Friday, May 15, 2009
This old cliché reminds us that our diet impacts our body-inside & out- in a major way.
Every part of us is made from nutrients, the building blocks in our foods, including: the brain, heart, skin, blood, eyes, muscles and all other body parts.
Our food also impacts how our body functions, our energy level, mood, sleep, digestion, metabolism, immune system, hormones, just to name a few.
Ask yourself if you want to look like a giant, greasy cheeseburger or a long, lean fillet of fish?
Do you want to get your energy from nutrient-empty soda or from fresh fruits that also provide vitamins, minerals, fiber & disease-fighting plant chemicals?
Every meal or snack gives us the opportunity to make smart choices in what we put in our bodies.
Your choices can change how you feel, look and your health now and far into the future. Perfection is not the goal.
Don’t worry about your taste buds; those little taste sensors on your tongue. They like what they are used to tasting.
When you change your menu, they complain at first, and then they adjust & even like the new tastes.
Some healthy choices to make you look & feel better and help you stay well:
• Eat 3-5 cups of vegetables or fruit daily. Go for color & variety. Avoid added sugar and salt. Buy what is in season or on sale.
• Switch from white to whole grain starches, such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, oats, shredded wheat, bran flakes, and whole wheat pasta.
• Choose lean turkey, chicken & fish most often. Chose only very lean cuts of beef, 90% fat-free hamburger, pork loin. Bake, broil, roast or grill. Include fish twice a week or more, including canned tuna, salmon or sardines. Avoid processed meats, such as bacon, ham, bologna or corned beef.
• Choose low fat or fat-free dairy foods.
• Avoid sugared drinks & foods. Drink water, hot or iced green or black teas, coffee, sugar-free drinks, fat-free milk or low salt tomato juice. Snack on unsalted nuts, popcorn, fruit, light yogurt or whole grain cereal.
• Choose fats that are liquid or very soft at room temperature, such as canola, olive or peanut oils & peanuts butter. Avoid fats that are hard at room temperature, such as stick margarine, butter and shortening.
• Kick the salt habit. Season with herbs, vinegar, Mrs. Dash marinades & herb mixes, salt substitutes, hot sauce or garlic. Label goals are zero milligrams (mg) of sodium per serving in seasonings and 200 mg per serving in most other foods.
You have the power to choose what you are made of and how your body parts work to keep you looking and feeling your best. Every opportunity you get to eat is an opportunity to build a better you.
And remember, the next time you see a vegetable, JUMP ON IT!
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