate intake of water, dehydration can cause muscle and joint pain, headaches, lower back pain, constipation and more. Filtered water is purified of harmful contaminants, yet it maintains its mineral rich properties. Replacing juice, soda, alcohol and other high-calorie drinks with water is a quick and easy way to lose weight and help to alleviate the liquid calorie stress on the liver.
4. Refrain from all artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, preservatives, additives and unnatural flavors.
These artificial ingredients are unnatural and therefore, very challenging for the body to digest. It can take as long as three to four days for a body to fully digest artificial sweeteners and ingredients. This prolonged process contributes to additional or even excessive weight gain as well as increased cravings for sweets as the body is tricked into thinking it is getting sugar. Other sweeteners contain toxic particles from scientific alteration and this can increase stress on the body’s detoxification pathways.
5. Use oils such as olive, coconut, flax or nut oils.
Everyday margarines and blended oils contain high quantities of both saturated and trans-saturated fats. Unfortunately, these commonly consumed fats increase the quantity of LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) and decrease the quantity of HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) in the blood. As a result, clogged arteries, heart disease and heart malfunctioning is rampant in the United States. To avoid such bodily harm, focus your appetite on the oils listed above. Consumption of these oils has been proven to lower rates of heart disease, cancer, colon problems and more. Not only will these healthy oils prevent unfavorable heart conditions, they can also normalize blood clotting, benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, and assist in preventing type 2 diabetes.
6. Do not consume more than 12 ounces of coffee or caffeinated tea each day.
Both coffee and some teas contain caffeine. The side effects of caffeine can be beneficial and even healthful at times; however, over consumption of these beverages can be extremely harmful. First, both coffee and tea are diuretics. As you drink more, you also excrete more water waste. The result of too much coffee can easily lead to dehydration. Not only that, too much caffeine causes restlessness, nausea, headaches, anxiety, irritability, nervousness, gastrointestinal issues, and more. Drinking one mug of coffee or tea a day will allow you to experience all the benefits of these beverages without the harmful consequences of overuse.
7. Prepare meals and snacks at home that are ready to transport.
The most vulnerable moments of poor snacking and over-eating come when you become hungry and you are not prepared. Packing healthy snacks and meals before your day starts is a great way to save time, money, prevent overeating and ensure healthy eating habits. When preparing meals in advance, you can pack foods that are healthy and nutritious. This will eliminate any unhealthy meal options and prevent any impatient or impulsive meal decisions. Premade snacks also assist in keeping consistent energy levels and prevent unhealthy binge eating.
Visit the Colorado Center of Health and Nutrition website for more information about integrative nutrition and functional healthcare, along with links to patient forms and other information.