Chocolate has gotten a lot of buzz in recent years as a heart-healthy treat. Cocoa is rich in flavonoids, plant nutrients that help repair cell damage. Flavanols—cocoa's main kind of flavonoid—help lower blood pressure, promote proper blood clotting and boost blood flow to the brain and heart. Add to that a hefty helping of minerals, fiber and other powerful antioxidants, and you have one sweet package. And the heart benefits are impressive: In one study of nearly 5,000 people, nibbling on chocolate five or more times a week was associated with a whopping 57 percent lower risk of heart disease, compared to non-chocolate eaters. (Keep in mind, though, that this was an observational study, so the research didn't prove a cause and effect.)
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.
Pay attention to the language you use when thinking or talking to others. If you’re focused on staying off something completely ‘forever’, then the moment you break your word, the floodgates will open. Try to identify what could have caused you to make that decision (lack of sleep, stress etc), learn from it and be better next time. This is all great learning for you as you add to your toolbox to deal with the challenges of a busy schedule.
A healthy active lifestyle is considered to be a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and a regular exercise plan. It generally also includes an absence of unhealthy habits, such as smoking. A healthy and active lifestyle is a lifestyle that many people of all ages strive for, and with a little effort, it is entirely possible to achieve through some simple life changes.
Some foods do not fit into the five food groups because they are not necessary for a healthy diet. These foods are called ‘discretionary choices’ and they should only be eaten occasionally. They tend to be too high in either energy (kilojoules), saturated fat, added sugars, added salt or alcohol, and have low levels of important nutrients like fibre.
Sleep is just as important to your children's development and well-being as nutrition and physical activity. The amount and quality of sleep we have can affect our safety, how alert we are, as well as our memories, moods, behavior, and learning abilities. Establishing good sleep practices while your children are young will not only benefit you, but it will help them for many years to come.
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.
The plant-based packaged-food category is more expansive than ever. “The plant-based movement ties into a number of trending consumer priorities, including health protection, environmental stewardship, and ethically driven eating,” Sass says. “My clients constantly tell me they feel better physically and feel good about how they are spending their food dollars when they eat more plant-based foods.” When it comes to new finds, think pumpkin seed butter from 88 Acres, algae oil from Thrive, chia seed oil from Lekithos, and even dark-chocolate-covered chickpeas from Biena.
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.)
Eat a high calorie breakfast! This will decrease your hunger for the rest of the day as well as speed up your metabolism. Make sure you drink a lot of water, and drink a glass before eating, since you will become full faster. Using smaller plates has a psychological effect which decreases the amount of food you eat. Also, try to limit the amount of sugar and empty calories you take in and eat more lean protein which will keep you full longer and less hungry.
Fruit – this is easy to carry as a snack and can be included in most meals. For example, try a banana with your breakfast cereal, an apple for morning tea and add some berries in your yoghurt for an afternoon snack. Fresh whole fruit is recommended over fruit juice and dried fruit. Fruit juice contains less fibre than fresh fruit and both fruit juice and dried fruit, and are more concentrated sources of sugar and energy. Dried fruit can also stick to teeth, which can increase the risk of dental caries.
We all know whole grains are good for us, but we’ve collected the best whole-grain recipes to make them a regular part of your cooking routine. The fiber and nutrients associated with whole grains make them an essential part of a healthy diet, but it’s often difficult to work them into your everyday cooking. This collection of recipes uses whole grains—from brown rice to whole-wheat pasta—in a delicious variety of ways.
What exactly is a grazing table? Think of a cheese plate that has exploded to cover an entire table, consisting of everything from meats and cheeses to fruits, jams, nuts, herbs, olives, vegetables and dips, even desserts. They bring a little drama to the usual dinner party, with colorful presentations, height from decorated cake stands, seasonal foliage and a variety of beautiful bowls. Plus, they can provide guests with plenty of options to choose from so there's truly a little something for every tastebud.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the U.S., claiming one out of every four lives. And while you might think it won't happen to you (you've got great genes, right?), over time, poor eating habits—those venti flavored lattes, desk-side snacks and late-night pizza runs—can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and inflammation, raising your risk for heart attack and stroke.