Health Track

Couple In Home Kitchen Using Electronic TabletThe Smart Way to Add Dairy to Your Diet 

If you’re trying to eat healthy, you might worry about adding too much dairy to your diet, since dairy products are generally considered high fat foods.  But if you add the right kind of dairy to your meal plan, it doesn’t have to have a negative impact on your calorie count.

In fact, studies have shown that dairy foods may actually contribute to weight loss and a healthier body, since it provides the body with the calcium it needs.  Calcium found in dairy products is far better than any other source of calcium.

You can implement dairy products into your diet plan by concentrating on low-fat options, including cheese products and milk.  People who increase their intake of low-fat dairy to 3-4 servings per day, as recommended by Perdue University, have seen a 28% increase in the amount of fat they burn while exercising.

You can start by adding items like low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, and skim milk to your daily menu.  Increasing your intake of these foods helps your body function better.

Most people associate calcium with strong bones.  While it does contribute to a decrease in osteoporosis, it has other benefits you can enjoy, such as regulating your heartbeat.  When your body is deprived of calcium, it creates a hormone known as calcitriol, which causes it to horde calcium in your fat cells, resulting in weight gain.

Michael Zemel, author of The Calcium Key, claims that increasing your dairy intake while decreasing calories and fat doubles your weight loss efforts than I you just cut calories and fat consumption alone.

To add dairy and calcium, try substituting your morning muffin with cereal and milk.  Replace your sodas with low-fat milk and when a recipe calls for water, see if you can use milk instead.

When you’re cooking soups, try to use a milk base instead of a broth base if you’re trying to increase your dairy intake.  Milk makes rice and risotto dishes creamier in texture, which is another smart way to sneak in your dairy.

Or, if you prefer to get your calcium in a glass, you can simply make it a point to drink an 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk with each of your three daily meals.

Whole Grain Additions to Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner 

You know that in order to have optimal health, you need to add whole grains and fiber to your diet.  But many whole grains look unappealing to the average consumer.  Luckily, food manufacturers have started catering to the public’s demand for better tasting healthy fare.

You may not know it when you’re staring down a box of sugary cereal, but childhood favorites like Lucky Charms now comes as a 100% whole grain food.  There are also many cookies that are also labeled whole grain foods, including an all-time favorite – Chips Ahoy!  Since most Americans only eat one serving of whole grains per day, this is a great way to get to the minimum recommended three servings per day each of us should consume.

For breakfast foods, you can make your favorite pancakes in a whole grain variety now using Aunt Jemima Whole Wheat Pancake and Waffle Mix.  Or, you can skip the drive through at a fast food restaurant and make an egg McMuffin of your own using low-fat cheese, one egg, and low-fat turkey bacon on a whole grain English muffin.

Instead of making your lunch with white bread, you can sneak whole grains into your meal by replacing it with better-tasting whole grain options like Wonder Stoneground 100% Whole Wheat bread or Sahara-Thomas whole wheat pita breads.

Snacking throughout the day doesn’t have to mean munching down on bags of high calorie Cheetos and Doritos chips anymore.  You can use Wasa and Triscuit crackers or pack a few 100% Whole Grain Fig Newtons to get you through the day.

When dinnertime arrives, try steering clear of processed white grains and opt for whole grains instead, like whole wheat pasta and brown or wild rice blends.  The next time you’re wondering your grocery aisles, be sure to compare like products to see if there’s a whole grain option you can use.  Not only will it fill you up and stave off hunger, but it lowers your risk of cancer and heart disease, too!

Substitute Flavor for Salt at Every Meal 

Many people don’t worry about sodium in their diet unless their doctor has specifically told them to cut down on it.  So they sit down to an otherwise healthy meal absent of high fat and calories and then spoil it by using an excessive amount of salt.

Even without adding sodium to your plate, your diet is probably already exceeding the normal limits of what the FDA recommends.  Since most people habitually add salt to their meals, the doses they’re receiving cause them to take in up to three times as much sodium as necessary.

This overdosing on salt leads to over 150,000 deaths each year, so it’s vital that you shake your sodium habit and learn to infuse flavor without risking your health.  One way to add flavor without the negative side effect salt delivers is to use a quick spray of lemon juice or a pinch of sugar on your foods instead.  Both of these options help bring out the natural freshness and flavor of vegetables.

Garlic, dill, basil, and parsley also allow you to pull out the flavor of the food without having to rely on sodium to do the job for you.  While sodium is the flavor enhancer of choice for most households, many canned, processed, and even frozen foods are already full of this ingredient.  In fact, a single fast food meal can supply more than twice your daily limit of sodium.

The biggest offenders for over-delivering on sodium are cheese, bacon, and soy sauce.  Instead o fusing these ingredients, spice up your dish with ginger, rice vinegar, or lime juice.

Some foods mask their sodium content so that you don’t even know it’s in there.  A Java Chip Frappuccino from Starbucks packs in 300 mg of sodium.  Baked cookies, doughnuts, and bread can contain baking soda, which houses 1,259 mg of sodium per teaspoon.

If you want to cook some vegetables and flavor them up, instead of reaching for the salt shaker, try roasting them in an effort to caramelize their natural sugars.  This brings out a rich flavor that will replace your craving for salt once your tastebuds get used to it.

Make immediate choices to cut down on the excessive sodium in your diet.  Too much of this ingredient can cause fluid retention, blood pressure problems, and artery damage.  It can also bring an elevated risk of certain cancers and cause stomach disease, and osteoporosis.  Give yourself at least 30 days to begin enjoying the natural flavors of food again and you won’t miss the salt you’ve been adding to your diet.

Eat Eggs to Sharpen Your Senses

As a healthy eater, you may be concerned about adding eggs to your diet.  The reports often contradict one another – with some experts saying you should limit your intake to two per week and others saying two a day are okay.

Eggs provide certain health benefits aside from providing the protein you need each day.  The protein factor is perfect for dieters because eggs make you feel full after eating them.  In fact, eating just two eggs in the morning has been known to reduce caloric intake by up to 400 calories according to the Rochester Center for Obesity in Michigan.

Another benefit eggs offer is that they provide eyesight protection.  Because eggs contain the antioxidant lutein, which is packed into the yolks, you get a built-in safeguard against damage to your retina.  Lutein in the eggs stops any inflammation of the macular pigment, which is what shelters your retina from harmful light rays.

Want to boost your brainpower a bit?  Eggs can even help your memory since a single egg yolk delivers 300 mcg of choline.  Choline is one of the most powerful components f acetylcholine, which has been proven to provide flexibility to neurons in the brain that keep your memory intact.  By ingesting a single egg, you’ve helped your neurons accept, process, and store information more quickly and efficiently.

If you’ve been plagued by urinary tract infections (UTIs), then you might also be glad to hear that eggs can help you stave them off in the future.  Eggs contain peptides, which are found in the whites of eggs as a protein that binds to the infectious E. coli bacteria and doesn’t let them latch on to the walls of the urinary tract.

Before you jump to conclusions that all eggs are bad for your health, you should weigh the information and where it’s coming from. A Harvard School of Public Health study found no link between the consumption of eggs and heart disease.  Some studies even show it improves your protection against stroke and heart attacks.

Saturated fat is what contributes to a rise in cholesterol, and eggs only contain 1.5 grams of saturated fat and 5 grams of the “right kind” of fat you want to put in your body.  In addition to being healthy, eggs contribute some beauty basics your body needs, like helping your hair and nails by providing sulpher, vitamins, and minerals.

Eating Tips to Boost Your Metabolism 

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just wanting to maintain your sleek physique, boosting your metabolism to a higher rate is always a good idea.  There are several ways to give your metabolism an extra push – including exercising early in the day – but eating can also be a factor in its elevation.

Increasing your metabolism means your body burns calories at a higher rate.  So if your metabolism is high, it’s burning calories even when you aren’t working hard at the gym.  A sluggish metabolism can cause you to gain weight, because you’re consuming more than your body is burning.

The first thing you need to do is add breakfast to your daily meal planner.  Although many people don’t like eating breakfast, it gives your body the rev up it needs to launch your metabolism.  A 250-calorie snack is all it takes to boost your metabolism in the morning.

Another way to increase your metabolism is to add spices to your food.  According to the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, Cinnamon is one spice that increases your metabolism twentyfold – and all you have to ingest is a mere ¼ to 1 tsp per day!

While you’re planning your meals, you may want to add kiwi fruit to your diet.  Kiwis pack a lot of vitamin C, but if you add 500 mg of it to your day, you burn up to 39% more fat when you’re exercising.  Don’t get too much C, though, because once you get to the 2,000 mg mark, you start experiencing adverse effects like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Another metabolism boosting measure is to watch what you drink.  Adding ice to a drink makes your body work harder because it has to heat it up in your stomach, which increases your metabolism.  Also, ingesting a caffeine drink like coffee or tea can raise your heart rate and increase your metabolism.

Where you’re eating can be just as important as what you’re eating.  When you’re having breakfast in the morning, try positioning yourself near a window so that you can soak up some sun.  The bright light boosts your metabolism and also helps you increase bone and muscle strength.

You can also add a daily multivitamin to help your body burn more calories.  When you add 120 mcg daily, your body benefits by revving up its metabolism. Chromium, which is found in tomatoes and in a supplement form, also boosts the way you burn fat.

If you really want to kick-start your metabolism, you may also try dividing your meals up into smaller portions that you eat more often throughout the day.  Every time you eat, it helps your metabolism rise, so as strange as it may sound, eating frequently can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.