I hope readers of my blog enjoy the subjects and maybe are interested in nutrition as the basis for any diet. Well you can find out more by downloading my free book ‘The Nutrition Diet and Recipe Book’ by going to www.obooko.com under the heading Health and Self Development
The book explains nutrition and how it works in laymans terms (I am not a scientist) and gives advice on nutrition as a basis for diet together with food tips and an easy to follow plan to incorporate nutrition into any diet. There are also lots of healthy recipes.
I have made the book available on Obooko as the easiest option for me to get the book to as many people as possible and it is FREE. I hope you enjoy the book and carry on reading the blog.
There are often questions about whether there is any benefit in the accepted advice that we should drink up to 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Scientists have studied all the studies into the benefits or not of drinking water and came to the conclusion that there was no measurable benefit for the average person to drink large quantities of water. They went on to say that the average person obtained plenty of liquid from tea, coffee and diet etc. But tea and coffee especially are not always good for you in large quantities so water is better.
They did though in my opinion contradict themselves a little by saying that there was a need in certain instances to drink more water. Such as sportsmen, workers who sweat a lot, people with certain illnesses, people living in hot climates and elderly people who don’t always realise they are thirsty, etc. So in fact there are benefits from drinking extra water. Whether it is measurable in the average person is another matter. There are arguments among some experts as to what is acceptable as water. Most say coffee and alcohol are not counted and some say that tea, especially herbal teas can be counted.
We are all different and have different requirements and in an ideal world a healthy diet such as The Nutrition Diet can provide plenty of water. The diet emphasises the importance of fruit and vegetables and these have a high water content. But if you don’t eat much fruit and vegetables and live on junk or processed food that is one source of water gone. Coffee is a diuretic and so if you count that as water you need more water to make up for the diuretic action. In some coffee drinking societies it is normal to take a glass of water with the coffee, perhaps there is a reason. Also liquids like coffee and fizzy drinks interfer with other nutrients and nutrient metabolism whereas a glass of water is ‘clean’.
Once again listen to your own requirements. Watch your diet and carry on drinking water, but as with food don’t be fanatical or worry about whether you have had 5 glasses or 7 glasses of water that day. You should in any case cut down on stimulants such as coffee and alcohol and drinking water regularly soon becomes natural and cuts down the need for other forms of water.
The past few years have seen a plenty of interest in healthy living and healthy eating, and that is a good thing. We all know that most people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, and that many people eat too much of the wrong things – like sugar, salt, processed and junk foods and fat. Reversing this trend will take some time and some effort, but starting with adding nutrition to your own diet is a great way to improve your health and your life.
The key to changing your diet, of course, is to change it in ways that you can live with for a lifetime. The reason that most diet and lifestyle changes fail is that they are too difficult to follow once the initial excitement has worn off. The key is to make small changes, simple changes, that you can follow for the rest of your life.
Where you start your healthy eating plan depends in great part on your particular goals. For many people, a healthy eating program can be as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables. For others, a healthy eating plan will require a radical change in the way they shop, cook, and eat. But these changes can still be done gradually as part of your busy lifestyle.
Since healthy eating means so many different things to different people, it is impossible to come up with a single healthy eating guide that will be right for everyone. The runner toning up for a marathon will have different nutritional needs than the factory worker who wants to lose 20 pounds. But everyone can benefit from a more nutritious diet.
No matter what the goal, however, it is important to eat a variety of foods, and to make smart choices when shopping, when cooking and when eating. Eating out can present special challenges, and it is important to familiarize yourself with the ingredients of the foods you order in your favorite restaurant. But don’t get worried by the occasional lapse as long as the majority of the time your diet is healthy and nutritious. Still enjoy a meal out or a party.
Making healthy food choices means eating more of the good foods – like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc., and less of the bad foods, like salt, sugar and fats and especially processed and junk foods and ready meals.
Starting by eating more high nutrition, low calorie foods is a good place to start. Luckily, the produce section of the local supermarket is likely to contain hundreds of different examples of such foods. Fruits and vegetables are almost always low in calories and fat, and they are generally very nutritious as well.
Since variety is so important to a healthy diet, it is a good idea to try out a sampling of different fruits and vegetables on your first healthy eating shopping trip. Start with some of the fruits and vegetables you have always wanted to try but never gotten around to. For instance, many people have never tasted asparagus, spinach or Brussels sprouts. While some love these foods and others hate them, you will never know unless you try them for yourself. Don’t forget you can also improve nutrition and variety by adding to your existing diet, such as adding a grated carrot on your salad.
This kind of foraging is a great way to introduce yourself to foods you have never tried before. It is a great way to try new things, and you just might discover a new favorite food while you’re at it.
Experimenting with cooking new uses for fruits and vegetables is another great idea. There are lots of healthy cooking recipes and cookbooks on the market, and a new cookbook can be a great motivator for healthy eating.
It is important to remember that making your diet healthier does not necessarily mean making a radical change. Simple changes like adding extra portions of fresh vegetables and reducing the meat content of a meal or adding extras to a coleslaw are one way. Also eat more raw foods and gain the benefit of better levels of enzymes.
As a matter of fact, in the long run the simplest and easiest to follow changes are the ones that matter most. That is because making easy changes means that you will be able to stick with them for the long run. Healthy eating is a marathon, not a sprint.
When it comes to eating healthy and enjoying a healthier lifestyle, it is hard to overstate the importance of fibre in the diet. Even though fibre is most associated with grains, rice and breads, it is important to remember that fruits and vegetables also contain significant amounts of dietary fibre. In fact, the need for fibre is just one more reason to eat your fruits and vegetables every day.
In order to understand why dietary fiber is so important, it is a good idea to know what fibre is and what role it plays in digestion. Simply put, dietary fibre is the portion of food that the human body cannot digest. Fibre is found in foods of plant origin only; there is no fibre in meat and dairy products. Fibre plays an important role in the digestion of food, and in the elimination of waste products as they travel through the body.
Good sources of dietary fibre include grains, cereals, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. As we said before, meats and dairy products do not contain any dietary fibre, so it is important to eat some plant based foods ever day to get the fibre you need.
Not all fibre is the same, and fibre comes in two forms – soluble and insoluble. All plant materials contain both types of fibre, but some sources contain more of one than the other. Eating a variety of foods rich in fibre every day will ensure you get adequate levels of both soluble and insoluble fibre.
Insoluble fibre is important in keeping people regular, and it has shown promise as well in the prevention of some types of colon and rectal cancers. Insoluble fibre is mainly found in wheat brain, some types of vegetables and in whole grain products. Some vegetables rich in insoluble fibre include carrots, peas and broccoli. The skins of fruits are also rich in insoluble fibre.
Soluble fibre, on the other hand, has shown promise in reducing levels of cholesterol in the blood, and at reducing the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream. Soluble fibre is abundant in dried peas, lentils, beans, barley, oat bran, and in many fruits and vegetables.
Many people are unsure just how much dietary fibre they need every day, but most dietitians recommend that women consume between 21 and 25 grams of dietary fibre per day. For men, the recommendation is 30 to 38 grams of fibre each day. Though this is still on the low side according to many experts.
Of course, that is easier said that done, and it is important to know which foods are high in fibre in order to boost your daily fibre consumption. In the case of packaged foods like breads and crackers, the fibre content will be listed as part of the nutritional label. In the case of fruits and vegetables, there are charts which show the fibre content of an average size piece. Some supermarkets and shops may post this information, and it is also widely available on the internet.
When increasing dietary fibre, it is best to make the increase gradual. A sudden jump in dietary fibre can lead to bloating, gas and abdominal discomfort. In addition, it is important to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, in order for fibre to have the best effect. When choosing breads and cereals, it is best to go with healthier whole grains. In general, the less processing, the healthier the foods.
Eating the skins of fruits and vegetables is a great way to increase dietary fibre. Many people like to make fruit shakes and smoothies that use the skins of their favorite fruits. This makes a delicious and nutritious way to increase fiber consumption. In addition, keeping a variety of fiber rich foods, such as apples, nuts, seeds and bran muffins, around for snacks is a great idea. You can find an easy to follow site with recipes at www.incrediblesmoothies.com
And finally, eating a wide variety of foods will ensure that you get plenty of fibre, as well as the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that make a balanced diet so important. My book The Nutrition Diet and Recipe book also advocates more fruit and vegetables in your diet and the book is available for free download at www.obooko.com (under heading Health and Self Improvement).