In order to attain optimal health and fitness, a healthy diet must become a part of your lifestyle. It's also essential for achieving your body weight, tone, and muscle goals. Your psychological health benefits as well. Healthy eating can help to reduce or eliminate mood swings and depression.
An excellent healthy diet is...
Low or near zero in fat, sugar, and salt (sodium).
Low or zero in all dairy products (milk & cheese).
Low or zero in caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol (beer & wine).
High in purified drinking water.
Replaces all other drinks.
High in 100% fruit juices.
(No added sugar.) Best are acai berry, blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate. All are high in antioxidants.
High in 100% vegetable juices.
(Low Sodium.) Best are those you juice yourself. A great blend is apples, carrots, celery, beets, tomatoes, cantaloupe or watermelon.
High in 100% citrus juices.
(No added sugar.) Lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit.
Zero in sodas, colas, soft drinks, or diet of any of these.
Zero in artificial sugar.
High in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
High in tofu, beans, and lentils.
High in whole grains.
Brown rice, bread, and cereals.
Low or zero in white breads, white rice, and pasta.
High in fish.
Wild fish is usually better than farm grown. Salmon is especially good due to its high content of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Moderate in chicken (& eggs), turkey, ostrich, and other poultry. Organic cage-free/free-range is usually better.
Low or zero in beef, pork (zero bacon), and lamb meat.
Zero in fried foods.
Low or zero in highly processed foods.
Any high fat, sugary or salty bagged or boxed, so called, foods.
Tip: The best way to keep tract of the fat, sugar, and sodium (salt) content in the foods you buy is to get into the habit of reading the ""Nutrition Facts"" label on food products. Laws in the United States and other countries require this label. Reading this label is crucial to ensuring that you have a healthy diet.
If you've never followed a strict healthy diet, then this may seem a little overwhelming. It may at first. But once you learn about the benefits and see the results in the mirror, you'll get excited about it and want to do more!
There may be fitness enthusiasts who are closely following every other aspect of good health practices except for maintaining a healthy diet. Here's what many of us forget or ignore. As the human body ages, its ability to burn off and eliminate excess fat and other harmful substances gradually decreases. The outcome is increased weight and a weaker performing body. Radically changing my diet was the last step I took. Weight gain and reduced energy was my motivation.
I've been closely following the healthy diet menu that I described above for about 10 years ('09). I indulge a little bit occasionally as a reward to myself or while I'm on vacation, but generally I manage to stay on it 95% of the time. In the beginning, it was quite a struggle because I missed the buttery, sugary, salty, fatty favors in the foods I ate. I found that once I was away from these ""alleged"" favor enhancers for a while my preferences changed and I started to enjoy the taste of foods without all the extra flavorings.
Here's a good example. At one point, I could not imagine ever eating a piece of toast without butter. Once my taste buds adjusted to foods without butter and other intense flavorings, I was amazed at the wonderful fragrance and taste of a slice of quality whole gain bread. The same could not be said of low quality, zero benefit, cheap breads. This change in the sensitivity of my taste buds also allowed me to appreciate the taste of fruits and vegetables in a way that I never have in my life! Eating a healthy diet became a pleasure.
Today when I go to a restaurant and I get a dish that unexpectedly contains a lot of butter, salt, sugar, or fat I am instantly repealed and sometimes sicken by it. I've learned to politely ask the server a few questions about the food when I go to restaurants now. As far as being invited to eat at the homes of family or friends, I just make sure that I've made the ""cooks"" aware of my healthy diet lifestyle well in advance of any invitations.
A healthy diet is the foundation to fitness. If you workout regularly and you want all your hard work to show on your body, you must pay attention to your diet.
To your health and fitness.
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