With the rise in obesity levels in most of the Western world and with the increasing prevalence of this condition across many under-developed countries, there have been hundreds of diets that have been promoted, both to reduce weight and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The problem is that while most of them are great and offer impressive results initially, their long-term effects may not be so beneficial. Whether you want to reduce weight or simply eat a healthier diet, the solution does not lie in the latest fad eating regime. Instead, what you need is a system of eating that is both healthy and sustainable over the long term.
Well, the solution to that problem may not be as complicated as you think. Many modern health problems – or the lack thereof – stem from changes in eating habits made over the last 50 years. Prior to World War II, the average male in London consumed over 3000 calories per day, and yet, obesity was not the problem that it now is. Sure, there was, by necessity, more exercise being done, but jogging and aerobics were not around then.
Exercise tended to be moderate and performed within the course of general daily routine, such as riding or walking to work or using a push mower rather than a drive-on one. If that is the case, what changes have been made to our modern lifestyles that facilitate the increase in weight among such a large proportion of our population?
To enable ease of access to a healthy diet, the government developed a system known as the food plate. We will start by taking a broad look at this system, and from there, we will look at some easy ways to change eating habits for the better in more detail. These habits are not only healthier but, in many cases, they are cheaper, too. The fact is that much of the obesity explosion we have been witnessing has taken place in the poorer communities of our society, and any changes made need to be accessible to both rich and poor alike.
If you want to live a healthy and well-balanced life, it is important that you maintain a well-balanced diet. The problem is that not all people know how to make sure that their meals are balanced and that they are eating the right kinds of foods to get all the nutrients that their bodies need. It is also important to know how much of these foods you should be eating.
In 2011, the Food Plate replaced the Food Pyramid as an easier means of showing people what they should eat for every meal. It’s a way of zoning your plate and making sure that you fill your plate up with the right food choices. This Food Plate is known as “MyPlate” and is the current nutritional guide published by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Basically, a food plate should consist of at least 75% vegetables, and then the remaining 25% should be partitioned between protein, grains, and fruits. A small saucer of dairy can also be included. Oils are also important to eat because they contain important nutrients, but they are not a real food group. They, however, will still be mentioned within this article. The notes below will help you understand the partitions of the Food Plate better.
In the early nineties, the World Health Organization came up with the five-a-day fruit and veg plan that most people are familiar with. A significant amount of servings have been added since then, and most health organizations now recommend between seven and thirteen cups of fruits or vegetables per day, with vegetables making up the majority.
The problem is that even on the five-a-day system, only 30% of the population achieved the WHO target. The importance of vegetables in a diet cannot be overstressed. Vegetables are four times healthier than fruit, and with the exception of those high in starch, they can be eaten without limit and are thus great and healthy snacks to grab when you are feeling hungry.
Many of the dark green vegetables are known as superfoods. These include spinach, kale, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts. These superfoods have a lot of benefits that many people don’t know about. The biggest benefit provided by these foods is the high amount of nutrients that is present in them.
These foods are more nutrient dense than any other vegetables on the list. Spinach is especially good, with plenty of vitamin K, which helps promote bone health and has lots of antioxidants and plenty of anti-inflammatories. It’s no wonder spinach is often considered one of the best superfoods.
Many of the red and orange vegetables have plenty of nutrients that promote not only bone health but eye health as well. Nutrients like zeaxanthin play an important role in the health of your eyes. They help protect your eyes when they are exposed to UV rays and other harmful high-energy light.
Lycopene is another antioxidant that is incredibly beneficial to your body. This antioxidant can protect your body from any harm that pesticides can induce. Pesticides are full of harmful chemicals that people digest on a daily basis. Lycopene is a great way to help stop any damage in its tracks.
Starchy vegetables are a great source of fiber. Fiber is one of the nutrients that some people don’t consume enough of. It aids in digestion and helps keep your blood sugar levels stable, thus making fiber an incredibly important nutrient.
B-vitamins are also prominent in starchy vegetables. Many scientists agree that these vitamins can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. They also aid in promoting positive moods. They interact with the dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, guarding against memory loss. Most adults do not eat the recommended amount of starchy vegetables that they should. One cup of potatoes can go a long way.
There are tons of benefits from beans and peas. Many beans are a significant source of protein, which is beneficial to those who are vegetarian or vegan. They are also full of different minerals, including copper, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Copper is very important throughout life, and infants who are deprived of copper by being given cow’s milk may have many issues as they get older. Copper is stored in the liver. A deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, increased risk of infection, impaired neurological growth, and stunted growth. Adults and adolescents don’t need a significant amount of copper, only 900 micrograms a day.
Peas, on the other hand, have different benefits. While many of the nutrients are similar, the top two nutrients in specifically found in green peas are vitamin K and manganese. Vitamin K is important for bone health and also plays a huge role in making sure your blood clots correctly. Meanwhile, manganese also has a ton of benefits for your bones. It’s also used as a co-enzyme in the metabolism, thus helping with digestion.
People who eat large quantities of vegetables have a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who do not. Those with a high intake are also much less likely to get cancer. Adults should eat at least 2 1⁄2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day. It’s suggested to eat different kinds of vegetables of various colors. This variety will let you remain enthusiastic in consuming your food, aside from offering a wider range of nutrients.
The average male should eat at least 56 grams of protein per day, whereas the average female should eat 46 grams daily. These figures are for the average sedentary adult, and many active people should be eating more.
Protein is what our bodies use to manufacture things. In short, our bodies are like small, highly advanced factories that are constantly rebuilding and repairing themselves. They are forever building muscle, growing hair and nails, repairing organs, and strengthening bones. The main building block for all these activities comes from protein, and that is also the reason why it is quite tricky to determine the exact daily intake needed.
This amount will vary according to how much exercise we do, what age we are, what our body mass is, etc. Without protein, it would be impossible to maintain life as we know it. Protein is also highly sating to the appetite and can therefore be a useful tool for controlling calorie intake.
Most proteins come in the form of animal products, particularly red meat. If your choice is not to eat red meat, then you can eat seafood in place of meat to make sure you are including enough protein in your meals.
If you want the most protein in your meat, pork tenderloin, chicken, turkey, and steak have the most protein per bite. These are great for people who are working out often and want to build up muscle. Lean meat is definitely the best when it comes to this, as there is less fat. You’ll be able to eat the meat without worrying about putting on too much weight.
Chicken is the most widely eaten kind of poultry in the world, and for good reason. It has a lot of protein while also being beneficial in other ways. It has an amino acid called tryptophan, which gives you a comforting feeling. This helps bring your serotonin levels up, making you feel happier.
Chicken is also rich in phosphorus, which promotes teeth and bone health. It also helps make sure that your kidneys, liver, and central nervous system function normally. If you want a boost in your metabolism, chicken would be a good food to eat. Meanwhile, niacin is a B-vitamin that can help guard against cancer and other types of DNA damaging diseases.
Seafood is a great alternative to other meats. Not only do they have plenty of protein, but they have a ton of vitamins and minerals, some of which are harder to find in certain foods. Fish oil, for example, has a multitude of benefits. It has omega-3s, which decreases the symptoms of depression, hypertension, ADHD, joint pain, arthritis, and some chronic skin ailments. It also helps with weight loss, fertility, and pregnancy, as well as increases energy. Eating some fish every week will help reduce your chances of suffering from a heart attack by nearly half.
Eggs are a great source of protein. The protein is concentrated in the whites of the eggs. Some people prefer to eat only egg whites because of the protein that’s in them. Moreover, eggs have plenty of other nutrients, including vitamin B-2, selenium, vitamin D, zinc, iron, and copper. Selenium is important in keeping your immune system healthy.
With weight loss, eggs can be an incredibly good for helping to keep you feeling full for a lot longer, as well as giving you energy. Biotin is a big thing in helping with metabolizing fat. This can be a hard thing for your body to do, so it’s good that there is something that can help with fat metabolism.
Nuts and seeds other protein-filled foods. They can be added to your meals in many different ways, including on salads, in cereals, or just as a snack food. These are also filled with healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats, which are helpful for managing inflammation and the normal structure of your body.
Fiber is also a big part of nuts and seeds. This is a great nutrient that helps keep your body feeling fuller for a lot longer, making these a great snack food.
Beans and peas are some of the foods with protein and are among the best sources of protein for vegans and vegetarians. Most of the benefits from these foods are mentioned in the vegetable section.
Processed soy products also are a good source of protein. They also have plenty of vitamins and minerals, like B-vitamins and iron. These are great for vegans and vegetarians. An example is tofu.
The benefits of tofu include having eight essential amino acids. It has been shown to reduce the possibility of having prostate and breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes, age-related brain diseases, or liver damage. Some scientists have found that people who eat too many soy products can have issues later in life because of isoflavones, which can lead to estrogen overload in both men and women and can cause a lot of problems.
For those who choose not to eat meat at all, there are some plants that are fairly high in protein as well.
It’s also important for adults to eat at least 5 to 7 ounces of grains each day. It would be best to eat whole grains, as they contain the highest amount of nutrients.
Whole grains have tons of benefits, including having a reduced risk of stroke, heart attack, and type 2 diabetes. There are tons of nutrients in whole grains, all of which aid in keeping these things at bay.
Iron is important in producing red blood cells and preventing anemia. Anemia can cause fatigue and reduce your energy by a lot, so making sure you have a proper amount of iron in your diet is crucial. Whole wheat pasta is a great source of fiber, which promotes digestive health and reduces the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Refined grains do lose some of the benefits that whole grains have and don’t contain any fiber. However, they do have certain B-vitamins and iron, which are put back into the grains after they are refined. As long as an average adult still gets a good amount of fiber in his or her diet, consuming some refined grains is not the end of the world.
Pastas are a great source of carbohydrates. These carbs will give you energy, helping you stay energized for a longer period of time. Selenium, which is a mineral that activates antioxidant enzymes to prevent molecular damage in your cells, is present in all types of pasta. Folate is very prominent in pasta as well, with about 42% of the required daily folate intake fulfilled by a serving of pasta.
Breakfast cereals have tons of vitamins and minerals, but the amount changes depending on the type of breakfast cereal. Many cereals, including oatmeal and bran cereals, are rich in fiber. Corn flakes are rich in thiamine, which helps immensely with carbohydrate metabolism and energy production. While they might not be as high in fiber as some of the other cereals, they are high in iron. This is important to not only maintain healthy blood levels, but also to keep the brain alert.
These include brown rice, pasta, oatmeal, and whole wheat cereal.
Fruits are always delicious and are great to eat as a snack or dessert. Adults should try to eat around 1 1⁄2 to 2 cups of fruit each day, be it raw fruit or fruit juice.
When it comes to fruits, some people think that daily consumption should be high. However, many people forget that there are natural sugars in these fruits. Vegetables should be more frequently eaten than fruits, but that doesn’t mean fruits should be forgotten.
Everyone has heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and it is common knowledge that it isn’t entirely an old wives’ tale. Apples are full of antioxidants, which help fight off diseases and prevent future diseases. They are among the best fruits to eat, given that they do so many different things to help with your body.
Berries are a little different. They are best known for their phytochemicals, which help prevent damage to the cells. The great thing about this is that berries can be eaten by the handful. Other fruits are generally eaten one at a time rather than in bunches, making berries a great snack food. This can also be a great food to help lower your cholesterol. Strawberries, red raspberries, and bilberries are the best berries for heart health.
Melons are another type of fruit with some surprising benefits. They have little to no fat or saturated fat but have a lot of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins C and A are the most abundant vitamins in melons. Vitamin C is very important in giving you the essentials that you need for maintaining tissues and healing injuries. Vitamin A is important in keeping your immune system functioning well, keeping your teeth healthy, and helping your vision. Moreover, melons have some weight loss benefits, as they are a sweet, sugary dessert that isn’t at the same unhealthy level that other sugary sweets are.
Fruit juice isn’t the first choice when it comes to getting your recommended fruit intake. Juice tends to have more sugars and things that you shouldn’t be drinking. However, 100% fruit juice is a good choice. This can be freshly squeezed, which is the best idea when it comes to drinking juice, as it comes directly from the fruit. Although consuming juice is a good idea, try to limit how much you drink. You don’t want to consume too much sugar.
Three servings of dairy should be consumed daily. It would be best to choose fat-free or low-fat dairy to ensure that weight loss is achieved more effectively.
Everyone knows that milk is a good source of calcium. Calcium, of course, helps with keeping bones strong and healthy. Right along with that, vitamin D is important in keeping good levels of calcium and phosphorus. This is found in milk, so you don’t have to worry about not having enough.
There are many different kinds of cheese, all of which have different kinds of fat content. Some cheeses, like goat cheese, feta cheese, and blue cheese, have higher fat content than others. These cheeses have been given a lot of “fillers,” which add to their flavor but make them much more concentrated in fat. Other cheeses, such as part-skim mozzarella, parmesan, or grated Romano, are generally lower in fat. There are also low-fat and fat-free versions of different cheeses that are available to buy. Outside of the fat content, you’ll be getting plenty of vitamins and nutrients in any cheese.
Yogurt is rapidly becoming a very popular option as a snack food or breakfast food. Any grocery store will be overrun with yogurt options in the dairy section. Yogurt, as it is made from milk, has all of the benefits of milk, including calcium, potassium, vitamin B-2, and vitamin B-12.
Probiotics are another part of yogurt, which is something people are skeptical about. These are the good bacteria found in the digestive system. They help fight off infections by boosting the immune system. Yogurt also plays a role in reducing the chances of osteoporosis because of the calcium and vitamin D found in it. These two nutrients keep bones healthy and strong.
Again, this isn’t really a food group, but oils do have essential nutrients your body needs.
Oils of any kind should be consumed in very small amounts; no more than 6 teaspoons of oil should be consumed by anybody.
Many oils are full of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats while being low in saturated fats. If the oil is plant based, such as olive oil, then it has no cholesterol. Some plant-based oils, such as coconut oil, are high in saturated fats, so be wary of how much oil you use when cooking or eating, as well as what kind you are using.
There are also foods that are made up of lots of oil or have oil in them, such as mayonnaise, fish, and nuts. Just be aware of what you are consuming. Don’t try to have oil tossed and spread over every single thing you eat, and you’ll be fine.
Supplements are not necessary for most people since a healthy, balanced diet provides all of the vitamins and minerals they need. In small amounts, minerals and vitamins such as iron, calcium, and vitamin C are essential to your body’s functioning.
That said, some natural weight loss supplements may help people burn slightly more calories every day, gradually increasing weight loss.
Generally, weight loss supplements work through one or more of the following mechanisms:
- Reduces appetite, making you feel fuller so that you consume fewer calories
- Reduces the absorption of nutrients, such as fat, causing you to consume fewer calories
- Burn more calories by increasing fat burning
Resurge is one of the most popular weight loss supplements that promise to help you shed pounds and sleep better. Because studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with deficiencies of growth hormone and elevated levels of cortisol, both of which contribute to obesity.
While other supplements promote nutritional factors, meal replacement forms, appetite suppression, or similar effects, Resurge boosts your body’s metabolism by increasing your core temperature. However, before making any purchases, you might want to read some Resurge reviews.
It should be noted that pills or supplements only work when combined with a healthy weight-loss diet. Supplements are ineffective on their own and are hardly a solution to obesity.
Besides, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you already take medications, have health concerns or are pregnant.