Eat Your Way To A Healthy Lifestyle

Submitted by: Michael Sheridan

A healthy diet is not about how much you eat, it's about what you eat. Get that right and your daily intake of food can be whatever you want it to be.

If you are heavily into takeaway foods, saturated fats and sugary drinks, reducing the amount you consume will have some effect. Unfortunately it will be marginal at best. Eating the right sort of food, on the other hand, will not only reduce weight it will increase your energy levels and enhance your life in general. But what is the 'right sort' of food? A sample list would look something like this:

High fibre breakfast cereals
Fresh fruits such as grapes, kiwi fruit, tomatoes and avocado pears
Grilled vegetables such as mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchinis
Low fat yoghurt and snacky dips like hummus
Low fat meat, as in ch


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icken, turkey, trimmed pork and fresh fish

One of the problems most people have with dieting in general is that, used to large portions, any reduction leaves them still feeling hungry. Which means they then snack throughout the day and often on unsuitable 'convenience' foods that are high in fats and sugars. Couple this pattern with lack of exercise and the dangers of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes begin to loom large.

This doesn't need to be the case. By adjusting the amounts that you eat you can begin to satisfactorily control the intake of those elements which cause the greatest problems. In other words, by eating the 'right' sort of food in any quantity you like, and the 'wrong' sort of food in limitation, you can counter this effect.

For example, if steak is your favorite meat by all means eat it, but limit your intake to once or twice a week. Trim the meat of all fat (or buy very lean meat) and make sure the amount of steak you consume is no bigger than the palm of your hand. Use this rule of thumb for any meat you eat, including chicken, lamb, pork and burgers. To compensate for the loss of bulk, increase the amount of vegetables and fruit and add in foods low on the glycaemic index such as pasta, rice, couscous and polenta. Because these foods break down over a longer period of time they leave you feeling fuller for longer. They also release glucose into the blood stream at a much slower rate than high GI foods, allowing your body to burn this extra energy instead of storing it as fat.

You can further assist this process by drinking plenty of water both with your meals and throughout the day. You can do a quick check on your health in this respect by observing the color of your urine. If it is yellow, you need to drink more water. The other thing you can do, of course, is to exercise more. Half an hour a day is all most people need to keep them in shape, and that could simply be a walk to work, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

By changing the balance of your diet, rather than opting for some difficult to follow regimen, you will improve your health without stress. In fact, you will hardly notice any difference in your life-style at all. But you will notice huge differences in your energy levels, your appearance and even in your sleep patterns, which will improve your quality of life beyond measure.

Remember, all you need to do is to identify those foods which have a high glycaemic index and reduce your intake. To replace the missing bulk, look for low GI foods and increase the amount of those you eat. Work at it. You will find that you can make the change surprisingly quickly and the rewards will far outweigh the effort required.


About the Author: Michael Sheridan is a chef and an acknowledged authority and published writer on cooking matters. His website at All About Cooking contains a wealth of information, hints, tips and recipes for busy home cooks

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