Selecting proper nutrition is vital for proper maintenance of a fit and healthy body and lifestyle. The key to attaining proper nutrition is invariably having a balanced diet – a diet which incorporates all food groups and micronutrients in healthy combinations and proportions, such as carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, dietary fiber, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Select nutrition combined with exercise is a sure fire formula for leading a healthier lifestyle amidst a society that is increasingly drawn towards a sedentary lifestyle coupled with unhealthy dieting.
Living in the fast lane, which is an apt description for the kind of life that most of us lead today, is the main reason for the proliferation of fast foods, pre-cooked foods and foods having high calorie content. This has resulted in generations of obese, arthritic and hypertensive individuals – conditions which could be avoided if people could just be more selective with what they eat. For a treat, fast food is alright once in a while, but not on a regular basis. Using the food pyramid, a helpful tool used to develop proper eating habits among school age children, remains as important for us adults in planning our meals to ensure that we get proper nutrition. The key is eating the right food groups listed in the food pyramid in proper portions. Eating too much sends signals to our body that it should store the food as fat instead of burning it for energy.
The following is a rundown of select or ideal eating habits for select nutrition:
- Design your meals so that you eat 5 to 6 times daily without overeating. You can do so just by eating the same amount of food say, every 2 to 3 hours. Do not skip meals especially breakfast, because you need a source of energy for the day ahead. Your fist is about the size of your stomach so use that as your guide for portion control.
- Drink water every time you feel like it. Just make sure to drink at least 8 cups daily.
- In lieu of processed food, fast food and other calorie-laden foods, eat fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Remember that foods closer to their natural state are better than their processed counterparts. For carbohydrates, complex, unrefined ones include potato (not French fries or chips), whole grain bread, wheat and whole wheat bread. For protein, reduce your red meat in favor of lean meat, eggs and nuts. Eat low fat dairy such as cheese, milk and yogurt.
- It pays to know how to read labels if you cannot avoid processed foods. Stay away from foods containing high cholesterol, saturated and trans fat contents, including foods that are high in sodium and seasonings.
- Minimize sugar consumption by limiting sodas and alcohol intake.
Couple select nutrition with proper exercise to fire up your metabolism. Simply put, metabolism is the rate by which your body burns food to fuel its energy requirements. Consistent eating habits train the body as to what to expect for energy, while exercise expends whatever excess fuel there is, thereby reducing the possibility of acquiring blood sugar related diseases and obesity. You don’t have to do any fancy workout: try running, walking, jogging, or doing some aerobics at a nearby gym or even in the comfort of your own home, using a training video.
We tend to be very selective in the way we look, in choosing personal effects and in selecting people whom we associate ourselves with. It’s time to be selective in terms of nutrition. Select nutrition with a balanced diet as its centerpiece will provide proper sustenance for the kind of life that we lead.