In an effort to eat as close to nature as possible and lead healthful lifestyles, many of us have growing concerns about what is added to our foods, especially processed foods. The array of chemicals meant to thicken, stabilize, color, and flavor can be intimidating enough to make one question their safety.
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When it comes to protecting our hearts, there is much we can do through diet. We are becoming more aware than ever that it is the type of dietary fat, rather than the total amount of fat, that affects health.
We know whole grains are heroes when it comes to their strong link to a lower risk of mortality and chronic diseases including heart attack and other cardiovascular disease; stroke; cancer; respiratory disease; and type 2 diabetes. Many recent studies support the risk reduction associated with the consumption of whole grains. In addition to all this, whole grains, which essentially provide a high fiber diet, aid in digestive health and even gum disease prevention.
Eating right matters, and this does not change as we get older. In fact, it is never too late in life to see the health benefits of good nutrition. The main principles of eating well are the same no matter what age. A nutritious diet should emphasize fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins (including fish and seafood) and plant proteins (beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds), and healthy unsaturated fats while limiting processed foods, especially processed meats and fast foods.
As I have shared before, I am a mom to Anjolie who will soon be leaving toddlerhood and becoming a preschooler—yikes! I often think about how I will prepare her for this next stage. I have always tried to instill healthy habits and a positive relationship with food. So I guess the bigger question for me is, what or how do I build upon this healthy relationship and continue to implement good habits throughout her growth into a young adult?
Well, this is news to me. I think if you eat a great diet and give your kids what you eat, you are creating a familiarity with tasty and healthy foods. Cooking and eating good food is a party in our house, literally. The atmosphere we create around food fosters a love for healthy foods, so I know that it is possible to get kids to love good foods.
The truth is that most of the food we eat is processed. For example, a peeled apple, pre-washed spinach, and yogurt are processed foods.
For many of us, the New Year also means the promise we make to ourselves to lose weight and get fit. My top bit of advice is to make good health a priority all year long, not just the few days or weeks after January 1. Many of us give in or give up as soon as the holidays begin and count on getting into shape in the New Year. But the time is now. It is easier to make gradual positive changes along the way than to try to lose weight overnight and make it last.
Fact: There is no scientific data that proves that eliminating gluten promotes weight loss. Any time we try something new, we are “all in,” at least at the onset, with a keen and committed attention to our nutrition, physical activity, and avoidance of what we (or the internet) consider “bad food.” So yes, there can be indirect weight loss for some people due to cutting down on calories as a result of elimination of certain foods or even an entire food group. Additionally, if processed gluten foods are being replaced with fruits and vegetables, some weight loss will likely occur.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic food is one of the fastest growing segments of American Agriculture, up nearly 300 percent from 2002. So is it safe to say that consumers are buying organic because they believe it is healthier and safer than conventional? And if so, are they correct?
Although Sprouted Grains are popping up in the market at an increased rate, they are a long-standing practice and not just the latest trend. You may have noticed more use of sprouted grains in recipes and food manufacturing for cereal, bread, pasta, and other packaged foods with good reason, as the process of sprouting grains maximizes the nutrition of whole grains and makes the nutrients more bioavailable, i.e. easier for your body to access the nutrients.