Saturday, May 24, 2008

Choose Healthy Foods for the Family

it seems like every day results of new studies show that what we eat directly contributes to different health conditions and risks. Taking control of health and wellness begins at home, and it begins with choosing healthy foods for the whole family. Incorporating healthy eating and healthy living in the household can and will become habitual once you take the necessary steps to make those changes.
Identify any and all health-related risks the family may already be eating toward. In other words, is there is family history of obesity, heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes it places a family at risk for future medical conditions. Once the family health history is assessed, the family can choose better dietary choices.
Learn to read food labels. Ideally, food products that are low in cholesterol, low to no fats, low sugar and low salt are quality products.
Incorporate simplistic foods. Simplistic foods are foods in the natural fresh form. Fresh fruits and fresh vegetables are a great way to choose healthy foods. They do not need to be cooked and can be prepared and eaten in their natural healthy raw form. Serve raw vegetable salads with main meals and a plate of cut up fruits for dessert. This is a great way to get the daily required nutrients.
Choose leaner cuts of meat and white meat poultry. These food items are less fatty and better choices in protein. Try to make your favorite ground-beef meal with ground turkey, chicken or veal. Not only will it be healthier, but it will give a variation of flavor and bring flare to the dinner table.
Add non-animal proteins to the diet. Non-animal proteins consist of beans, soy products and nuts. These proteins are low in fat and therefore much better for the body’s health.
Consume more whole grain products. This can be done by changing from white bread to whole grain bread, eating more whole grain cereals and serving brown rice as a side dish with dinners.
Create healthy bones by including dairy in the diet. For older children and adults, low-fat or skim milk is better for the body. Eat real cheeses, not processed cheeses that tend to be higher in fat content. This may mean going to the deli counter to buy sliced cheese as opposed to the dairy section and picking up a package of processed individually sliced and wrapped cheeses. Yogurt is a great source of dairy and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and snacks.
Shop and buy more organic foods. Organic foods have no preservatives and are healthier for the body.
Prepare foods in healthy ways. It is not necessary to deep fry or fry foods. Try baking, broiling or grilling your favorite foods, and play around with new spices. This can be a fun way to create and make up new recipes. Sauté meats and vegetables in a non-stick spray instead of butter or cooking oil. Also, trade in the vegetable oil for extra virgin olive oil which is healthier. Cut down on using salt.
Moderate and discipline the sweet tooth. Everyone has a sweet tooth from time to time, but we do not need to feed it with unhealthy sweets. Choose fresh fruits, granola, trail mix, sorbet or even gelato which is Italian ice cream that is way healthier due to the wholesome and natural ingredients it is prepared with. Moderate the amounts of sweets by not allowing yourself to eat a large quantity of that sweet in one sitting. A person does not need to eat the whole chocolate bar to get the sweet fix they need. They can instead eat 2 squares and save the rest for another day.
Serve proper portions. It is not necessary to pile the plate high with food. It is proven that the more food that is placed on a plate will contribute to teaching the body to overeat. Try to use smaller plates and properly portion the meals that are served. This will retrain the stomach and body to eat the proper amount of foods at each sitting.
Add supplemental vitamins to the daily dietary routine. Not everything that is eaten during the day will give the body the required vitamins and minerals to sustain a healthy body. Check with your doctor to see which vitamins and minerals are essentially good to add to the daily intake in supplemental form.

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