Nutrition is important to your overall health. There are so many false claims and mixed up information that can make it difficult to ensure you and your family are doing the right things or eating the right foods. Although each person will have different needs, answers to common questions can put you in the right direction.
1. How do I know the correct portion sizes?
Controlling the amount of food you eat is important. Even if you are a healthy weight and are not dieting, maintaining that healthy weight and getting the right amount of nutrients per serving can be done through portion control. Portion sizes can help you prevent overeating.
You could choose to weigh and measure everything, but that can be time-consuming and inconvenient. Instead, you can use your hand as a guide. For fatty foods, the portion should be the size of your thumb or smaller. Carbohydrate portions should equal the size of your hand when it is cupped. Portions of vegetables should be the same size as your fist. For portions of proteins, the size of your palm is adequate.
2. What are carbohydrates, and should I avoid them?
In general, carbohydrates are essential. They help provide your body with glucose. Ideally, half of your caloric intake should come from carbs. There is a difference in types of carbs that should be considered when you are counting your intake.
Carbohydrates can be simple or complex. Simple carbs, also called whole carbs, are much healthier and are found in unprocessed foods such as vegetables and whole grains. Complex carbs come from refined foods. These foods include sugary drinks, white breads, white rice, and white pasta. Refined, complex carbs should be eaten in small amounts to prevent increases in blood sugar levels.
3. Which diet plan is the best?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. There are certainly an abundance of diet plans and fads to choose from. Most health professionals, nutritionists, and coaches try to remain neutral; they will not choose one method.
A neutral view is necessary because no two people are the same. One method may be extremely effective for one person but not another. Diet plans should always be used as only a guide that can be adjusted and customized. Generally, if you can stick to a set plan that still provides the recommended daily intake of nutrients, you should have positive results.
4. Can excessive stress really hurt my health?
Stress occurs naturally, every day. For most people, stress levels are moderate and can easily be counteracted. There are a lot of people, however, that suffer from excessive stress levels. These high amounts of stress exposure can affect you from head to toe.
Common problems include insomnia, loss of appetite or emotional eating, anxiousness, and trouble with memory. Excessive stress can also cause hair loss, a lowered immune system, chronic migraines, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It is important to learn methods to reduce stress and relax.
5. Can changes in nutrition help arthritis symptoms?
Although there are different forms of arthritis, pain and inflammation are common symptoms. Many sufferers take medications and supplements to help ease symptoms. A few dietary changes can also help.
For inflammation, increasing intake of nuts, fish, and beans can be beneficial. Nuts contain monounsaturated fats, fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, and beans contain phytonutrients and fiber – all ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties. Whole grains can help maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, a diet rich in bright fruits and veggies can be beneficial for arthritis. Oranges, peppers, and broccoli are just a few that contain powerful antioxidants that can help ease inflammation and give the body’s defenses a boost.
6. Can dietary changes help boost a child’s immune system?
Children tend to be caught in an endless cycle of illnesses. They are stuck together for hours during school, often sneezing and coughing on each other. Despite frequent hand-washing and sanitizing, they spread every germ possible. There are several dietary changes you can make to boost your child’s immune system.
Avoid relying heavily on processed foods such as cookies and cakes. Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables, eggs, beans, and meats. Yogurt contains probiotics that help the immune system by maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Choose Greek or plain yogurt and add fresh fruit to sweeten it naturally. If you struggle getting your child to eat those green veggies, consider adding new flavors or sneaking some kale into a fresh fruit smoothie; the fresh fruit flavor will mask the kale, but your child will get all the nutrients.
Proper nutrition is a vital part of general health. Nutrient deficiencies and poor eating habits can wreak havoc on the body’s systems in numerous ways. You can suffer from a weakened immune system, cognitive difficulties, digestive issues, and more. The best thing you can do is keep gathering information.