When most people are asked about their ideal life, they say they want to live a healthier life . But when it comes time for them to take action for change, that’s a different story. Why are so many people unable to achieve desired health goals? One of the most common answers is: “I aspire to be healthier, but I don’t have the time to live a healthy life.”
If you’ve had similar thoughts, you may need to change the way you think about healthy living. Getting “healthier” doesn’t mean adding more to-dos to your busy life. Instead of making your busy life even busier, try incorporating healthier habits into your established schedule. You just need to adjust and replace some habits (more on that later).
But what exactly does that mean? As with many lifestyles, there is no single right answer to healthy living—it’s all up to you, your existing habits, and the changes you want to make. Fortunately, you don’t have to be like a headless chicken looking for ways to live a healthy life. Whether you want to incorporate exercise into your work routine, eat more nutritious meals or learn health and wellness tips, you’ve come to the right place.
Since healthy living is entirely up to the individual, please remember that the following is not a comprehensive must-do list and that the steps below do not need to be followed in their entirety. Think of it as a tasting menu—you can try out different approaches to see which ones work best for your itinerary and bring out the best in you.
What is healthy living?
The basics of health and wellness are familiar to most of us: eating nutritious food, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. This knowledge is a good start, but the problem is – the standards of implementation are very vague. How often should you exercise? What foods should you eat? How much sleep material is “enough”? You’ve probably asked yourself (or searched the web) similar questions.
A web search may give you some basic guidelines. For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults exercise at least an hour and a half each week. You can also find many articles on nutritious eating to help you.
Sometimes too much information to absorb can be overwhelming. Turning these basic guidelines and advice into concrete, actionable steps in life is also difficult. When you’re feeling stressed on your journey to discover your health and wellness, refocus on what’s most important in the process: you.
Health and Wellness Tips in the Workplace
Most of people’s busy lives come from work. Most people agree that they spend so much time at work that it can be difficult to incorporate healthy habits — especially exercise — into their daily lives. There are two times when people typically try to exercise: before or after work.
A daily exercise routine before work is a great way to start the day, but it’s not for everyone; the same goes for an evening workout after get off work. Fortunately, you still have other options, it just takes a little creativity. Here are some exercises you can do at work:
- Use a treadmill desk: You should have seen, or at least heard of, standing desks. If not, the concept is simple: a standing desk allows you to work standing up instead of sitting in a chair for long periods of time. Standing desks have become all the rage in recent years for their health benefits. While sitting less and standing more has some health benefits, recent studies show that the difference in calories burned between standing and sitting at an office is negligible.
The treadmill desk allows you to choose to walk in place while working instead of just standing at the desk while you are working. This small change can greatly increase the calories you burn each day. If you choose to walk briskly, it can help increase your heart rate while you work.
- Ride an exercise bike during meetings: Treadmill desks can be expensive, but getting active in the workplace doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Ride an exercise bike at your desk is a more affordable intermittent exercise option. You certainly won’t be riding a real bike at the office, but under-desk bikes have become increasingly popular.
Basically, these bikes are little brackets under your desk with a bike board attached. When you’re sitting in your office chair, you can pedal to keep your blood flowing. Most machines can vary in intensity, allowing you to decide how much you want to exercise each day. The best part is, you can still sit at your desk for online meetings.
- Change the way you commute: Not everyone lives near work. Many people who live within walking or biking distance of their office still choose to commute by car because it’s the most common form of transportation – especially in the US (as of 2019), where about three-quarters of US commuters drive to work .
If you want to add more opportunities for exercise to your day, changing your commute is a good place to start. Sure, your new commute will take longer than driving, but a brisk walk or bike ride in the morning can help you clear your mind, wake you up from sleep, and get ready for your day at the office. Also, this is a fixed exercise time. You had to choose a commute, would you choose to spend your time stuck in traffic or promoting your physical and mental health?
4 Surprising Sources of Nutrients Your Body Needs
If you follow the perfect diet, you can stop here. This article is best suited for those who occasionally consume foods that are generally believed to have adverse nutritional effects. That’s because even some junk foods contain certain nutrients, and you can find surprising sources of them in all foods.
This doesn’t mean that most of your diet should or can be filled with large amounts of unhealthy foods. You need to limit the foods mentioned below. To maintain good health and manage your weight , eat plenty of nutrient-dense whole foods and vegetables.
But you can also let it go for a while to improve your mood or let off steam once in a while. So, the following surprising sources of nutrition aren’t an excuse for an unhealthy diet, but rather a joyful source of comfort.
Dark chocolate may be an unexpected nutrient choice
Perhaps the most well-known example of this is foods that pack important nutrients under the guise of being delicious. But let’s be clear – this doesn’t cover all chocolate. Only dark chocolate varieties (with at least 50% cocoa – unsweetened cocoa powder, not hot chocolate) have these hidden nutrients.
White chocolate is basically sugar and fat — it doesn’t actually contain any cocoa. Milk chocolate is ubiquitous, creamy and delicious, but lacks solid cocoa, which rules out almost any nutrition.
Dark chocolate has more of the actual source of the ingredient, the cocoa pod, which makes it a bit bitter but more nutritious. That’s because it contains soluble fiber, beneficial fatty acids, minerals , and a little caffeine.
The phytonutrients in dark chocolate are also a surprisingly important part of its nutritional profile. Chocolate contains bioactive plant compounds that give you antioxidant support, and cocoa contains as much phytonutrients (flavonols, catechins, and polyphenols) as some berries.
That doesn’t mean you should replace blueberries with dark chocolate. While dark chocolate has a surprising amount of nutrients, it’s also surprisingly high in calories and fat. This nutrient-dense food is also correspondingly high in calories. So it’s okay to only consume dark chocolate in moderation, ie an occasional ounce (28 grams). You’ve now found a reason to indulge your taste buds once in a while.
What Nutrients Are Hiding in Dark Chocolate?
The Amazing Nutrients in Potatoes
These root vegetables have always been notorious, but why are salty fries so delicious ? If not for the unhealthy cooking process, the potato would definitely qualify as a surprising source of nutrition.
Potatoes are, after all, just plants—specifically, starchy roots that grow in soil. It belongs to the same family as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Therefore, the potato is also composed of similar vitamins and minerals as its traditional family relatives.
White or yellow varieties of potatoes contain vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 and certain polyphenols — sweet potatoes, unlike potatoes, are often considered healthier. Since potatoes contain mostly carbohydrates , they also contain a small amount of fiber. Most of this is in the form of resistant starch and insoluble fiber.
Most of the good nutrients in potatoes aren’t hidden deep inside, they’re in the potato skin on the surface. So when you cook your potatoes, wash them thoroughly to remove surface dirt, but make sure you don’t peel them. You definitely don’t want to be throwing most of your nutrition in the trash.
There are plenty of nutrients in potatoes to make them worthy of serving your dinner table. They are also a recognized staple food around the world. But eating too much of these starchy vegetables can be detrimental to weight management. This is partly because the potato itself is a high-glycemic and calorie-dense food.
So, if potatoes are on the menu, be sure to pay attention to the preparation (don’t peel them) and the cooking method (baked or boiled — please don’t fry them, they cook in fat). To reduce the glycemic impact of potatoes, serve them as part of a complete meal (with protein, extra fiber, and fat) to help slow their digestion . When you eat, you know you’re eating food that’s good for your health.
What Nutrients Are Hiding in Potatoes?
- insoluble fiber
- resistant starch
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
- Antioxidant composition of multiple polyphenols, including catechins and lutein
When looking for a surprising source of nutrition , do your research on cheese!
Cheese is sticky, soft, creamy and fascinating, but it also contains a lot of saturated fat, calories and salt. But that doesn’t put cheese lovers off.
This heady dairy treat balances out some of these negative effects with a host of beneficial nutrients. It contains protein, many essential minerals (calcium, zinc and phosphorus), and vitamins A, B2 and B12 . Depending on the source of the milk, cheese may even contain conjugated linoleic acid, vitamin K2, good bacteria, omega-3 and other fatty acids.
And you can also choose from different kinds of cheese. If you’ve been to a supermarket lately, you know how many types of cheese there are. Each type of cheese also offers varying degrees of health benefits.
Time to shake up my cheese and learn about some of these common nutritional benefits:
- Cheddar cheese: A popular accompaniment to a variety of dishes—it’s also delicious sliced with crackers, per ounce (28 grams): 115 calories, seven grams of protein, and a recommended daily intake (RDI) of 20 % calcium and some vitamin K2.
- Blue cheese: This rich cheese with a moldy texture has: 100 calories, six grams of protein, and one-third of the daily RDI for calcium per ounce.
- Feta cheese: This crumbled salty cheese brings delicious texture, protein, and calcium to your salad without adding too many calories—80 calories per ounce, six grams of protein, and your daily value 10% of calcium required.
- Mozzarella: This low-fat, low-salt cheese is also low in calories, at about 85 calories per ounce, but still packs plenty of protein (six grams) and calcium (daily recommendations in just one ounce 14% of intake).
- Parmesan cheese: This cheese is great to sprinkle on food, and each ounce of Parmesan contains approximately: 110 calories, 10 grams of protein, 34 percent of the recommended daily value for calcium, and the recommended daily value for phosphorus 30% of the input amount.
- Swiss cheese: Don’t be fooled by the holes in Swiss cheese, this popular cheese still packs a lot of protein (eight grams), little salt and very little carbs (less than a gram)—about 500 grams per ounce. Contains about 111 calories and a quarter of your daily recommended calcium intake.
You should eat the fat, calories and salt in cheese in moderation. If you need to avoid dairy for any reason, you should definitely avoid cheese. But don’t worry too much if cheese melts your willpower, it’s still an amazing source of nutrients you need.
What nutrients are hidden in cheese?
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin K
- Fatty acids , such as palmitoleate, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and omega 3
- Beneficial bacteria
Sometimes adding some surprises is also a good choice
Learning about surprising sources of nutrition is a great way to choose and explain your indulgence, and you can even impress your friends with these fun facts. But again, these foods shouldn’t make up most of your diet.
You’ll have fun finding hidden nutritional treasures amidst seemingly hopeless junk food and drinks. But remember, these important nutrients are found in more obvious sources, and you should focus on these primary sources in your meal planning.
Vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, lean protein, and whole grains may provide a different high than the foods listed above. But they’re the foundation of a healthy diet, and they allow you to occasionally choose some more interesting alternative foods — foods that also hide some surprising nutrients.
Savor the Science of Healthy Eating
There is a lot of evidence that sticking to a whole food diet based on plant foods leads to the most important health outcomes: good health and a long life.
A healthy diet provides many of the nutrients your body needs for good health, including omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants, as well as an array of vitamins and minerals that work together to deliver major health benefits. This is confirmed by many studies and thousands of people.
A study of 23,153 Germans aged 35-65 found that higher intakes of fruit, vegetables and whole-grain bread, and lower meat intake were associated with improved health. The results were even more pronounced for those who maintained a healthy body mass index (BMI), never smoked, and exercised three and a half hours or more per week.
A study conducted by the World Health Organization found that it’s never too late to start improving your diet. They suggest that those who stick to healthy eating patterns live two years longer at age 60.
Dozens of studies and clinical trials have shown that a Mediterranean diet helps maintain:
- Healthy waist circumference and weight/BMI
- normal cholesterol
- healthy blood sugar
- normal blood lipids/lipoproteins
- healthy blood pressure and circulation
- normal cognitive function
Lowering the Glycemic Index and Eating Healthy
Typically, healthy eating patterns consist of foods with a low glycemic index or load.
When it comes to the glycemic index, common sense should guide your decisions, with the goal of limiting nutrient-poor, processed foods that contain refined starches and sugars rather than whole foods. Many starchy vegetables, such as carrots and fruits, also have a high glycemic index.
But there is no evidence that these foods are harmful.
In fact, a 2018 review showed that eating more fruit has big benefits, thanks to their high fiber content and prebiotic effect (that is, they feed the good bacteria in the gut), which is good for the heart. There are benefits for vascular, digestive, metabolic, respiratory and bone health. In addition, eating fruit also improves mental health and skin health.
What is a healthy diet? How to Eat Healthy
Chances are you or someone close to you has dieted in the previous year. Statistics show that in the past 12 months, 49.3% of people used diet to lose weight. You’ve probably dieted at least five times in your life (maybe more).
It makes sense. You live in a weight-conscious culture. And you know that weight is closely related to your health, so you try to lose weight. At the same time, you may be curious to ask: “What is a healthy diet?”
If you want to lose weight, you have many options such as paleo, ketogenic, low-fat, low-carb, vegetarian, fruit-based, 30-day whole foods, wheat-free, Jenny Craig, Dukan, Dubrow The diet, the Fit for Life diet, the all-meat diet, the Miami diet, the starch-free diet, etc., each has its pros and cons.
Here’s a sobering statistic: An estimated 95 percent of dieters who follow popular weight-loss diets regain the weight within one to five years. Plus, with all the dizzying amounts of advice, it can be hard to know who to trust, or what exactly you should be eating.
Even if restrictive fad weight loss diets do help you lose weight in a short period of time, is it okay to eat like this all the time? Kick your body off carbs from now on? Or stop eating fruit? Or just eat fruit? How about some cream and bacon?
This is really nerve-wracking! And, looking at the statistics, it’s hard to deny the fact that these fad weight loss diets simply don’t work. In the words of ’90s fitness icon Susan Powter, it’s time to “stop messing around.”
Say goodbye to “fad weight loss diets” forever
Think about it: If your body can’t lose an extra pound, does that mean you should give up trying to eat healthy? of course not.
Following this short-term fad weight loss diet is almost doomed to failure. The answer is this: You must spend the rest of your life turning your attention to eating to be healthy, not to dieting like crazy in a short amount of time just to achieve an ideal weight.
Health comes in all shapes and sizes. No matter your weight, you deserve to feel your best every day . Giving your body the nutrients it needs to grow, scientifically proven, will have many benefits. You’ll look radiant , your body will feel great and you’ll have more energy. And, you’ll be mentally and emotionally ready to face your goals and challenges each day.
There are also long-term benefits. Healthy eating habits are linked to maintaining the health of every part of your body, including your heart, brain , bones and joints, and metabolic function, the list goes on.
The key to success is changing your behavior patterns for life. Find a way of eating that goes with the flow and lasts a lifetime. Building a more positive relationship with healthy foods will help you live a long-term healthy life and enjoy the things you love with the people you love.
Below you’ll find an overview of healthy eating, including the ones that science says are best for your health. You’ll also be given guidelines and goals to help you work your way up to permanently changing the way you eat every day.
What is a healthy diet?
Most people get it wrong. The food they eat will lose weight , but not enough to help them live long and healthy lives.
A 2019 study found that consumption of nearly all healthy foods is below optimal levels. The healthy foods you don’t eat are at least as important as the unhealthy foods you may be eating regularly, researchers report. They note that “suboptimal diets kill more people than other risks in the world, including smoking.”
When it comes to negative health effects, not enough whole grains and fruits are to blame. Not eating enough nuts and seeds, vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and polyunsaturated fats can also have a negative impact on quality of life. Consuming too much salt is also a serious problem with long-term health implications.
This research reveals what foods you need to add to a healthy diet, not just what to subtract. Author Michael Pollan sums it up succinctly in his book In Defense of Food, when he observes that we should “eat food, but not too much, mostly plant-based.”
A healthy eating pattern is often a variation of the Mediterranean diet (which mimics the traditional eating patterns of countries around the Mediterranean Sea). These diets emphasize whole, minimally processed foods such as: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and good fats (especially fat from extra virgin olive oil).
This type of diet can be adjusted to fit most dietary, cultural or ethical preferences. It can be healthy with or without animal foods; though it often requires careful planning to ensure a complete and balanced vegetarian and vegan diet. Many people find that adding some meat to their diet helps them better manage hunger , but this is a personal choice. You can also choose from organic produce and products from grass-fed or pasture-raised animals.
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