What You Should Do to Be Healthier?

Middle year is a time of job achievement, child rearing, and establishment of lifestyle. That lifestyle, however, often includes poor eating habits that can lead to poor health later. As life expectancy now at an average of about 75 years increases, it becomes more important to develop and maintain nutrition habits that add more life to your years and not just years to your life! The middle years are an important time to choose wisely to preserve health and prevent or delay the onset of lifestyle diseases. Keep in mind what an ounce of prevention includes:

Good Lifestyle for Long Lifespan
  1. Variety Is The Spice Of Life.
Your body requires more than 40 nutrients! No single food meets all your body's needs. We can obtain all essential dietary nutrients by eating a wide variety of foods in amounts geared to our needs. In glancing at the USDA's new Food Guide Pyramid, you'll find that breads, cereals, and grains are at the base, then vegetables and fruits. At the apex of the pyramid are oils, fats, and sweets, which carry the notation "Use sparingly." It is easy to see that the idea of a healthy diet has changed from meat and potatoes to breads, cereals, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  1. Less Fat To Low Fat.
There has been so much talk about dietary fat that many have experienced information burnout. However, baby boomers can't afford to turn a deaf ear to the low-fat message. Fat is linked to heart disease, obesity, and some forms of cancer. However, fat is not an enemy to the middle-years body. It contains needed nutrients and helps the body assimilate others. The problem is that for too long we have eaten too much fat! Again, take note of its placement in the pyramid and the "Use sparingly" directive.

Less fat in the diet means decreasing visible fats such as margarine, oils, and mayonnaise as well as foods like fatty meats, cheese, and potato chips, which are high in nonvisible fats. Also, cut back on the fat in recipes and sauté in water instead of oil. Try using nonmeat protein substitutes, and choose low-fat food items. In terms of food preparation, cutting the fat means less frying, and more baking and steaming.
  1. Pass The Fruits And Vegetables, Please.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. For the mid-lifer looking for a flavorful low-calorie way to meet a wayward appetite, try them! Science continues to link cancer prevention education to vitamin A- and C-rich vegetables. A nutrition and epidemiology expert said that "The more frequent the consumption of green salads, the lower the risk of dying." This protective effect of green salads was found for slim, normal-weight, or obese persons, whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian. In addition, a high consumption of green salads, fruits, and vegetables has been shown to have a significant protective effect for extended longevity. Include plenty of dark-green and yellow/orange vegetables and fruits (rich in vitamin A) routinely. For better health, remember to eat at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit daily.
  1. The Staff Of Life
Breads, cereals, and grains, this group includes our primary sources of complex carbohydrates, or starches that should provide most of our daily energy. Note their location in the pyramid; it's the very foundation of a healthful diet! These foods contain a wide variety of minerals and vitamins as well as fiber. Remember that foods that are naturally high in fiber or starch are generally low in fat, salt, and added sugar--a plus against the middle-years spare tire. Vary your choices within this group.
  1. Fiber-Ize!
Why so much ado about fiber? Because research has shown that fiber-rich diets reduce the risk of heart disease, digestive tract problems, and cancers of the colon and prostrate health concerns pertinent to those in mid-life. Fiber helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels, too.

Dietary fiber is found only in food from plants, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. Ironically, it is that portion of the plant cells that humans cannot digest or can only partially digest.

Food processing over the years and a cultivated taste for refined products has drastically reduced the amount of fiber in meals and snacks. If a food melts in your mouth without chewing, it's generally refined and low in fiber! Fiberize your meals with whole-grain cereals and breads. If you buy bread, check the first ingredient (the one present in the largest amount) to make sure it is whole-grain flour like whole-wheat. When possible, eat fruits and vegetables in their most natural state--the apple instead of applesauce; the orange instead of orange juice.
  1. Nature's Candy
Sugar provides 16 calories per teaspoon (4 calories per gram). A 12-ounce can of carbonated soft drink contains 9 to 10 teaspoons of sugar. That's about 150 calories just from sugar! The middle years are a time to look for nutrient-dense foods. The goal is to gain as many nutrients as possible for the caloric value of the food. Many foods that contain natural sugar, such as fruits, come well packaged with other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. You can prevent empty-calorie obesity by reducing the amount of refined sugar and high sugar products eaten at and away from home. So when the sweet tooth starts aching, treat it with nature's candy of fresh and dried fruits!
  1. Herbs And Spice Are So Nice.
Some salt is needed by the body; however, most of us consume far too much. Replace salt with savory herbs. You'll have a more healthful, flavorful meal.
  1. The Merry Marriage Of Good Nutrition And Exercise.
Enjoy Music While Doing Exercises

Obesity is a risk factor for many diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. In the middle years, energy needs decrease. This is true in part because of a reduced basal metabolic rate (BMR) energy required to operate the body and all too often, a more sedentary lifestyle. Mid-lifers must satisfy their vitamin and mineral needs with fewer calories. Excess weight can become a problem if appetite remains high, poor food choices are made, and activity levels decrease. For healthy weight maintenance, there must be a marriage between good eating habits and exercise. Another great idea is using best active headphones and enjoys your favorite music. Let’s make your exercising time more interesting!

If weight control is a problem, ask your doctor or dietitian about a weight-control plan that's right for you. You have an extraordinary opportunity to take care of your health. So make the best of the middle years to make the most of your life.