Food is for eating and eating is essential for living, however, what you eat and how you eat it affects every aspect of your life and can be instrumental in dictating your future health. We all know in an ideal world that we should eat balanced meals of carbs proteins and veggies and moderate our sugar and fat intake. This is easier said than done, especially when it comes to the holidays. However, there are ways to limit the damage that food can do to your body over time. Healthy eating for a better life is not a myth.
So many illnesses are a result of poor lifestyle or poor eating habits, Type 2 Diabetes for example is highly preventative, as is high cholesterol. Both these diseases are increasingly prevalent in the aging population. It’s thought that in the US alone there are over 29 million diabetes sufferers, most of them with type 2 Diabetes. The statistics for high cholesterol are just as staggering. Healthy eating is a preventative medicine.
In some cases, the reason for disease is largely down to genetics. If you are genetically prone to high cholesterol no amount of healthy eating will eliminate your risk entirely. Many times, prescription medication is needed to help keep the disease under control, but prescription meds are not the Holy Grail and do not cure everything in sight. While medications like Amaryl, and Glucophage can help keep Diabetes under control and medications like Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor can help keep Cholesterol levels under control, the results are often much better and long lasting if you take care of what you eat and how you eat it, alongside the medication. Call it a kind of adjunct therapy if you wish. Every little lifestyle choice helps, from eating healthy balanced and regular meals to exercising regularly and reducing smoke inhalation and alcohol.
Why not do everything in your power to stop these diseases in their tracks so you don’t end up with more serious complications like heart disease? What you eat and how you eat it can be a great fighting component.
Here are some tricks and tips that can be adopted by anyone trying to eat for a generally better and heathier life as well as those trying to prevent or manage diseases like obesity, Diabetes and high cholesterol (obviously each disease has it’s specific list of do and don’t eat foods that should not be ignored):
What you eat, how you eat it and how your body digests the foods and converts the nutrients make all the difference to your health, weight management and disease prevention.
10 Crazy Tricks to aid healthy eating and digestion:
1. Fresh lemon juice – start the day with hot water and a squeeze of lemon – it helps cleanse the body and kick starts your metabolism ready for the day.
2. Apple cider vinegar – use it in cooking, on salads or drink a tablespoon in a glass of water – it helps your body to break down foods as they are eaten which means you get the most out of the nutrients you have consumed.
3. Eat fat – eating fat is needed for your body to burn fat, a necessary function. Naturally fatty foods like avocados, nuts, eggs and cheese are healthy even though they are high in fat.
4. Cinnamon – try using cinnamon to sweeten your food instead of sugar or other sweeteners. The spice is a good antioxidant that prevents inflammation and is known for its metabolism boosting and blood sugar control properties. It tastes great in porridge and pies as well as an addition to savory dishes and even drinks.
5. Low salt – salt is sodium and our bodies need it to regulate fluid volume, control muscle function and intake certain nutrients, but too much is not good for you. It can encourage high blood pressure, something you want to try and avoid, especially if you have or are trying to prevent high cholesterol or type 2 Diabetes.
6. Natural oils – use olive oil or nut oil for cooking instead of processed oils or butter. It’s much better for your body and your digestion as its anti-inflammatory and packed full of good fat needed to control insulin resistance.
7. Vitamin C – get plenty of it through eating fresh fruits and veggies like oranges and broccoli. Vitamin C is good for preventing Diabetes.
8. Eat Apples! – “an apple a day keeps the Dr. away” is kind of true. They are an antioxidant, high fiber, cholesterol battering food that also minimizes blood sugar swings.
9. Don’t ban Dairy – many people these days avoid high amounts of dairy, dairy intake is good for your bones thanks to the high calcium and it can also help your body fight insulin resistance. Try to keep it low fat though if you can.
10. Nuts and seeds – snack on them or add them to your meals, they are generally high in natural fat, protein and fiber. They burn slowly in your body so you stay fuller for longer, they are packed full of nutrients, are friendly to blood sugar levels and are a good source of cholesterol lowering sterols.
10 Easy Food Prep Tips to help control how you eat what you eat:
1. Prepare your food in advance – make sure your food ready for when you get hungry. It stops the compulsive and snacky eating habits.
2. Eat small meals regularly – it helps keep your blood sugar levels steady and helps avoid hunger pangs for sweet foods that are normally have a higher sugar and fat content.
3. Keep track of what’s being eaten! – try not to eat on the go or in front of the TV, when you’re distracted you lose track of how much you’ve eaten and often over eat as a result.
4. Portion control!! – piling food on your plate will lead you to eat unnecessarily high quantities, we all like finishing food that’s on our plates. Try serving up smaller portions and use smaller plates so they appear to be full plates of food.
5. Cook for yourself – takeout, hotel buffets and ready packaged meals are traditionally high in sugar, fat and oil. Cooking for yourself using fresh foods means you know exactly what is going into them and the chances are it’s healthier.
6. Avoid late night eating – try not to eat after 7pm, it gives your body time to digest what it’s eaten, fast and recover during the night.
7. Slow down! eat slowly, chew your food properly and savor the smell and taste of it as you go – sounds crazy but it’s the most simple trick in the book.
8. Hungry or Thirsty – before you eat evaluate what your body needs, often we feel hungry but are in fact thirsty and dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water is essential for your health and is also good for the skin and digestion.
9. You are what you drink – beware of high sugar and calorific drinks – fresh fruit juice might seem healthy but it’s packed full of sugars, not good for weight management or Diabetes control. The same goes for alcohol.
10. Stay balanced – It’s OK to eat the majority of foods, even when trying to control the risk of Diabetes or Cholesterol. A healthy and balanced diet is good for you, there are very few circumstances that require you to totally eliminate foods from your diet.
If you are interested in further reading, here are some good external resources on Diabetes prevention and management and High Cholesterol prevention and management, including their own healthy eating tips.