All humans have to eat food for growth and maintenance of a healthy body, but we humans have different requirements as infants, children (kids), teenagers, young adults, adults, and seniors. For example, infants may require feeding every four hours until they gradually age and begin to take in more solid foods. Eventually they develop into the more normal pattern of eating three times per day as young kids. However, as most parents know, kids, teenagers, and young adults often snack between meals. Snacking is often not limited to these age groups because adults and seniors often do the same.
Sleep may be one of the most important, yet often overlooked, components of getting lean. Sleep helps your muscles recover. What's more, according to a 2010 study from the University of Chicago, skipping sleep can sabotage your efforts to lose fat through dieting. You should aim for seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night, so it your top priority tonight. (See: Why Sleep Is the Most Important Thing for Weight Loss and Overall Health)
“I think we’re finally moving away from [only] calories and numbers,” says Cynthia Sass, RD, MPH, who is in private practice in New York City and Los Angeles. “My clients want to know more about the functional benefits of foods, including how they impact digestive health, immunity, sleep, energy, and mental focus. More consumers are now connecting food choices with everyday quality-of-life outcomes, and labels that offer more information can help make that easier.”
Tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds, has taken off as a rich addition to cookies and brownies. Though centuries old, the confluence of consumer interest in plant-based ingredients, dairy- and gluten-free products, and the paleo diet have all created a special place for tahini to thrive. And new players in the space, like Philadelphia-based Soom Foods, have modernized how we think of this Mediterranean ingredient.
Set a regular sleep schedule. When Shives treats insomnia patients, she tells them that although they can't make themselves fall asleep, they can make themselves get up at a certain time the next morning. And though they may be tired at first, if they don't nap, they may start sleeping better during the following nights. "We're going to get nowhere if they take big naps during the day and keep a very erratic sleep schedule; it's chaos then," Shives says.
Keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat for a day -- and no fair skipping the items you're embarrassed about. "The idea is to write it down ... without judgment," says Kathianne Sellers Williams, MEd, RD, LD, a nutritionist, wellness coach, and personal trainer with Cafe Physique in Atlanta. "You can't change what you're not aware of or don't acknowledge."
Cut down on oily and sugary food, soda and caffeine. If possible, reduce your intake of fast food, French fries, doughnuts, chips, wedges, and deep-fried food. Not only are they very fattening (1 tablespoon of oil is 120 calories), deep fried food contains acrylamide, a potential cancer-causing chemical. There are better alternatives, such as grilled, steamed, stir-fried, or even raw food.
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.
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
“Health-conscious consumers don’t want to eat bagels, pastries, or sugary cereals for breakfast,” says Sass. “I think we’ll see more products that marry nutrition and convenience, and fit a category I refer to as ‘homemade for you,’ meaning simple ingredients you could have combined yourself but didn’t have to because someone prepared them for you.”
Eating apples was associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease in the Iowa Women's Health Study, which has been tracking more than 34,000 women for nearly 20 years. And Finnish researchers studying dietary data collected over nearly 30 years from 9,208 men and women also found that frequent apple eaters had the lowest risk of strokes compared with non-apple eaters. What explains the heart-healthy benefits? Researchers say it's the strong antioxidant flavonoid compounds found in apples. These compounds play a key role by stopping inflammation and preventing the buildup of plaque in arteries. Apples are also rich in pectin, a form of soluble fiber known to help lower cholesterol, and they provide a decent amount of vitamin C, another antioxidant.