With all of the emphasis being put on how overweight we, as a society are, more and more people are looking for ways to improve their nutritional intake. It might seem easy to figure out how to do this, but unfortunately, the grocery stores make it difficult to stay on track. As soon as you enter the store, you are presented with displays of fattening foods that somehow find a way into your grocery cart.
By recognizing the types of foods that you should be eating, you can better steer clear of fattening foods and focus on the healthy ones. Your diet should include six ounces of grains. You can achieve this by eating three ounces of breads, rice, whole grain cereals, crackers or pasta. One ounce of grains can be consumed in a single slice of bread or in one serving of cereal. Everyone knows that they should increase their amount of vegetable intake.
This can be done by consuming 2 ½ cups of veggies, each day. Dark vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli are particularly good for you. Sweet potatoes and carrots are very healthy as well. Fruits are another type of food that should be eaten liberally.
Try to eat at least two cups per day. It is a good idea to eat different types of fruits, including fresh, frozen, canned and even dried fruits. Fruit juices contain a lot of sugar so they shouldn't be drank in excess. Milk is an important part of your diet and is rich in calcium. Three cups per day is recommended for adults and two cups per day is recommended for kids, ages 2-8.
Opt for nonfat or low fat milk products versus whole milk products. This applies to foods such as yogurt. Those who do not prefer to drink milk or who are unable to due to allergies, should opt for lactose free milk and milk products.
Besides dairy products, there are many other foods and beverages that are fortified with calcium, and will provide you with your dietary requirements, too. The daily recommendation for meat and beans, which provide much needed protein, is five ounces per day. Lean meats or meats that are low in fat are preferable. It is best to bake, grill, or broil meat, to prevent eating too much grease or fat. Protein can be added to your diet by eating fish, beans, peas and nuts as well. It is a good idea to vary your protein rich foods with these choices.
Be sure to limit the use of solid fats such as margarine, butter, shortening and lard when cooking your food. Although they are tasty, they are not heart healthy and can elevate your cholesterol. It is a good idea to avoid foods that contain these fats as well. Check nutrition labels when buying food, to regulate your saturated fat, trans fat and sodium intake.
The labels with nutrition information can be found on just about every type of food package and you can improve your health by making a habit of reading them and adjusting your diet. You can maintain a healthy lifestyle by choosing your foods wisely and monitoring what you eat. Adding regular exercise to a healthy diet will greatly improve your health as well.
Whatever your age may be, a healthy diet and active lifestyle will benefit your health for the duration of your years, and likely lead to a better quality of life.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as fruit gift baskets at http://www.gourmetgiftbasketsplus.com