Fishy Diet - Healthy Eating

Many nutrition experts recommend eating fish at least once or twice every week.  The most nutritious varieties of fish, and those that contain the greatest amounts of heart protecting omega-3 fatty acids, tend to be those that live in cold ocean waters.  These varieties of fish include salmon and sardines.

It is hard to beat fish and seafood for high protein and low fat.  Fish has been shown in study after study to have a positive impact on health, and to lower the risk of heart disease and other diseases.  In addition, fish is delicious and easy to prepare.

There is little doubt that fish is a healthy food, containing significant levels of protein and smaller amounts of fat and calories than other types of meat.

As a matter of fact, fish is one of the best sources of protein there is.  Everyone needs protein for building muscles and repairing damaged body tissues.  In addition, protein plays a vital role in the growth of nails and hair, in hormone production and in many other vital bodily processes.

The key to getting sufficient protein in the diet is to balance the healthy effects of protein on the diet against the large amounts of fat and cholesterol that protein rich foods often contain.  The combination of high protein and low fat is one of the things that makes a diet rich in fish so appealing.

With the exception of salmon, almost all commonly eaten varieties of fish are very low in fat, and even salmon contains lower levels of fat than many varieties of meats.  In addition, fish is low in saturated fat, the type of fat that is most associated with heart disease and clogged arteries.

Fish is low in unsaturated fat because of the nature of where and how they live.  Instead of storing energy in the form of saturated fat as land animals do, fish store their fat in the form of polyunsaturated oils.  That adaptation allows their bodies to function normally in the cool oceans and streams where they swim.  It also makes them a great choice for anyone seeking to cut levels of saturated fat in the diet.

For all these reasons, fish remains an important part of any low fat, heart healthy lifestyle.  Substituting high fat, greasy foods like hamburgers and ribs is a great way to make a change for healthy living.

One note about fish and pollution, however.  It is true that many fish caught in polluted waters contain high levels of mercury.  While most commercially caught and grown fish is low in mercury, it is important for fisherman to limit their consumption of locally caught fish.  Pregnant women are also advised to limit their intake of fish, due to the potential harm to the baby.

Even those who do not cook can enjoy the many benefits of fish in the diet. Many people avoid fish because they do not know how to prepare and cook it.  While it is true that fish can present more of a challenge for the inexperienced, there are many recipes and cookbooks that make preparation easier.  In addition, many packaged seafood products contain cooking tips and serving suggestions that take some of the mystery out of preparing a nutritious and delicious meal of fresh fish.

So there is every reason fit fish into your diet and healthy eating plan.

Eat a Variety of Veggies For a Healthier You

The new food guidelines issued by the United States government recommend that all Americans eat between five and nine servings of fruits and vegetables each and every day. When you first hear that number, it may seem like a lot, but it is actually much easier than you think to fit that many servings of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. For one thing, the shelves of the grocery stores are fairly bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, vegetables and fruits are some of the least expensive, most nutrient rich, foods in the supermarket. With all these fruits and vegetables to choose from, it is very easy to make these nutritious, delicious foods part of your daily meals and snacks.

When you take into account how much a serving really is, it is actually quite easy to get five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day. For instance, the recommended daily amount actually equates to a quite reasonable two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables every day. When you consider how many fruits and vegetables are available, and how low the prices usually are, it is easy to see how easy to reach this daily goal really is.

One great way to get the nutrients you need from fruits and vegetables every day is to take full advantage of the variety of these foods available. Eating the same thing every day quickly becomes boring, so why not pick a variety of fruits and vegetables, in every color of the rainbow and in every conceivable shape, size and texture, to give yourself a varied diet every day.

When shopping for fruits and vegetables, it is important to choose a variety of different colors. This is for more than purely artistic reasons. Different color fruits and vegetables have different types of nutrients, and choosing a variety of colors will help ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need each and every day.

Finding new recipes is another great way to ensure you get those five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Everyone likes to try out new recipes, and these new recipes may just provide the impetus you need to eat all those fruits and veggies.

New recipes can also provide you the important opportunity to try out some fruits and vegetables you have never tried before. For instance, everyone has eaten oranges, but have you tried kiwi fruit or mangoes? How about spinach or kale? Trying new things is a great way to find new favorites while getting the best nutrition available.

Many people mistakenly think that they do not need to eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day if they just take a vitamin supplement. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. That is because fruits and vegetables contain far more than the micronutrients identified by science and synthesized in vitamin pills. While these micronutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E are important to good health, so too are the hundreds of other elements that are contained in healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. These elements are not available in any pill, they must be ingested through a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables.

In addition, fruits and vegetables are much less costly than vitamin pills. Fruits and vegetables are very inexpensive, especially when purchased in season and grown locally. In the long run, getting the nutrition you need from the food you eat is much less expensive, and much better for you, than popping those vitamin pills every day.

So don’t forget to get your five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. It may seem like a lot, but you can meet this quite reasonable goal simply by including fruits and vegetables as snacks, as garnishes, as side dishes and as meals.

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