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.
At one of your meals today, double the amount of vegetables on your plate and skip the starch. A simple way to do it: Serve stir-fry over a bed of broccoli instead of rice. (Or turn the broccoli into rice!) The florets of the broccoli will soak up the sauce and juices from your dish just like the rice would have. Plus, you have the added cancer-fighting addition of indole 3-carbinol, a potent anti-cancer nutrient found in vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. (Also try making vegetable steaks instead of meat.)
Nuts are full of vitamins, minerals and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and have low levels of saturated fats. Research suggests that people who eat nuts—walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts and peanuts (which actually are legumes)—two to four days or more a week have a lower incidence of heart disease than people who eat them less often. Does it matter what kind? Some researchers say walnuts win the honors. A study from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania found that walnuts have more high-quality antioxidants than any other variety. And it only takes a small handful—just seven walnuts a day—to get the heart benefits.
Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Snacking between meals can help control hunger, but snacking should not replace proper meals. For snacks, we could choose yoghurt, a handful of fresh or dried fruits or vegetables (like carrot sticks), unsalted nuts, or perhaps some bread with cheese.
For this year's Healthy Food Awards, SELF editors taste-tested more than 250 packaged foods, all of which met nutrition criteria established by Stephanie Clarke, R.D. and Willow Jarosh, R.D., of C&J Nutrition. We looked for foods with minimally processed ingredients and considered factors like sugar, protein, calories, saturated fat, and sodium. But above all, the food had to be tasty and satisfying. It was hard work, but after lots of munching, we found our winners.
Hi Tom, Yes, as reported: “Study investigators also calculated life expectancy by how many of these five healthy habits people had. Just one healthy habit (and it didn’t matter which one) … just one… extended life expectancy by two years in men and women. Not surprisingly, the more healthy habits people had, the longer their lifespan.” All of these results were statistically significant. There is a link to the actual study at the bottom of the post, it’s very clearly written, take a look.
From sugary drinks to breakfast cereal, it’s hard to get away from sugary foods. Often the sugar is hidden in canned goods or pre-packaged foods, or even in foods we think are healthy for us, such as fruit juice. The average person takes in about 22 teaspoons of added sugar each day. According to the American Heart Association the daily target should be no more than six level teaspoons for women, and nine for men—that’s for both food and beverages combined.
Yes, spend money on prevention to reduce money on treatment in the first place. And, can you legislate portion sizes? It’s no secret that restaurants in America pride themselves on huge portions of food and people scratch their heads at the insane obesity levels in America. The American thinking of bigger and more is always better is just sending people to an earlier grave and only big business seems to care more about protecting it’s right vs politicians caring about the health of a nation.
Of course, you don't have to stick to just pinto beans! Go for a wide variety: black beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, cranberry beans and fava beans, plus other legumes like chickpeas, black-eyed peas, lentils and more. They're chock-full of fiber, magnesium and potassium—all nutrients that help lower blood pressure and keep your heart going strong.