Of sugar, New York Knicks basketball player Derrick Rose says, “Everyone’s got their poison; mine’s sugar.” Perhaps calling sugar a ‘poison’ is a bit strong, but the truth is that sugar—particularly the processed stuff—is not very good for you. In fact, many healthcare professionals and nutritionists now are actually calling sugar an addictive substance. If you look up the term ‘addictive’ in a thesaurus, similar words are ‘habit-forming,’ ‘obsessive,’ and yes, even ‘enslaving.’ But how addictive is sugar, really? Following are some important daily health tips about the potential addictive qualities of sugar that will help you decide for yourself how much sugar is too much.
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Most Americans get very little nutrition in their daily diets. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, the typical American diet exceeds the recommended intake limits in four categories, including fats and added sugars, sodium, saturated fats, and refined grains. It also reports that most Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, and 90% of all Americans eat more sodium than what is recommended for a healthy diet. However, perhaps what is most shocking is that the average calorie consumption has increased by 600 calories per day in the past four decades! If one of your goals this year is to eat a healthier diet, here are some tips for living a healthy life that will help you make better decisions every day from here on out so that you can look forward to a long and healthy future.
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Sit up straight and eat your vegetables! How many times did Mom nag you with this line when you were growing up? Well, now you’re all grown up, and, if you want to slump down at the kitchen table, or rest your head on your hand while downing your cornflakes… so be it. But, when it comes to eating your veggies, take Mom’s advice to heart.
Produce packs a punch – it’s so easy to get the doctor-recommended two to seven servings of fruits and veggies daily, but to do so, what works best for you? How do you get the most nutrients out of the produce you choose for your drinks, snacks and meals?
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There’s an old saying that “you are what you eat”, if that is true, you want to put the most healthful foods into your body to ensure that you stay in optimum health. Your diet plan should be diverse, with a wide variety of nutrients and healthful substances, and, of course, you want your meals and snacks to be tasty as well. That’s a tall order isn’t it? But, if you follow the Government guidelines and select your meals from each of the major food groups, your reward will be good health the rest of your life.
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Preparing food nowadays is so much more complicated than ever before. If you want to eat healthy, it is advisable to check labels closely to fully understand the components of what you will be ingesting. If you simply run into the grocery store and toss a few items in your cart without a care in the world, instead of perusing the product carefully, the old adage of “what you see is what you get” may just apply to you.
In recent years, the words “organic” and “natural” have become more prevalent in our vocabulary. You might have seen the ads or articles that promote eating healthy and that you should opt for better choices by choosing “organic” or “natural” foods. But what does this mean exactly?
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If you are of a certain age, you remember eating white Wonder bread as a kid. Kids liked that soft squishy bread that Mom piled high with peanut butter and jelly. Back in the 60s, the catch phrase for white Wonder Bread was “Wonder helps build strong bodies 12 ways” because this bread was chock full of nutrients. Through the years, Wonder Bread has added to their product line, so, in addition to the classic white bread, you can now get the same texture of bread but in whole grain. Mom is doubly happy to serve it to the kids and it still has that same moist texture that kids loved.
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There is a popular expression people often use about “comparing apples to oranges” sometimes it is used in a rather snarky manner, as if to indicate that there are apparent differences between two items – in other words, the distinction is a “no brainer”.
Even though that delicious orange orb with its dimpled appearance versus the apple which could take on any number of appearances (red, green or yellow, not to mention some 2,500 varieties of apples grown here in the United States), those two fruits have something more important in common – they are good and good for you.
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Chances are, the mere mention of the word “chia” as in “chia seeds” will bring a giggle or two to those who fondly remember a gift called a “Chia Pet” first introduced in the early 1980s. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chia_Pet) The novelty of the Chia Pet or Chia Head was that you had a terracotta planter and you affixed moistened chia seeds onto it, and in a few weeks’ time, the chia seeds sprouted and made “hair”. Chia pets are still available and enjoyed a recent resurgence with chia seeds sprouting into full beards to resemble various characters from the “Duck Dynasty” show.
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If you love fresh veggies, once growing season is in gear, there is no better place to go than the local vendors to load up on local produce. One of the first vegetables available in Spring is fresh asparagus. While this valuable veggie is available year-round, Spring is the peak season for taste. Crops are harvested beginning in late February through June, with April as the prime month.
When choosing asparagus, however, pick green asparagus as it is much more beneficial than white. It is the stalk of this veggie which packs a punch in terms of nutrients and goodness.
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What if you were told that eating foods rich in Omega-3 or taking supplements of Omega-3 would guarantee that you would reap the following benefits:
- Improved cardiovascular health, including protecting the heart from mental stress;
- Protection from Alzheimer’s Disease;
- Protection from vision loss, including aiding in dry-eye syndrome;
- Reduced risk of developing prostate cancer;
- Improved memory in healthy young adults;
- Reduced mental health problems (especially curbing behavioral problems in youngsters);
- Reduced seizure episodes in epileptic patients;
- Protection from post-partum depression in new mothers;
- Reduced symptoms of allergies and asthma;
- Reduced risk of psychosis; and
- Increased fetal cognitive and motor development.
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