I agree with David (9th July comment) with regard to diet. Whole grains can indeed have the effect of spiking blood sugar (whole grain bread as just one example) and creating gut inflammation, and therefore low-grade, sub-acute inflammation in general. This is the biggest contributor to chronic disease that we are facing, long-term inflammation. The standard food pyramid is, in my opinion, all wrong. I believe we should eat a more Mediterranean diet, and minimise the grain-based carbohydrates, and the sugars. Then we are considerably further down the track towards a healthy diet that promotes longevity. Of course, all of the other factors mentioned are important as well, but what we put into our mouths is probably the most important, given the skyrocketing rates of obesity first world countries are facing, and now even asian countries as well, who are well and truly catching up.
Many people are either interested in specific eating styles or increasingly aware of their own dietary sensitivities. That’s why you’ll find many convenience foods tailored to low-FODMAP eating patterns — meaning these foods avoid ingredients that tend to trigger IBS symptoms, such as onion, garlic, and even gluten. Fody offers low-FODMAP salsa, ketchup, salad dressings, and more, while Rachel Pauls sells low-FODMAP bars, jerky, and spices. Even Prego offers a Sensitive Recipe pasta sauce sans onions and garlic.
Exercise – Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week – it can even be split up into 10 minute walks. The effects of brief physical exertion last much longer than those of caffeine, and exercise decreases stress rather than increasing it! Finding a physical activity that you really like to do will make exercise more fun and something to look forward to as well as help to keep you healthy throughout life. So try something new or something that has always appealed to you.
“Do good” is a mantra many companies, small and big alike, are standing by these days. General Mills, for instance, set a goal to sustainably source 10 of its top ingredients by the year 2020. It’s currently meeting 76 percent of that goal, with all of its palm oil, 99 percent of its fiber packaging, 81 percent of its U.S. sugar beets, and 67 percent of its U.S. dry milled corn sustainably sourced. This notably impacts its Cheerios and Nature Valley lines.
Yes. Just allot yourself enough time to get a good night's sleep. Stick to a regular sleep schedule as best as you can, rather than sleeping and waking up at different times from day to day. Do not exercise within 2 hours of sleeping. Do not eat large amounts of food before going to sleep. Avoid caffeine or sugary foods and drinks before sleeping. Try not to use your TV, computer, phone, tablet or any other screen shortly before sleeping. Dim your lights before you go to sleep. All of this, combined with living a healthier lifestyle all around should greatly increase your quality of sleep.
Quaker, the brand that’s practically synonymous with oats stateside, just released its own version of oat milk, too. It's called Oat Beverage and it will be hitting the refrigerated section of grocery stores nationwide in January. While oat milk is relatively low in calories, compared to other non-dairy beverages it has a high carbohydrate content so it's not suitable for those looking to cut carbs.
The most important aspect here is the mentality you bring to your exercise. Ideally, it’s not a chore but an enjoyable occasion. If that means you invite a friend to make it a social occasion too, then by all means do whatever it takes to get you outside, inhaling fresh air and experiencing the endorphins that our body releases when we are active. The feeling of satisfaction after completing a work out of some variety is hard to beat. It’s also addictive.
Always read food labels – natural doesn’t always mean healthy. You would be surprised how many foods are high in fat, salt and sugar. Download a free app like FoodSwitch, which scans barcodes and gives the nutritional value of loads of foods. If you have kids, get them to help with the shopping. They can search for healthy alternatives using your phone.
Cut down on processed food. Processed foods are not good because (1) most nutritional value is lost in the making of these foods and (2) the added preservatives are bad for our health. Many processed foods contain a high amount of salt content, which leads to higher blood pressure and heart disease. Processed foods are anything that is not in its raw form. In general, most food in supermarkets are processed — the more ingredients it has on the label (especially the ones ending with ‘ite’ or ‘ate’), the more processed they are. Watch out for those with salt/sugar in the first 5 ingredients and go for unprocessed food as much as possible.
Trying to decide what you're going to eat in the morning while you're rushing to get out the door is a recipe for diet disaster. Take 10 minutes tonight to plan out all your breakfasts for the week. Having a weekly nutrition plan will increase your likelihood of following through and eating breakfast every morning. (The 30-Day Meal Prep Challenge covers all the basics.)
As it turns out, healthy habits make a big difference. According to this analysis, people who met criteria for all five habits enjoyed significantly, impressively longer lives than those who had none: 14 years for women and 12 years for men (if they had these habits at age 50). People who had none of these habits were far more likely to die prematurely from cancer or cardiovascular disease.
When it comes to getting your fill of gut-healthy probiotics, you now have many options beyond yogurt. Lifeway Kefir spreadable Farmer Cheese (pictured here), is strained from kefir and contains a dozen strains of probiotics. And then there’s Farmhouse Culture’s Kraut Krisps, made from, well, sauerkraut, and oatmeal with heat-resistant probiotics from ThinkThin. Standard probiotic foods include kombucha, kvass, kimchi, and plain kefir itself.