Nutrition: Eat Healthy, Live Longer

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Proper nutrition is important no matter who you are and no matter what you do. We need to think of food as our fuel. The better quality the fuel the better the machine will work. The machine being our bodies. Most people in North America have very poor diets. Too much sugar, saturated fats, trans-fat, cholesterol, salt, and alcohol. And not enough fruits, vegetables, fiber, and quality protein.

The reasons for this are multi-fold. Some examples include fast paced lifestyles, easy access to fast food, lack of knowledge, lack of planning, psychological issues, and bad habits. The list just goes on and on. Lets put those reasons, whatever they are, aside and look at how to eat properly.

There are 3 major sources of energy for the body. These are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Alcohol is a 4th source, but it certainly shouldn't be a major source.

Eating large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables will assure that you get ample amounts of the various vitamins, minerals, and fiber that you need. Fruits and vegetables have no cholesterol (cholesterol is only found in animal products), very little fat, and the sugar in them is the good kind.

Do not load your salad with fattening salad dressings. If the dressing is thick and you can't see through it then chances are it's full of saturated fats. The best dressing is olive oil maybe with some herbs and spices for taste.

Fiber is a product that your body can't break down. Because of this it helps eliminate waste products from your digestive system by pushing things through faster. It is believed that consuming high amounts of fiber reduces the chance of colon cancer and heart disease (linked to fat and cholesterol absorption). The average person needs at least 25 grams of fiber. Most people only get about 10 grams. Fiber is found in whole grain cereals, fruits, and vegetables.

If you eat meat make sure it's lean, cut out the fat, and do not fry it. Frying destroys most of the nutrition and also makes it very fattening. Chicken is usually better than ground beef and steaks, as it is leaner and has less fat and cholesterol. Of course you need to remove the skin.

If you drink milk, try 1% since it has less fat.

Eat throughout the day. Do not starve yourself in an attempt to lose weight. Doing so only leads to nutrition deprivation which may result in eating too much during your next meal.

You also need to consume about 8 glasses of water per day. This assures proper hydration which is needed for optimal performance in so many areas. It also helps flush out things that the body no longer needs and that may be harmful to it.

Beware of soft drinks. Many of them have a chemical called phosphorus. Some scientists believe that this chemical causes calcium to be removed from the bones leaving them weaker over time. Soft drinks also contain a lot of calories in the form of simple sugars which can lead to obesity.