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Think You’re Eating Healthy?

Let’s face it‐ eating healthy is hard. It’s not hard because it’s impossible, but rather because it can be so confusing. There are continually new studies coming out say a certain food is good, and a week later a new study says it’s not. Fad, celebrity‐endorsed diets come and go faster than we can keep track of. So where can you turn when you’re looking for solid, reliablenutritional advice?

What makes recommendations so difficult is that there are a plethora of variances from personto person. Even if you are the same age, gender and weight as someone else, your calorieexpenditure may be much different based off of lifestyle choices, level of activity, etc. Becauseof that, recommendations must be taken with a grain of salt. The Institute for Medicinerecommends a breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into percentage ranges (foradults):

  • Carbs 45‐65% of calories
  • Fats  20‐35% of calories
  • Proteins 10‐35% of calories

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As you can see, even these ranges are quite broad. When you start talking about children, the confusion just increases. For every change in age group, activity level and/or gender, you’relooking at an entirely different recommended daily caloric intake. Because of these fluctuations, one of the best things you can do is to figure out your total caloric expenditure each day and eataround that number.

Basal Metabolic Rate ( BMR )

Your basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is a measure of the calories you require on a regular day‐todaybasis for basic life functions. This calculation assumes no physical activity is being performedand therefore minimal energy is being expended. To calculate BMR, there are a ton of online calculators you can use, like this one here. If you figure out your approximate BMR and factor inphysical activity, you can get a general idea of your daily caloric expenditure. Once you knowthis number, you can use the percentage ranges listed above to tailor your diet.

It’s important to keep in mind that just like with exercise, change is a good thing when it comes to diet as well. If you find yourself starting at a macronutrient split of 45% carbs, 35% fats and 20% protein, you can later switch it up to 55% carbs, 30% fats and 15% protein, as an example. You will find through trial and error what your body responds best to. There are numerousonline and phone app programs that serve as macronutrient trackers.

You could start by tracking your normal intake for a week and seeing where your macronutrient ranges fall. What it all boils down to is finding a balance that works best for you. You may find that your answer isn’t even close to what government‐recommendations say, and that’s okay. Whether your goal is to lose, gain or maintain, find a system that makes sense.

Eating Healthy In A World Of Processed Foods

Too much of a good thing can be bad‐ at least that’s what some people believe. We’re living in an age now where food is so unbelievably accessible that we find ourselves scoffing under our breath if we’re in a fast food line for more than sixty‐seconds. The speed and convenience is great at times‐ especially for busy moms and people running from job one to job two. But too much of this has contributed to a worldwide epidemic of obesity, which is growing worse with time.

Balance healthy living

Learning to balance healthy living in a world of processed foods isn’t impossible. While combo meals (what a deal!) and tempting propaganda can sometimes make healthy feel unattainable, it’s not. It just takes a little planning ahead of time and reinforcement of better choices.

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So what are some things you can do to eat healthy amidst a world of processed foods?

👉 Steam, Bake or Broil If you take a food item in its rawest form, it has the potential to stay healthy. But the way you prepare it can be a deal breaker. Stay away from food that is fried or cooked in a batter. This applies to vegetables too, not just meats.

👉 Get it on the Side ‐ If you order a salad or a dish that comes with a sauce, ask for it to be served on the side. That way, you can determine how much you consume, or if you even really like the taste enough to consume the calories.

Source: pixabay.com

👉 Inquire about Substitutions ‐ If your dish comes with a side of fries, ask if you can get a baked potato instead. Restaurants are often very willing to make substitutions.

👉 Plan Ahead ‐ Choose a day or days of the week and designate them as food preparation days. Use these days to make several days’ worth of healthy foods to bring with you to work, school, or wherever. That way, when lunch hour rolls around, you won’t be tempted with a McDonalds run.

👉 Ask for Less ‐ If you’re ordering a sandwich, for example, which comes with barbeque sauce, ask that the waiter goes “light” on the sauce. By doing this, you will save small amounts of calories in each food item you order.Minimize the Toppings‐ When ordering fast‐food, stick to menu items that have the least amount of non‐vegetable toppings. Try to pass on the calorie‐heavy condiments and instead ask for extra vegetables. More filling, less calories.

👉 Be a Kid Again ‐ Order off the kids menu. The serving sizes are smaller and oftentimes, the side “dish” is a fruit or vegetable, instead of a French fry or the like. In the perfect world, we wouldn’t find ourselves in a line of cars at a fast‐food restaurant or dragging the family out to a local diner for Tuesday night dinner. Love it or hate it, processed foods are a large part of our society, but that doesn’t mean we have to be food hermits. There is a way to make processed foods more health‐friendly by making small, conscious choices each time you find yourself speaking into that talking black box.

Paleo diet: What is it and why is it so popular?

The Paleo diet — sometimes called the cave man diet — is based on the idea that eating foods similar to those consumed by our hunter-gatherer ancestors is the healthiest, most successful path to sustainable weight loss and optimal health. These guidelines will get you started on making the transition to eating Paleo:

  • Build your meals around animal protein sources, vegetables, fruits, and naturally occurring, high-quality fat sources.
  • As much as possible, eat grass-fed, organic, pasture-raised meat and poultry and wild-caught fish and seafood.
  • Eat a wide variety of vegetables (including starchy vegetables, like sweet potatoes and winter squash) and fruits (especially berries).
  • Enjoy a wide range of naturally occurring fats, including coconut products (milk, flakes, butter, and oil), avocados, olives, and olive oil.
  • Avoid all gluten and grains, including wheat, rice, corn, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, spelt, and oats.
  • Avoid all seed and industrial oils, including canola, soy, and corn.
  • Avoid dairy, including milk, cream, half-and-half, cheese, and yogurt.
  • Avoid all added sugars and artificial sweeteners. (The naturally occurring sugar in fruit is okay.)

By removing foods from your diet that cause inflammation inside your body — foods that weren’t part of our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ daily meals — you’ll enjoy a wealth of health and lifestyle benefits.

Here are some of the benefits of living Paleo:

👍 Increased fat burning
👍 Weight loss
👍 It reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer
👍 Better ability to manage emotional and physical stress
👍 Reduction allergy symptoms
👍 Increased energy lasting all day
👍 Deeper and restful sleep
👍 Helps to rebuild and relieve skin conditions such as acne, alopecia and eczema
👍 Lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels
👍 Reducing joint pain and pain
👍 Relief of depression symptoms
👍 Clear and glowing skin. Strong nails and hair
👍 Alleviation of symptoms of autoimmune disorders, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease

Why paleo diet is popular?

According to new research by take-out service Grubhub, which handles billions of dollars in food orders every year, the Paleo Diet is said to be on the rise as the most popular with consumers in the U.S. right now.

The Paleo food sales that they saw in 2016 were said to have been a 370 per cent increase from the year before.

The Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet

A paleo diet is a dietary plan based on foods what might have been eaten in the Paleolithic era. This diet was started by Loren Cordain. He says that the paleo diet is the way humans were genetically designed to eat.

  • We are not cavemen.
  • Recent studies suggest that early man was more of a vegetarian (plant eater) and not as much of a carnivore (meat eater).
  • Most of us don’t just hunt for our food.
  • We have many food choices available.
  • There has been a lot of research on the health benefits of foods that are not part of the paleo diet.

Paleo Diet friendly Food List

  • Vegetables, like lettuce, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and spinach
  • Fresh Fruits
  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Eggs
  • Nuts, like almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, and pistachios and seeds, like pumpkin and sunflower
  • Seafood
  • Animal fats
  • Unrefined oils, like olive, walnut, grapeseed, and coconut oil

What can’t I eat on a Paleo diet?

  • Grains, such as oats, wheat, barley and rice ( no cereal, bread, pasta, bagels, crackers or granola bars )
  • Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn ( potato and corn chips, tortillas, popcorn )
  • Legumes or beans, so no peanuts or peanut butter, no soy foods ( soy milk, tofu or edamame ) no hummus or beans of any kind
  • Dairy products ( no milk, yogurt, cheese or ice cream )
  • High-fat meats ( salami, bologna, pepperoni, hot dogs, ground meat, rib roast, and ribs )
  • Sugars ( soda, honey, jam or jelly, syrup, candy, cakes, cookies and sports drinks )
  • Processed foods or trans fats ( doughnuts, french fries, fruit snacks )
  • Salty foods ( crackers, chips, pretzels, soy sauce, added-salt foods )

Paleo diet Pros:

👍 Clean diet without additives, preservatives, or chemicals.
👍 Anti-inflammatory benefits from the plant nutrients in fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts, and seeds.
👍 Eating more red meat, increase iron.
👍 A feeling of fullness between meals, due to the higher intake of protein and fats.
👍 Lost weight primarily due to the limited food choices.

Paleo diet Cons:

👎 The diet can be expensive.
👎 You don’t eat any grains which can be good for health and energy.
👎 This diet can be difficult for vegetarians.
👎 Most athletes need between 3 to 6 grams of carbs per pound of their body weight, per day.