Top 5 Diet Hacks For A Healthier Life
1. Increase Fiber
Dietary fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber, found in oats, barley, legumes, citrus, apples, and some vegetables, dissolves in water to form a gel. It lowers cholesterol levels and moderates blood sugar. Insoluble fiber mostly keeps things moving through your gut at a good pace. All fiber slows down digestion so that even sugary foods spike blood sugar less. Fiber also fills you up so that you feel less hungry, even after consuming fewer calories.
2. Eat Your Veggies
Vegetables contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and numerous phytonutrient compounds that we have only recently begun to recognize. Human beings evolved to eat a lot of vegetable matter. And while there may be some extreme populations that get by without vegetables, by and large, the more veggies that are included in a diet, the healthier its people tend to be.
3. Eat Healthy Fats
Fats can be saturated or unsaturated. Generally speaking, unsaturated fats are considered healthier than saturated fats, particularly the omega-3 fats from fish and seafood, as well as walnuts and flax seeds. Polyunsaturated fats, such as olive oil, avocados, sunflower seeds, and cottonseed oils, seem to have heart-protective qualities, especially when they replace saturated fats.
4. Discover Fermented Foods
Diets rich in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled olives, and cheeses seem to have a host of health benefits. A study published in 2013 in the Journal of Medicinal Food tracked 100 young men who ate an identical diet except for the amount of kimchi they consumed (none; approx. 1 ounce; approx. 8 ounces). After one week, the kimchi-eating groups had lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose than the control group—and those who ate the most kimchi had bigger drops.
5. Eat More Fresh Fish
Many of the world’s healthiest diets include a lot of fish. Fish has quality protein and healthy fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce CHD through their anti-inflammatory and other properties. Fish and seafood are also seen as beneficial because they typically replace red meat in a meal, which often has a less desirable fat profile (i.e., more saturated fat).
Do you follow these diet “do’s”?
Why Is The American Diet So SAD?
The Standard American Diet is SAD. It’s characterized by lots of corn-fed meat, simple carbohydrates like white flour and potatoes, fried foods, chemical additives, saturated and hydrogenated fats, and lots of refined sugars and additives. It’s also extremely high in processed and prepackaged foods. For a mental image of the SAD, picture a super-sized, fast-food hamburger with fries and a soda, plus a candy bar for dessert.
These foods are easy to make in centralized factories and ship out to stores, mini-marts, shopping malls, and fast-food restaurants. It’s pre-prepared and packaged for quick and convenient reheating in a microwave or cooking in a deep fryer. This standard food is very convenient to ship, store, and quickly serve to suit the modern American lifestyle very well.
In broad strokes, the Standard American Diet is 50% carbohydrates, 35% fat, and 15% protein. The carbohydrates are mostly simple sugars and refined flours. The fats are primarily saturated fat—much of it from cooking oils retained from deep-frying. The American diet is equally characterized by what it mostly doesn’t include, such as enough fiber and complex carbohydrates, vegetables and other plant-based foods, fish, dietary fiber, fermented foods, and healthy fats. As we look at diet patterns, it’s extremely important to consider not only what they include, but also what they leave out.
Excessive serving sizes that come with the SAD are a big culprit here. As part of my work, I travel to Europe several times a year. One thing you notice right away in Europe is that the people are a lot thinner. In fact, less than 30% of Europeans are overweight or obese, compared to over 68% of Americans. One of the secrets is in portion size. European portions seem to be about half the size of American portions. Try cutting back to “euro-size” meals and watch your health improve!
3 Game-Changing Supplements You Need Now
Having spent my entire professional life at the intersection of nutrition and health while living in the real world, I know that it’s tough to maintain this perfect eating program every single day. There are a few specific supplements that can support your health in ways that even nine servings of fruits and vegetables cannot.
Purified Fish Oil
I take 1,000 mg of a highly purified omega-3 fish oil supplement, because I can’t always get enough seafood. I would rather get a little too much omega-3 than risk not getting enough. Unfortunately, enough mercury is in the ocean food chain now that it can concentrate in fish oils, so only take fish oil supplements that have been purified using the “supercritical CO2” method. This process uses very cold carbon dioxide gas and no chemical solvents to extract the omega-3s from the fish oil. It leaves behind all mercury and other impurities.
You have probably heard about the benefits of red wine. These benefits are thought to come from resveratrol, a powerful polyphenol and anti-fungal chemical found in the skin of grapes and also found in red wine, in small amounts. Resveratrol is one of the most exciting supplements around because of its power as an antioxidant and its role in slowing the rate of cellular aging. Harvard-educated researchers Dr. Christoph Westphal and Dr. David Sinclair conducted genetic research on resveratrol and call it the fountain of youth. But not all resveratrol is created equally.
Resveratrol in the “trans” form – the form the body can use – can be harvested in very high concentrations from other natural plant sources. This provides the resveratrol content equivalent of over 100 glasses of red wine in a concentrated supplement.
We know that Mediterranean people feast on the freshest fruits and vegetables, such as locally grown, ripe tomatoes. Unlike the store-bought variety we find here, the traditional Mediterranean diet calls for vibrant red, vine-ripened tomatoes. The carotenoid that gives tomatoes their distinctive color when ripe is called lycopene, and it is another powerful antioxidant. In the body, lycopene is known to support cardiovascular health, to protect skin from sun-induced aging, and to limit LDL cholesterol oxidation.
The Top 3 Diet Tips For A Longer Life
1. Cut the White Stuff, Especially Sugary Drinks
Looking for some simple diet tips that will change the way you feel and look almost immediately? Start with this one. Nature doesn’t provide many white foods like sugar and flour, and cutting simple sugars and carbohydrates is the best place to start Eating Well. Numerous studies have shown that when we eat a 100-calorie slice of bread, our bodies reduce our hunger response and caloric intake for the rest of the day (especially if it’s whole wheat bread with fiber, vitamins, and healthy fats). However, that same 100-calories from a soda or glass of apple juice does not reduce our hunger response. So it’s an extra 100 calories over what you would normally eat as opposed to the bread, which will count against your body’s daily set point of calories it seeks.
2. Eat Protein and Fiber at Every Meal
Most healthy diets include some protein at every meal, and it’s not always as obvious as a meat dish. Many cuisines have paired staple grains and legumes. Typically, neither one contains all the essential amino acids, or protein building blocks, on their own, but in conjunction they do. This is why you constantly see beans and grains combined in traditional cuisines around the world: red beans and rice, corn and pinto beans, rice and soy, wheat and lentils. These grain and legume combinations create complete proteins without any meat. Eating protein slows the absorption of sugars and starches, which reduces blood sugar spikes and crashes that encourage binge eating.
3. Maximize Variety, Especially with Veggies
For the very best diet tips, you don’t have to look much further than The Mediterranean Diet is high in vegetables and other plant-based foods, and these occur in a wide variety. People end up getting a lot of different phytonutrients from the plants. In addition to the well-known nutrients like Vitamins C and D, our bodies can benefit from hundreds, maybe thousands, of plant nutrients. Science is still discovering these and learning what roles they play in our health. Many don’t even have names yet. But by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and grains, the people of the Mediterranean countries are able to benefit from having these in their diet, even without knowing what they are. Variety staves off nutritional deficiencies and promotes good health.
Do you consider yourself to be a healthy eater? What diet tips can you share?