HAVE A GOOD HEALTH Healthy Habits: June 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

What is Fibre and why is it important

Fiber is one of those nutrients that many of us know is important but that remains a bit of a mystery. Exactly what is it? What are the best sources of fiber? And what are its health benefits? Here we try to answer these and other questions.

Basically, the term fiber refers to carbohydrates that cannot be digested. Fiber is present in all plants that are eaten for food, including fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. However, not all fiber is the same, and there are a number of ways to categorize it. One is by its source or origin. For example, fiber from grains is referred to as cereal fiber. Another way of categorizing fiber is by how easily it dissolves in water. Soluble fiber partially dissolves in water. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. These differences are important when it comes to fiber's effect on your risk of developing certain diseases.

Sources of Fiber

Soluble Fiber :
nuts and seeds
Legumes -
*dried peas

Insoluble Fiber :

whole grains
*whole wheat breads
*brown rice
whole-grain breakfast cereals
wheat bran

Current recommendations suggest that adults consume 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day. Children over age 2 should consume an amount equal to or greater than their age plus 5 grams per day. Yet the average American eats only 14-15 grams of dietary fiber a day.
Health Effects of Eating Fiber
Long heralded as part of a healthy diet, fiber appears to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation. Despite what many people may think, however, fiber probably has little, if any effect on colon cancer risk.
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, and you should get a least the minimum recommended amount of 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day for adults. For children over age 2, the recommended intake is the child's age + 5 grams. The best sources are fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes, and whole-grain foods.
Some tips for increasing fiber intake:
Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices.
Replace white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice and whole-grain products.
Choose whole-grain cereals for breakfast.
Snack on raw vegetables instead of chips, crackers, or chocolate bars.
Substitute legumes for meat two to three times per week in chili and soups.
Experiment with international dishes (such as Indian or Middle Eastern) that use whole grains and legumes as part of the main meal (as in Indian dahls) or in salads (for example, tabbouleh).

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Improve Your Cholesterol Level

There are three ways you can make your cholesterol levels better:

Diet, weight control and exercise.

Eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and use low or non-fat dairy products. You should also substitute olive oil, grapeseed, canola or safflower oil for butter, lard or solid sticks of margarine. Avoid alcohol and sugary foods, as well as foods that contain saturated, hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated fats or transfats. Read food labels to make healthy decisions.

Weight control:

Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight can increase your blood pressure, level of bad cholesterol and your chance of developing diabetes. Even reducing your weight by 10 percent can improve your health.


Get 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Using your large muscles (also called aerobic exercise) can result in weight loss, better cholesterol levels and a more normal blood sugar. Examples of aerobic exercises include brisk walking, bicycling, hiking and swimming. You should talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Family history has a very strong influence on your cholesterol levels. It's possible that you can follow all these suggestions and still need to take cholesterol-lowering medication. Talk with your doctor about your cholesterol levels. This will help you understand your cholesterol results and how to reach your goals.

Your health is your most important asset, and it's never too late to make positive changes.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Take Fruit and Vegetable Juices

Fresh fruit & vegetable juices have been shown to possess remarkable health-promoting properties and has been used for centuries by naturopaths to help treat a range of ailments. Lime juice was, for example, found to be an effective cure for scurvy in the sixteenth century and this saved thousands of sailors' lives on their long voyages around the world. In more recent times, scientists have identified the nutritional and biochemical properties of freshly-prepared fruit and vegetable juices which account for their use in helping treat so many health problems.
However, it is important to note that by 'juice' we are not referring to those that are purchased in tins or cartons. Commercially prepared juices are often so processed that the nutritional content is largely lost and the healthy enzymes are killed by heat sterilisation. In fact, vitamins often have to be added to the juices. These commercial juices may make for a refreshing drink but they do not have the same health benefits as freshly squeezed juices made from a home juice extractor.
Freshly squeezed juices contain naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and enzymes which are far better than synthetic tablets. The nutrients are easily absorbed into the bloodstream and within ten minutes they are nourishing your body's cells.

Many people ask, 'Why can't I just eat fruits & vegetables?'. The reason is simple; solid foods have to go through the body's digestive tract and this can take several hours and requires a healthy digestive system. Juice, on the other hand, is assimilated and absorbed very quickly into the blood stream without taxing the digestive system. By juicing fruits and vegetables you lose only the fibre, but this means that a much higher quantity of nutrients is available in the juices.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Healthy Fruit Diet


We all think eating fruits means simply buying fruit, cutting it and just popping it into our mouths.
You will benefit much more if you how and when to eat.

Correct way of eating….

Fruits should be taken in an empty stomach not as dessert after meal as is often done.
If you eat fruit like that it will also serve as the major role to detoxify your system, supplying you with great deal of energy for weight loss & other life activities.
Fruit is the most important food….

Lets say you eat two slices of bread & two slice of fruit, as fruit digests faster then the bread slice, the slice of fruit digests quickly & is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestine ,but its passage is blocked by the bread which takes longer to digest.
In the meantime the whole meal ferments & turns to acid. Consequently, when the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach & digests juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil.
So it is better to eat your fruit in an empty stomach or before your meal.

You have heard people complaining ---------
Every time I eat water-melon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats up, when I eat banana I feel like running to toilet etc….
Actually this will not arise if you eat your fruit in an empty stomach. The fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas and hence you will bloat!
Graying hair, balding outburst, dark circles under the eyes, all this will not happen if you eat your fruit in an empty stomach. It is incorrectly presumed that some fruits like orange, lemon are acidic and will enhance acidity in the stomach. Research however shows that all fruits become alkaline in our body.
When you need to drink fruit juice, drink only fresh juice and not from the cans. Don’t drink the juice that has been heated up. Don’t eat cooked fruits because you don’t get the nutrients at all .You only get to taste. So stop making ‘durian porridge’ if you wants nutrients. Cooking food destroys all the vitamins.

Eating the whole fruit or pulp is far better than drinking juice as the fiber is good for your health .If you drink the juice drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mixed with saliva before swallowing it.
A 3-day ‘fruit-fast ‘ is a very simple and effective way to cleanse and detoxify your body. Just eat fruit and drink fresh juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look! .
During fast you can eat different fruits at different time, although occasionally mixed fruit salad will also be permissible and more interesting
If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits you have the secret of beauty, health, longevity, energy, happiness and normal weight.

Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet

Some of your cholesterol is made by your body. The food you eat is responsible for the rest. Food products from animals contain cholesterol — including meats, poultry, shellfish, eggs, butter, cheese and whole or 2 percent milk. And any type of food can also contain saturated fats and trans fats, which cause your body to make more cholesterol.
The American Heart Association recommends that you keep your intake of total fat to between 25 percent and 35 percent, your saturated fat consumption to less than 7 percent, and your intake of trans fat to less than 1 percent of your total daily calories.

At the same time, limit your intake of cholesterol from food to less than 300 mg per day. People with high LDL (bad) blood cholesterol levels or who are taking cholesterol medication should consume less than 200 mg of cholesterol per day.

Eat at least 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber each day — preferably from whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes.

To combat high blood pressure and for overall cardiovascular health, also limit sodium to 2,300 mg or less per day. Some people — African Americans, middle-aged and older adults, and people with high blood pressure — need less than 1,500 mg per day. And if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation (no more than one drink a day for women, no more than two for men).

But a heart-healthy diet isn't just about what you shouldn't eat. It also means eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, with whole grains, high-fiber foods, lean meats and poultry, fish at least twice a week, and fat-free or 1 percent fat dairy products. Also, the diet should be low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.

By learning to make smart choices — whether you're cooking at home or eating out — you can enjoy flavorful foods while you manage your cholesterol.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dietary Guidelines For Americans

A Healthier You is about our diet—what we eat. But it's not a "diet book." It's different. It's about helping us find our way to better health by making smart choices about nutrition and physical activity—two keys to a healthy lifestyle.

Sure, this raises a number of questions: "What exactly does a healthy lifestyle mean? Deny myself the very pleasures of eating? Is this the end of eating out? What about my hectic life? Seriously, how much physical activity do you really expect me to get each day?" Sometimes, it's hard enough to get everything done in a day—let alone physical activity!

A Healthier You is not about what we deny ourselves, but instead:

It's about choices. The food and physical activity choices we make every day affect our health. The more we know, the better choices we can make.

It's about balance. We need to learn to make more room in our lives for things that make us happy, healthy, and productive.

It's about a healthy lifestyle. To get the most out of our lives starts with small steps— a slow, steady approach to being healthy that we can live with each day—or most days. Hey, nobody's perfect!

At some level, we all know that a lot about being healthy comes down to taking care of ourselves: what we eat, how much we eat, and how much physical activity we get. We don't need to be rocket scientists to figure this out:

Make smart choices from every food group
Find our balance between food and physical activity
Get the most nutrition out of our calories.

Good to know, right? But let's face it, healthy habits take some effort. There's no magic pill that instantly does the trick.

How often have we told ourselves, "I'm going to start eating better and moving more." And, we mean it. We make the pact with ourselves at least every New Year. Too often, however, it's easy to get derailed and fall back into unhealthy habits. We don't mean to. But, the truth is—it takes a real commitment to change our behavior, especially for the long haul.

We basically know that we eat to live, but today, some of us seem to live to eat. Food represents a lot of things to us. To some it's a stress reducer—"I'm stressed. I'm tired and just want to go home and eat." There's often nothing like the emotional comfort of a pint of ice cream. Sometimes, food is our way of celebrating or a reason for coming together for special events like block parties or family reunions. Food is part of our social fabric. It's one way we pass traditions down from generation to generation and sometimes preserve our cultural identities. We hear stories from people talking about how food is part of their heritage. The secret ingredient in Nana's strudel is "love" to be sure, but there's also "lard" in that strudel! From Sunday family dinners serving spaghetti and meatballs to the best barbecue for a handful of nieces and nephews, extended family, and friends…sometimes, the entire neighborhood—we all love to kick back and relax with our favorite foods and enjoy ourselves!

There are ways, though, to make a healthier lifestyle doable and still enjoy Nana's cooking at the reunion. It's the day-in and day-out choices that we really need to think about. Whether this means finding the motivation to be our own personal trainer, using easy-to-make recipes to prepare our own meals in about as much time as it takes to head out to the nearest fast-food place, doing our best to eat healthfully on a budget, or making better choices when eating out—the little things do add up and make a big difference. Self-discipline may take some getting used to, so A Healthier You offers words not only of encouragement but also about the know-how to get started and keep with it!

How to be more active

You do not have to be an athlete to benefit from regular physical activity.
Even modest amounts of physical activity can improve your health.
Start with small, specific goals such as walking 10 minutes a day, 3 days a week, and slowly build up from there.
Keep an activity log to track your progress.
Try these activities to add more movement to your daily life:
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Make sure the stairs are well lit.
Get off the bus one stop early if you are in an area safe for walking.
Park the car farther away from entrances to stores, movie theaters, or your home.
Take a short walk around the block with family, friends, or coworkers.
In bad weather, walk around a mall.
Rake the leaves or wash the car.
Visit museums, the zoo, or an aquarium. You and your family can walk for hours and not realize it.
Take a walk after dinner instead of watching TV.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tips for Adults for Healthy Living

Eat breakfast every day.

People who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day.
Choose whole grains more often. Try whole-wheat breads and pastas, oatmeal, brown rice, or bulgur.
Select a mix of colorful vegetables each day. Vegetables of different colors provide different nutrients.
Have low-fat, low-sugar snacks on hand at home, at work, or on the go, to combat hunger and prevent overeating.
At restaurants, eat only half your meal and take the rest home.
Visit museums, the zoo, or an aquarium. You and your family can walk for hours and not realize it.
Take a walk after dinner instead of watching TV.
Get plenty of sleep.

Be Good to Yourself

Many people feel stress in their daily lives. Stress can cause you to overeat, feel tired, and not want to do anything. Regular physical activity can give you more energy. Try some of these other ideas to help relieve stress and stay on track with your fitness and nutrition goals:
Get plenty of sleep.
Practice deep breathing and relaxing your muscles one at a time.
Take a break and go for a walk.
Take short stretch breaks throughout the day.
Try taking a yoga or tai chi class to energize yourself and reduce stress.
Try a new hobby, like a pottery class or any activity that sparks your interest.
Surround yourself with people whose company you enjoy.
A balanced eating plan, regular physical activity, and stress relief can help you stay healthy for life.

What makes people overweight?

People gain weight when the number of calories they eat is more than the number of calories their bodies use. Many factors can play a part in weight gain.
Eating too many calories can become a habit. So can choosing activities like watching TV instead of being physically active. Over time, these habits can lead to weight gain.
Overweight and obesity tend to run in families. Although families often share diet and physical activity habits that can play a role in obesity, their shared genes increase the chance that family members will be overweight.
Some diseases can lead to weight gain or obesity. These include hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, and depression. Talk to your health care provider if you think you have a health problem that could be causing you to gain weight.
Some medicines can lead to weight gain. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist about the side effects of any medication you are taking.
The world around you.
You can find food and messages about food at home, at work, at shopping centers, on TV, and at family and social events. People may eat too much just because food is always there. On top of that, our modern world—remote controlled televisions, drive-in banks, and escalators—makes it easy to be physically inactive.
Many people eat when they are bored, sad, angry, or stressed, even when they are not hungry.
Although you may not be able to control all the factors that lead to overweight, you can change your eating and physical activity habits

Foods that Fight Cholesterol

Don’t eat this, that and the other says the doctor. When you have cholesterol, everyone has a suggestion regarding what you cannot eat. But not one of them can tell you what you should eat!Nutritionist Gauri Durve advises you on some foods that actually fight and help lower cholesterol.
All fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, pears, watermelon, lemons, and oranges are good. Fruits are low in saturated fats and have no cholesterol at all. A daily intake of fruits will lower cholesterol and flush the toxins out of your system. Apples in particular are rich in antioxidants and fibre. They help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. Like fruits, all vegetables are good.
However the best ones are the dark greens like spinach, fenugreek, ladyfingers and broccoli.These vegetables are rich in iron, proteins and antioxidants that help purify the blood, keep your weight in check and lower cholesterol.
Fish has Omega 3 fatty acids that help prevent blood from clotting. It also has Vitamin B3 that helps lower bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.
Besides a low fat content, lean meats have Vitamin B3. Substitute whole meats with lean meat and watch your bad cholesterol decrease. Black beans, dal, rajma and kala channa are high in dietary fibre, which helps lower cholesterol.
source - indiwo