The Top 5 Foods for Healthy Living

The Top 5 Foods for Healthy Living

Every article about healthy eating that you read will tell you that one of the most important factors in living a long and healthy life is the foods you eat.  The typical article will push vegetables, fruit and exercise.  And they are definitely right.  They will also tell you that if you are eating grains you should only eat whole grains which still contain all of their vitamins and nutrients before being washed away in the processing.

But in this article we want to boil it down to the most healthy foods that a person can eat in order to get the most nutrients one can.  Eating these foods regularly as part of your ongoing healthy diet will certainly help most people to live a longer and healthier life. 

Not only that, but each of the five we have chosen, are not only among the healthiest foods that are easily available, but they are also extremely versatile.  That means it is very easy to prepare and fit them into your regular menus.  It will not be necessary to learn to cook all over again and taste things you’ve never heard of before.  It’s just a matter of getting more of the right foods that have the right ingredients for your improved health!

So here we go with Dietgirl’s list of the Top 5 Foods for Healthy Living

1. Berries (Cranberries) 

Another  delicious and very healthy food is berries.  Not only can they be easily incorporated into your meals, but they are great for a snack. All berries have antioxidants that are important for your diet. Cranberries, in particular, are very high in antioxidants, but all berries are benefitial and should be enjoyed often.

2. Quinoa (Whole Grains)

All whole grains are far better to eat than processed grains.  But quinoa is in a class of its own. Please note that by itself, quinoa has a bland taste, but you can fix that easily with some garlic, salt, lemon or oils.  Better yet, just grab a few recipes off the internet and you will see that it is quite easy to jazz it up.  It’s worth that extra little effort because quinoa is very high in  fiber and in protein, and is an excellent source of magnesium and iron. 

3. Salmon

Naturally filled with Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and other terrific nutrients, salmon is one of the best foods on the planet that a person can eat.  This one grilled piece of fish has almost everything in it that your diet requires. And on top of all that it is low in fat and bad cholesterol, but high in good cholesterol.  Quinoa makes a terrific add to everyone’s diet.

4. Spinach (Greens)

As mentioned above, green vegetables are very important to your diet.  And some of them can be important sources for calcium  fiber, protein, and other important slices of the nutrition pie. Interestingly, spinach does not provide all the benefits that collard greens and kale do, but since spinach is easier to mix into your recipes and add to your menu in ways beyond a simple salad, we have focused on it over all other greens. 

5. Soy

By now, everyone has heard of soy.  Unfortunately, this unique incredible food does require learning how to cook it.  But it is so worth it.  Soy is simply a fantastically healthy food. It has fiber, protein, Omega-3, calcium, vitamins, —almost everything a person could want from a meal. The good news is that soy can also be found in lots of foods, as vegetarians can find soy cheeses, soy meats, tofu and other things that can all be used to help you find ways to include soy in as many meals as you want.

So there you have it!  The Top 5 Food for Healthy Living.  Bon appetite!

Read More
How Snacking Affects Your Weight Loss Journey

How Snacking Affects Your Weight Loss Journey

Many people have different ways of trying to cope with boredom. For some people a pastime would be to go for a walk. For many others, it may even be to indulge in a snack or two. But if you’re looking to lose weight, is snacking away your boredom really a good option?

Although snacking can sometimes have a bad rep, snacking on healthy snacks, fruits, and vegetable can actually be very beneficial for you on your weight loss journey. According to expert, Dr. Luiza Petre, a board-certified cardiologist and weight-management specialist, “Even though weight loss means cutting calories, that doesn’t mean you have to get rid of snacks.” The right kind of snack “can be a secret weapon to fight excess pounds, while at the same time keeping your energy level up and giving you more opportunities to get in all your nutritional needs”. However, we have to remember that simply snacking itself is not what’s beneficial for weight loss. It’s beneficial because it helps you to avoid binge-eating at your next meal by keeping you satiated for a longer time and prevents your blood sugar from dropping while also maintaining your metabolism rate.

It’s best to avoid carb-only snacks since they’ll only end up making you feel hungrier. Instead, eat protein based snacks that have fewer than 100 calories. Additionally, try limiting your snacks to only 1 or 2 per day and portion them out. Make sure you have control over yourself so you don’t end up overeating! We hope you can enjoy eating a healthy snack now and then without feeling guilty!

 

Read More
The Truth About Water Pills

The Truth About Water Pills

Water pills, also known as diuretics, are one of the most commonly prescribed pills by doctors to reduce blood pressure, treat heart failure, and to lower down swelling. However, nowadays, many people tend to self prescribe water pills to lose weight temporarily or even ease bloating. But after learning these facts about water pills, you may want to steer clear from self-prescribing them for weight loss or bloating.

It may be tempting to pick up some over the counter water pills to ease your bloating but it can also be very risky. The difference between over the counter water pills and prescription water pills is that you don’t know what’s actually in the OTC water pills since they aren’t controlled by the FDA. Additionally, they can cause serious damage to your body when you take them without knowing the recommended dose you should be taking.

Water pills may help you feel less bloated, but it only works temporarily since you’re losing water weight. Once you stop taking them, you’ll return to your normal body weight or in some cases, you may even end up gaining more weight. This happens when you take water pills or any other diuretic over an extended period of time because your kidneys may end up holding on to much more weight than you had before you started taking them.

So instead of taking water pills that may not even guarantee weight loss, focus on your diet more and exercise. Before taking any kind of medication, always talk to a doctor!

Read More
Ingredients to Make your Healthy Office Lunches More Exciting

Ingredients to Make your Healthy Office Lunches More Exciting

Many people tend to pack leftovers or something unhealthy and quick as an office lunch. It’s understandable considering you may be busy in the morning but always remember your health comes first. So why not prepare something hearty and exciting so you’ll always have something to look forward to at work. Here are some healthy ingredients that’ll make your office lunches way more exciting:

Eggs
Eggs can be cooked in many different ways and added to almost any dish to make it more interesting. Not only is it an excellent source of protein, but it can make every dish taste better. You can prepare eggs at the beginning of the week by boiling a few to add to your lunch as a side dish or fry some to add to a sandwich.

Rice
Rice can be very filling and is great with vegetables or even last night’s leftovers. You can quickly make yourself some fried rice or make plain white rice with a side dish.

Chickpeas
Canned chickpeas are always great to have in your kitchen. You can blend them to make hummus or make a quick chickpea and egg salad.

Soy Sauce
If you don’t have time in the morning and want to add some flavor to last night’s leftovers, add soy sauce! You can add it to almost anything to make it more flavorful.

Olive Oil
Not only is olive oil great for cooking, it’s also amazing when you add it to salads or even when you mix it with greek yogurt for a dip.

Greek Yogurt
Greek Yogurt can be eaten with honey and granola for a quick breakfast or even as a savory snack with chickpeas or olive oil. It can also be used as a healthy mayonnaise alternative and mixed with many other ingredients to add more flavor.

Read More
Juice and Smoothie Tips for the Newbie

Juice and Smoothie Tips for the Newbie

Green juices and smoothies are the new healthy trend for people all over the world. If you’re new to this trend, don’t worry, we’re sure you’ll make an amazing, delicious and healthy drink after reading these tips.

Invest in a juicer

Green juices are supposed to be smooth in texture and a blender would not be able to do that. By investing in a juicer, you’ll be able to make smooth and delicious smoothies all the time!

The simpler, the better

It can be tempting to add all sorts of healthy fruits and vegetables in your drink, but you don’t want to add so much that the drink starts to look brown. Here is a simple juice recipe we’re sure you will love:

1 green apple, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch kale leaves
Handful of mint
1 bunch parsley
1 lemon
1″ piece of ginger

Don’t add too much ice in your smoothie
Adding too much ice in your smoothie will make the texture slushy like and it would taste very watery. If you want an ice cold drink, try freezing the fruits and vegetables itself.

Choose produce you enjoy eating
If you don’t enjoy eating some fruits or vegetables, don’t torture yourself by adding them into your juice or smoothie. Instead only add fruits and vegetable that you like for the best taste!


Don’t add ice cream in your smoothie

It may be tempting to add ice cream in your smoothie once in a while, but that would make it a milkshake. Instead of using dairy, consider adding almond milk or healthy fruit juices if you’re tired of water.

Need more great tips on how to make smoothies? Check out the infographic below!

How to Make a Smoothie

Read More
Take it Easy with the Vitamin D!

Take it Easy with the Vitamin D!

When vitamin D is taken at moderate levels, it has many excellent and necessary health benefits. It’s great for fighting various different bone diseases and even goes as far as to preventing the flu. However, a recent study suggests that people are ingesting way more vitamin D than they should be. Researchers found that 18.2 percent of Americans ingest more than 1000 IU than they need. Ingesting more vitamin D than you need in your body can lead to developing hypercalcemia, which is when you have too much calcium in your blood, and this can cause issues like fatigue, kidney problems, weakness, and poor appetite.

Vitamin D is produced when our skin is directly exposed to enough sunlight. However since it is best to avoid direct contact from the sun’s UV rays, it is advised to only spend about 10 to 15 minutes unprotected in the sun for vitamin D. We also get vitamin D through the foods we eat fairly regularly, such as milk, orange juice, salmon and eggs.

Since vitamin D is regulated in our bodies, people who have too much vitamin D in their system likely have it as a result of taking supplements. The reason why so many people have been excessively ingesting vitamin D supplement pills in the past few years is because of all the new research being found that proves all the beneficial effects of vitamin D. Although it is very important to maintain the suggested daily intake and amount of vitamin D required in our bodies, too much of it is never good for you! It can turn toxic, and lead to nausea, vomiting, weakness, frequent urination, bone pain, and kidney problems.

But when done properly, here are some of the health benefits of vitamin D:

  1. Better bone health
  2. Prevention of rickets and osteomalacia
  3. Prevention of osteoporosis and fractures
  4. Improved physical performance
  5. Protection against multiple cancers
  6. Beneficial for brain development and function
  7. Improves cognitive functions
  8. Reduces risk of Parkinson’s Disease
  9. Beneficial in Multiple Sclerosis
  10. Improves sleep quality
  11. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  12. Reduces blood pressure
  13. Prevents obesity and metabolic syndrome
  14. Reduces severity of asthma
  15. Protects kidney function
Read More
Check Out the Foods that Nutritionists Avoid the Most

Check Out the Foods that Nutritionists Avoid the Most

It’s always best to eat foods in moderation. However, there are actually a few foods and drinks that nutritionists suggest cutting off altogether. Here are some foods and drinks that nutritionists never eat or drink and believe should be cut off from our diets as well, in addition to varieties to opt for should you decide to give in to the craving:

Soda

Sodas are made up of mostly sugar and other ingredients that are potentially harmful. Additionally, sodas contain many calories and it’s best to avoid drinking soda at all because there are no nutrients. We suggest drinking healthier drinks like tea or a homemade smoothie!

Reduced Fat Peanut Butter

The fat in peanut butter is actually a very healthy monounsaturated fat. When it is removed, it is replaced with many types of sugars and is far worse than regular fat peanut butter. So don’t be fooled by the “reduced fat” label on the peanut butter bottle the next time you buy peanut butter. Stick to the original!

Hot Dogs

No matter what type of meat hot dogs contain, they are always very highly processed. Hot dogs also contain ingredients that are laced with cancer-causing nitrates which make hot dogs one of the most unsafe foods to eat. There are so many other items you are better off

Margarine

Margarine is often used as a replacement for butter but is very highly processed. It is extremely high in saturated fat and like peanut butter, it’s best to stick to the real thing. But, if you deal with high blood pressure or cholesterol, we recommend enjoying it in moderation or using trans fat-free margarine instead.

American Cheese

American cheese is factory made cheese that has many added chemicals and is very high in saturated fat. Eating highly processed foods like American cheese is linked with chronic inflammation which increases the risk of developing diseases like cancer. Instead of eating American cheese, try mild cheddar which is not as nearly processed.

Red Meat

Red meat should not be consumed for many reasons. Trimethylamine N-Oxide, produced when a compound in the meat metabolizes, is linked to inflammation, heart diseases, and atherosclerosis. A sugar molecule, Neu5GC, found in red meat promotes chronic inflammation. Compounds, like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic amines, and advanced glycation end products are all carcinogenic compounds formed after the meat is cooked. Overall, it is best to avoid eating red meat as it can have many negative effects.

Raw Milk

Raw milk could contain many harmful bacterias and cause illnesses such as food poisoning. Always make sure to drink pasteurized milk to avoid any negative effects on your body.

Read More
What Are Natural Flavors Anyway?

What Are Natural Flavors Anyway?

When shopping for healthy and hearty foods, most health-conscious people tend to stay away from items that contain artificial colors and flavors. They try their best to gear towards foods that are labeled as naturally flavored on the nutrition labels. However, understanding what nutrition labels actually mean can get pretty tricky if you can’t even pronounce half of the ingredients listed. One rule of thumb is that if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, then do not buy it. That goes hand-in-hand with not buying anything with too much sugar or sodium in its serving sizes.

Although it may sound logical to buy naturally flavored foods because it sounds healthy- have you ever thought about what these natural flavors are, and where they might come from? Does it actually make the food you are eating any healthier? Are they truly what we think they are, and are they actually significantly better than artificially flavored foods?

“Natural flavors” is actually a very general term to describe where an ingredient originated from. Naturally flavored ingredients are chemicals that were originally found in a once naturally occurring source, and they are (surprisingly) not always healthier than artificially flavored ingredients. It is important to know that the naturally flavored product you are buying only signifies that it contains ingredients that were once natural. Theoretically speaking, the chemicals that were originally found in a naturally occurring source can be processed much more than an artificially flavored ingredients to the point that purity aspect is minimal. In fact, the FDA does not even have an established definition of what a naturally flavored ingredient is, and there is a lack of regulations on it.

Both artificially and naturally flavored ingredients serve the same purpose of flavoring foods. The only difference is that one is entirely created by humans, while the other was once traced back to being from a naturally occurring source. Although naturally flavored foods can sound much better than artificially flavored foods, there are actually no evident benefits because of how much the ingredients were processed.

Now we just have to end this post with the age-old question: Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavors, and lemon dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

Read More
All Sugars are NOT Created Equal

All Sugars are NOT Created Equal

Ah, the sweet tooth. Many of us have it, and if we had to pick our poison, it would most likely be something sweet. But we all know the hard truth that it’s not wise to go overboard with sugar. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that not all sugars are created equal.

First, let us start with the many types of sugars that are more mainstream than others. Sugars such as granulated white sugar and brown sugar are mostly used to sweeten up drinks or while baking. But did you know that not all sugars are necessarily sweet? That’s how it creeps up on you! In fact there are so many different types of ingredients that most people are familiar with, but don’t realize that they are actually classified as sugars. Although there are many types of sugars, nutritionally they are very similar. They are made up of glucose, fructose and sucrose.

The factors that make these sugars different from each other are where they come from, their taste, and the way they are processed. White sugar is the most common type of sugar everyone is familiar with. It is the product of either sugarcane of beet and its color is removed during the refining process. Brown sugar is refined white sugar with molasses added to it. They are both from the same source but are processed differently which makes them different from each other. Corn syrup is also another type of sugar that is corn broken down into sugar during food processing before they are concentrated. However, to make it sweeter, it is processed even further which results in high fructose corn syrup.

According to several studies, white sugar can have many negative effects on our health. Although all sugars are similar nutritionally, the amount of processing they each go through can affect the nutrients of each sugar differently. Sugars that are less processed and refined (e.g., raw sugar, honey and molasses) have a much higher antioxidant capacity and can be slightly better for us. But at the end, sugar is still simply sugar in our bodies and it is always best to take it in absolute moderation in the form of that which is extracted from natural health foods.

 

Read More