Health should be important to all of us particularly if we want to get the most out of life. Maintaining a healthy diet with the idea that you are what you eat is a no brainer these days but it is not always easy particularly when balancing the pressures of life, work, relationships, family… the list goes on.
Small changes to what you eat
The good news, small changes can make a huge difference and everyone can improve your general health. Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health has been studying the impact of health and the influence it has on heart disease.
“There is no single, fit-for-all diet for everyone.” Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health but there is always several options.
One thing to remember is that you can do a fair amount of damage early on if you eat a lot of high sugar high fat fast food particularly in those early years when your body is developing and growing. If you are a parent it is important to think about food as a way of fueling your child. If a child is overweight as they are developing the stain on the growing human structure and organs can make a significant difference to health later in life.
Currently, more than a third of adults and one fifth of kids are obese and this is one of the major causes of heart disease in the USA.
Walter Willett a renowned Harvard nutritionist notes that “heart disease could be reduced by at least eighty percent by diet and lifestyle changes.”
Where do you start?
So you have the stats mow where to start? Start with small changes. Diets, particularly crash diets, can be overwhelming and have proven to backfire as the person is no changing their lifestyle which is causing the damage. Instead, start with small changes like drinking two liters of water a day then introduce more nuts and seeds along with whole grains and whole fruits and vegetables.
You have heard it a million times but it is sometimes easy to forget that we need water and a lot of it. Water is not only important for our general health but it also helps with brain functionality. It has been proven that most of our cravings can be satisfied by drinking water as the body finds it difficult to distinguish between hunger and thirst.
If you tend to drink soft drinks, don’t completely deprive yourself but instead of two cans a day swap one out for water as a start.
It is really all about balance, don’t deprive yourself to insanity but keep those indulgent foods for days you are being indulgent.
Remember, around 80% of weight loss comes from what you eat!
It’s all about balance
Harvard nutrition experts give an overview of what you should be eating and it is a simple one to remember…
50% fruit and veg
25% whole grains (brown rice, seed bread etc)
Drink 2 liters of water
Eat healthy oils
While eating red meat can be good to get a nice dose of iron it is also hard for the body to breakdown. Limit the amount of red meat you eat if you are trying to focus on a clean and healthy diet.
Dr. Hu eats meat on an occasional basis. Try to limit your red meat to once or twice a week replacing it with healthy seafood packed with Omega 3!
So we know a healthy diet is good for our bodies but did you know recent studies have shown that it can increase brain power and slow cellular aging.
If you are interested in further info take a look at our article about powering your brain! Fuel it with your food.
Coffee and berries are the latest crazes among researchers when looking into cognitive function.
For further reading on the latest results take a look at this article from the Harvard Gazette detailing the value of the Mediterranean diet.
Credits: Feature photo – Jamie Street – https://unsplash.com/@jamie452