As we continue to explore the foods our ancestors relied on during our evolutionary history, and what foods work best for us today, we come to legumes such as beans and lentils. These are controversial foods within the Paleolithic diet community, while the broader nutrition community tends to view legumes as healthy.Beans and lentils have a lot going for them. They're one of the few foods that are simultaneously rich in protein and fiber, making them highly satiating and potentially good for the critters in our colon. They're also relatively nutritious, delivering a hefty dose of vitamins and minerals. The minerals are partially bound by the anti-nutrient phytic acid, but simply soaking and cooking beans and lentils typically degrades 30-70 percent of it, making the minerals more available for absorption (Food Phytates. Reddy and Sathe. 2002). Omitting the soaking step greatly reduces the degradation of phytic acid (Food Phytates. Reddy and Sathe. 2002). The only tangible downside to beans I can think of, from a nutritional standpoint, is that some people have a hard time with the large quantity of fermentable fiber they provide, particularly people who are sensitive to FODMAPs. Thorough soaking prior to cooking can increase the digestibility of the "musical fruit" by activating the sprouting program and leaching out tannins and indigestible saccharides. I soak all beans and lentils for 12-24 hours.The canonical Paleolithic diet approach excludes legumes because they were supposedly not part of our ancestral dietary pattern. I'm going to argue here that there is good evidence of widespread legume consumption by hunter-gatherers and archaic humans, and that beans and lentils are therefore an "ancestral" food that falls within the Paleo diet rubric. Many species of edible legumes are common around the globe, including in Africa, and the high calorie and protein content of legume seeds would have made them prime targets for exploitation by ancestral humans after the development of cooking. Below, I've compiled a few examples of legume consumption by hunter-gatherers and extinct archaic humans. I didn't have to look very hard to find these, and there are probably many other examples available. If you know of any, please share them in the comments.To be clear, I would eat beans and lentils even if they weren't part of ancestral hunter-gatherer diets, because they're inexpensive, nutritious, I like the taste, and they were safely consumed by many traditional agricultural populations probably including my own ancestors.Extensive "bean" consumption by the !Kung San of the Kalahari desertThe !Kung San are a hunter-gatherer group that has been extensively studied by Richard B. Lee and other anthropologists. Dr. Lee published the book The !Kung San, which contains detailed information about the !Kung San diet gleaned over his three years of fieldwork. The !Kung San relied heavily on a legume called the tsin bean, Bauhinia esculenta. Here are two relevant quotes from The !Kung San:The tsin bean is the second most important food of the !Kung in the Southern parts of the Dobe area and in Nyae Nyae [second to the mongongo fruit/nut- SG].A typical day's backload of 5 kg of tsin beans without pods has an edible/waste ratio of 70:30 and provides 3500 g of edible beans. Back in the camp, tsin beans are processed in several ways. Unripe beans may be sun-dried before further processing. A batch of 50 or so beans is roasted in the shell for a few minutes in the hot ashes and sand of the cooking fire. Slight bursts of steam from the roasting beans indicate they are ready for eating. Occasionally a bean explodes, but without much damage. The beans are removed from the ashes, placed on an anvil stone, and opened with a single light tap of a rock or stick. Each bean comes apart easily into halves. Eaten whole, the beans have a rich, strong nutty flavor. Alternatively, the shelled beans may be pounded in the mortar and then mixed with hot water and eaten as a soup or porridge. The tsin bean is an excellent source of protein (31.6 percent), calories, potassium, phosphorous, thiamine, riboflavin, and nicotinic acid.By dry weight, tsin beans are 31.6% protein, 36.1% fat, 23.2% carbohydrate, and 1.0% fiber. They are therefore between a bean and a peanut in nutritional value.Mesquite pod consumption by Southwest Native AmericansMesquite is a leguminous tree that was a major wild food source for Southwest Native Americans. However, these groups ate the starchy pods rather than the seeds, so the analogy to beans and lentils may not hold up very well. Acacia seed consumption by Australian AboriginesAustralian aborigines extensively harvested and ate the seeds and gum of Acacia trees, another legume. Here's a quote from the paper "Acacia in Australia: Ethnobotany and Potential Food Crop" (1):Of the sixty or so species of Acacia in central Australia, Latz (1995) states that some 50% were, or still are, eaten by Aboriginal people and it is not only the seed which is consumed. Several species exude an edible sugary gum from wounds in the stem or branches which supplies a source of energy. Others are fed upon by insects which themselves secrete an edible substance while species such as A. kempeana are the host for various edible grubs often referred to by non-Aboriginal people as witchetty grubs.Legume consumption by NeanderthalsNeanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) were a hominin species closely related to modern humans. They lived as hunter-gatherers in similar environments to some humans, and are thought to have eaten a diet rich in animal foods. However, evidence is accumulating that their diets also featured a variety of plant foods, including wild legumes and grains. Some of the most compelling evidence comes from the analysis of Neanderthal tooth plaque, which contains recognizable evidence of plant food consumption (2):Our data show that Neanderthals in both environments included a spectrum of plant foods in their diets, including grass seeds (Triticeae cf. Hordeum), dates (Phoenix), legumes (Faboideae), plant underground storage organs, and other yet-unidentified plants, and that several of the consumed plants had been cooked. The identified plant foods from Shanidar match well with the soil phytoliths and macrobotanical remains found at other Neanderthal sites in the Near East, whereas those from Spy show use of USOs as predicted for European Neanderthals. Neanderthals’ consumption of these starchy plant foods does not contradict data from isotope analysis, because nitrogen isotopes record only the consumption of meat and protein-rich plant foods.Did Neanderthals enjoy wild varieties of peas and fava beans? It certainly appears that they did.Humans are thought to have eaten a more diverse diet than Neanderthals in the Upper Paleolithic, and one that relied more on small game and plant resources than the Neanderthal diet (at least after the "broad-spectrum revolution"). It's hard to imagine that our human ancestors in Europe passed up these plant foods that Neanderthals relied on.ConclusionBeans and lentils appear to be Paleo. Peanuts are probably Paleo too. But I would eat them even if they weren't.As usual, this post is not intended to undermine the Paleo diet concept, but rather to refine a framework that I find useful for thinking about diet and human health.
A new review paper on dietary fatty acids and heart disease risk was just published by Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury and colleagues in the Annals of Internal Medicine– one of the top medical journals (1). The goal of the paper is to comprehensively review the studies evaluating the effect of dietary fatty acids on heart (coronary) disease. The review covers observational and intervention studies pertaining to saturated, monounsaturated, trans, omega-6 polyunsaturated, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. The paper is notable for its comprehensiveness (inclusion criteria were very lax).Here is a summary of the results:In observational studies that measured diet, only trans fat was related to cardiovascular risk. Saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats were unrelated to risk.In observational studies that measured circulating concentrations of fatty acids, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (DHA, DPA, EPA, AA) were associated with lower risk. The dairy-fat-derived margaric acid (17:0) was also associated with lower risk. No other fatty acids were related to risk, including trans fatty acids.In controlled trials, supplementation with omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids did not alter risk.The authors conclude:In conclusion, the pattern of findings from this analysis did not yield clearly supportive evidence for current cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of saturated fats. Nutritional guidelines on fatty acids and cardiovascular guidelines may require reappraisal to reflect the current evidence.My viewKey limitations of this meta-analysis are that 1) it lumped together a variety of studies of different design and quality, and 2) it can only be as good as the studies it's based on. Meta-analyses are considered the highest level of evidence, but I remain somewhat skeptical of them for those reasons.This paper contains something to upset just about everyone. Whether you believe saturated, monounsaturated, omega-6, omega-3, or even trans fat influences cardiovascular disease risk, this paper didn't consistently support any of it, instead suggesting that perhaps dietary fat composition isn't where we should be focusing our attention.Does it challenge my own position? Perhaps a little bit, but not very much. After considering new evidence and reviewing old evidence, I've gradually drifted away from the view that omega-6 polyunsaturated fat contributes to cardiovascular disease. I still think it's probably a bad idea to eat a lot of refined seed oils– the lipid equivalent of white sugar– but I don't see much of an argument for avoiding whole nuts and avocados. Recent controlled trials and meta-analyses have also dampened my enthusiasm for the idea that omega-3 fatty acids have a major impact on cardiovascular disease risk. Either the trials weren't long enough to see protection, or omega-3 isn't as powerful as we had hoped.The data on saturated fat are consistent with my long-standing position. If saturated fat consumption impacts cardiovascular disease risk, the effect must be small because it's difficult to detect. However, that doesn't mean it's prudent to eat a bacon and butter diet. These studies reflect typical dietary patterns and have nothing to say about extreme diets. Personally I'm wary of diets very high in saturated fat because we don't have much good quality data on them, and contrary to what is claimed in some circles, it probably does not resemble what our ancestors ate.One of the associations that was identified in this meta-analysis is that circulating margaric acid is associated with lower cardiovascular risk. This is consistent with the findings of my review paper on full-fat dairy, suggesting that the consumption of full-fat dairy is associated with a lower risk of obesity and metabolic dysfunction (2). We don't know whether those results reflect cause and effect. However, we do know that there is little evidence to suggest that dairy fat is harmful to health.Overall, this meta-analysis argues that dietary fat composition may not be a key factor in cardiovascular disease risk. That leaves us with these important but uncontroversial factors: genetics, overall diet quality, body composition, physical fitness, hypertension, and cigarette smoking.
Glucagon is a hormone that plays an important role in blood glucose control. Like insulin, it's secreted by the pancreas, though it's secreted by a different cell population than insulin (alpha vs. beta cells). In some ways, glucagon opposes insulin. However, the role of glucagon in metabolism is frequently misunderstood in diet-health circles. The liver normally stores glucose in the form of glycogen and releases it into the bloodstream as needed. It can also manufacture glucose from glycerol, lactate, and certain amino acids. Glucagon's main job is to keep blood glucose from dipping too low by making sure the liver releases enough glucose. There are a few situations where this is particularly important:Hypoglycemia. When blood sugar drops below a certain threshold, for example if a diabetic injects too much insulin, the brain senses it and initiates a response (the counterregulatory response) to bring glucose back up and prevent unconsciousness and death. Glucagon release is an important part of this response.Fasting. Glucagon helps support blood glucose levels during fasting, when glucose intake is zero, by stimulating the production and release of glucose by the liver. This sustains the brain, which has an absolute requirement for glucose (though it can derive some energy from ketones).High-protein meals. Protein stimulates insulin release as much as carbohydrate does (because one of insulin's jobs is to send amino acids into lean tissues such as muscle), but protein doesn't supply rapid glucose like carbohydrate does. If this process went unchecked, eating a high-protein meal would cause hypoglycemia because insulin release would suppress blood glucose too much. Glucagon release counterbalances insulin, preventing hypoglycemia when we eat a high-protein meal.This post will discuss the third scenario. If we're looking to reduce circulating insulin levels using diet, which is ostensibly the goal of certain low-carbohydrate diet strategies, reducing carbohydrate intake is only half the story. If we really want to eat low-insulin foods, the first thing to do is look up which foods actually elevate insulin following a meal. The data, published in a paper titled "An Insulin Index of Foods", may surprise you. This paper is free access.What we see right away is that high-protein foods frequently stimulate insulin to a similar, sometimes even greater, degree than high-carbohydrate foods, calorie for calorie. Beef and fish release as much insulin as brown rice. Pasta (white or brown) and porridge release less insulin per calorie than cheese, beef and fish. Donuts are only 25 percent higher than fish. According to the paper, the five lowest-insulin foods tested were (from lowest to highest) peanuts, eggs, bran cereal, white or brown pasta, and grain porridge. Doesn't sound very low carb, does it?People frequently cite glucagon to resolve this problem. The idea goes like this: glucagon is the opposite of insulin, and if they're released together, as they are when you eat a high-protein meal, then their effects on blood sugar, on hunger, and on fat metabolism cancel one another out in a way that they would not following a carbohydrate-heavy meal. If we're talking about blood glucose, this is correct. Glucagon does more or less cancel out insulin's effect on blood glucose, and eating protein in isolation does not lead to major changes in blood glucose. Regarding hunger, glucagon is often suggested to oppose the hunger-inducing effects of insulin. However, contrary to popular claims, insulin doesn't increase hunger or food intake in humans unless it causes frank hypoglycemia, so there is nothing to oppose (1, 2, 3, 4)*. Nevertheless, glucagon probably does play a role in satiety, independently of insulin. So that claim is partially true. If we consider the claim that glucagon promotes fat release from fat tissue, suddenly we're on shaky ground! When researchers put high doses of glucagon on fat cells in a petri dish, or give very high doses of glucagon to animals or humans, it stimulates the release of fat (lipolysis). So the idea that glucagon counterbalances insulin's effects on lipolysis does have some basis in reality. But giving humans realistic doses of glucagon, doses that approximate what would occur naturally in the human body following a high-protein meal, does not increase lipolysis (5, 6). Also, blocking glucagon action in dogs does not reduce lipolysis, suggesting that baseline glucagon levels are unrelated to lipolysis (7). The glucagon receptor knockout mouse is actually lean and resistant to diet-induced obesity, contrary to what these claims would predict (8, 9)**. That's why modern reviews, such as Keith Frayn's textbook Metabolic Regulation, make statements such as these:Glucagon has a potent effect in isolated fat cells in the laboratory, but appears not to affect fat mobilization in humans in vivo.Glucagon probably does play a role in satiety (fullness). As with many other satiety peptides released by the digestive tract and pancreas, glucagon is sensed by nerve terminals that send impulses up the vagus nerve, and the signal is transmitted to the brain where satiety is perceived (10). In the case of glucagon, the relevant receptors are located in the liver, where glucagon mediates the majority of its effects***. Injecting glucagon decreases food intake, and blocking glucagon action increases food intake, though the evidence has not always been consistent (11). Protein, and to a lesser extent alcohol and fat, but not carbohydrate, lead to increased glucagon secretion following a meal (12, 13, 14). Increased glucagon secretion may be one reason why high-protein diets lead to reduced food intake and body fatness in overweight people, although other convincing mechanisms have been proposed****. The body's response to food is so complex that it's tough to predict large-scale (and long-term) physiological changes by measuring a single hormone, but it seems likely that glucagon plays a role. Whatever the mechanism, protein remains the most satiating macronutrient, and it does help with fat loss. In fact, recent evidence suggests that the ability of low-carbohydrate diets to promote fat loss and maintenance (relative to low-fat diets) may have more to do with increased protein than decreased carbohydrate (15), at least at a moderate level of carbohydrate restriction. It is known that high-protein, high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets are effective for fat loss, and this diet stimulates a large amount of insulin release (16, 17). In one particularly interesting study, increasing protein intake at the expense of fat (with no change in carbohydrate percentage) led to a spontaneously reduced calorie intake and substantial fat loss that was comparable or superior to what is typically observed in low-carbohydrate diet studies (18), particularly considering that the participants were only modestly overweight at baseline and were not even trying to lose weight. Both fasting and post-meal insulin levels remained unchanged throughout the intervention. None of these effects seem to involve the supposed influence of glucagon on fat cells, or anything related to insulin, although they could relate to the effects of glucagon on satiety. Together, this paints a complex picture, suggesting that the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets for fat loss in overweight people:Depends at least in part on increased protein consumption.Probably does not require a reduction of insulin secretion, but may involve an increase of glucagon.Probably does not involve direct effects of glucagon on fat cells, but could relate to glucagon's effects on satiety, and perhaps other effects in the brain.Beyond the metabolic/hormonal effects of low-carbohydrate or high-protein diets, these diets may also be effective because of changes in the reward and palatability value of the diet (and food variety, a related factor). Getting rid of pastries, donuts, soda, fries, and pizza goes a long way, and taking one or more items off the table (e.g. bread) tends to reduce total food intake even if everything else remains the same. The potato-only diet is a good example of this (19, 20). Over on Mark Sisson's forum, a number of people have been repeating Chris Voigt's experiment of eating nothing but potatoes, with similar weight loss results (21). To be clear, I'm not recommending this approach, but it certainly illustrates the power of a monotonous diet. Interestingly, besides being extremely filling per calorie, potatoes are also one of the most insulin-stimulating foods, according to the paper cited above.* I am aware of one older study where increasing insulin did lead to hunger and increased food intake independently of hypoglycemia. That paper had the least convincing study design, but I included it for completeness. It's the last of the four references I provided.** They also have much higher levels of GLP-1, which may be a compensatory adaptation, and probably plays a role in the overall phenotype. GLP-1 is an incretin hormone as well as a satiety hormone. Incretins are a group of peptides that stimulate insulin secretion. This is the problem with knockout mice in general– when you get rid of something completely from birth, it can trigger compensatory adaptations that make the resulting phenotype difficult to interpret. *** When glucagon is secreted, it goes to the liver first. Glucagon concentrations are much higher in the hepatic circulation than in the general circulation, which is one of the reasons why it's thought to act primarily in the liver. However, Dr. Tony Lam's lab has shown that it also acts directly in the brain to regulate blood glucose.**** The amino acid leucine, increased on high-protein diets, acts in the hypothalamus on mTOR and AMPK pathways, which regulate energy homeostasis (21). AMPK and mTOR are the cell's primary energy sensing pathways, sort of like leptin and insulin are the primary energy sensors on the organism level. This mechanism seems to be at least partially responsible for the ability of high-protein diets to improve body composition (lower food intake, lower fat mass, and higher muscle mass) in rodent models.
I often receive requests from people asking for my overall perspective on fat loss and health. I share my opinions here, but they're scattered throughout hundreds of posts, there's a lot I haven't had a chance to write about, and I rarely give practical recommendations. However, I knew I'd eventually put everything together into a cohesive fat loss program– it was only a matter of finding the right opportunity.That opportunity presented itself in 2011 when I met Dan Pardi, a researcher whose work focuses on sleep and food intake, and the CEO of a company called Dan's Plan. I was immediately impressed by Dan because he stood out as someone with a high level of expertise in sleep and physical activity, as well as someone who has successfully lost a substantial amount of fat and kept it off for several years. Dan and his team had developed a set of unique and engaging tools for tracking weight, sleep, and physical activity to help people maintain daily mindfulness over the simple fundamentals of health. These tools are 100 percent free and incredibly easy to use, particularly if you sync them with an electronic scale and step counter. When synced with these devices, the Dan's Plan website automatically uploads and displays your weight, sleep, and physical activity score, as well as integrating them all into a single user-friendly Health Zone Score that lets you know your overall performance at a glance. Even if you have no interest in fat loss, I highly recommend using the free tracking tools on the Dan's Plan site– I do.In early 2012, Dan approached me about creating a fat loss program for Dan's Plan that incorporates their unique tracking tools. This struck me as an excellent opportunity to create a diet and lifestyle program that combines sound science with exciting new technology. Dan and I both brought science to the table, and Dan also brought the perspective gained from working with others to help them lose fat, as well as his own successful fat loss experience. Dan and I have been working hard on this project, and we're finally ready to launch.I'm happy to announce the Ideal Weight Program, an effective new system for fat loss and maintenance.What is the Ideal Weight Program?The Ideal Weight Program is a unique system for fat loss and maintenance that draws from the latest science on diet, physical activity, sleep, and behavior modification, and pairs it with engaging tools that help you define your goals and meet them. It keeps you consistently focused on the everyday factors that really matter for fat loss, and gives you the skills you need to make sustainable diet and lifestyle changes. Based on your own goals and priorities, you can choose one of two diet strategies for the initial fat loss phase:The Fat Loss and Sustainable Health (FLASH) diet, an intensive high-protein diet for rapid fat loss.The Simple Food Diet, a more flexible diet based on whole, natural foods specifically selected for fat loss. One important goal of this diet is to teach healthy cooking skills, using recipes and tips provided.These diets are designed to naturally promote a lower calorie intake and fat loss, without requiring calorie counting. The Ideal Weight Program also includes important physical activity and sleep components, and explains why these are so critical for fat loss and health. Dan and I discussed some of the principles underlying the Ideal Weight Program on Chris Kresser's podcast recently.Here's what you get when you sign up:Detailed documents that walk you through the programWeight, sleep, and physical activity tracking tools tailored for fat lossSimple recipes and cooking tips that work with almost anything in your fridgeVideos that explain the key concepts behind fat loss and maintenanceAn e-book explaining the scientific rationale behind the programSigning up for the Ideal Weight Program gives you lifetime access to everything. We've discounted the initial price, because we want to hear your feedback so that we can continue to improve the program over time. If you follow the link below, first you'll be prompted to sign up for a basic Dan's Plan account, and once you have your account set up, you'll be able to purchase the Ideal Weight Program:Ideal Weight ProgramFinancial disclosure: I will receive a portion of the revenue from the sale of the Ideal Weight Program. I do not receive revenue from the sale of other products associated with Dan's Plan or the Ideal Weight Program (such as the Fitbit, cooking tools, and other programs).
A good healthy diet is essential to stay healthy and to lose weight.To lose weight?Yes, if your body is not healthy then you cannot lose weight or can't keep weight off after dieting.Balanced Healthy DietThe first thing you have to realize is that your health is much more important than slim thighs or a slimmer waistline.The benefits of good eating habits allow your body to function correctly.This is especially true of liver function which allows your body to correctly regulate how food energy is utilized..Your liver is the main organ that decides what will be done with food energy you consume as good healthy foods. If your liver does not have the proper nutrients in sufficient amounts food energy will be stored as fat instead of being burned for energy.Therefore, a good healthy detox diet may be a good place to start your good healthy diet.Healthy Detox DietIn addition to a healthy diet meal plan a nutrient-rich liver detoxification program is mandatory. If you do not pull your body out of the nutritional deficit it is in then your liver will never be able to "catch up" and begin functioning correctly.The reduction in symptoms following a gentle but effective liver detoxification can be a real eye-opening experience. You will begin to understand how your liver affects many problems you have including being overweight.A Easy Healthy Diet PlanFace it, a good healthy diet must taste good. Great tasting recipes and good snacks are a great source of good health foods.Dr. Dale HeilHave you ever wondered why some people just cannot lose weight and keep it off? Would you like to learn how to modify your favorite recipes to be healthier table fare so you can eat what you want and stay healthy?
When planning a healthy diet, think about small steps that can help you change your diet. Then commit yourself towards these steps and gradually you will find yourself taking a healthy diet even without noticing.Choose Your DietWhen choosing a diet, identify a variety of foods that make up a balanced diet. The food recipes you choose should be foods that you love. These will ensure you are not bored and that you don't give up on your healthy diet plan. The major factor that discourage people and make them quit is taking foods they don't like.Start simple and slowly make your diet healthier day by day. Make sure to use fresh ingredients in all your food preparations. Fresh food stuff has more nutrients than preserved or processed foods.Change Your Eating Habits GraduallyChange of eating habits must be a step by step process. People who try changing their diet overnight end up giving up. A diet change requires that you make small manageable changes bit by bit. Start by adding small portions of the 'new foods' to your usual diet. For example you can switch from cooking with solid fat to cooking with liquid oil- like olive oil.These small changes on your diet will at the end become a habit. When you make a habit of adding more and more healthy foods to your daily diet, you will soon be taking a healthy diet.Every Diet Change MattersThe goal of planning a healthy diet is to look good, have added energy and minimize your risk of getting diseases.This does not mean you must be perfect. It also doesn't mean you get rid of the normal foods you love. What counts is every portion of food that you add into your common foods. Whenever you add some healthy food into your diet, be sure that you are making progress.Developing Healthy Eating HabitsYou can learn healthy eating habits just like you learn to do other things in life.Do not think of food as something you just pick on the store or on your way home. A healthy eating habit begins with choosing valuable foods that adds up to a balanced diet.Then nurture your eating habits gradually;Enjoy chewing your foods: Do not be in a hurry to swallow your food. Take time and feel the flavor of your food and its texture as well. Chew every bit of food that gets to your mouth. These will cause you to enjoy eating your food and also help you avoid mindless overeating.Eat together with other people: This has both emotional and social benefit to your health. You will find it enjoyable when you eat while others are eating. This also encourages you to eat enough, especially when eating foods that you are not used to.If you eat while watching TV or working on your computer, you will end up overeating.
A healthy diet doesn't require a lot of special foods to help you lose weight. In fact, the simplest foods you can eat are often the really healthy diet foods. In many cases, it's how the foods are prepared that determine whether or not they're healthy for you. Healthy diet foods are minimally processed and have little added fat and salt.The 5 Best Healthy Dieting Foods1. Vegetables – Vegetables are very best healthy diet food. They are high in fiber and contain lots of vitamins and minerals, while being very low in calories.Choose fresh ones whenever you can and remember that vegetables taste best when purchased locally and in season.However, frozen veggies are a great nutritional value too and they can be much more convenient for a busy family.2. Fruits – Fruits are also high in fiber and fairly low in calories. They are also full of vitamins.Be sure to eat whole fruits rather than fruit juices. Whole fruits contain no added sugar and their fiber keeps you feeling full.3. Nuts and other healthy fats – Polyunsaturated fats, though high in calories, are healthy diet foods.They provide the fat your body requires, but don't clog arteries. In addition to nuts, use olive oil for cooking and enjoy avocadoes in moderation.4. Whole grains – Whole grain breads, pasta, oatmeal and brown rice are the best healthy diet foods for weight loss.Their added fiber keeps you full, and your blood sugar stays stable, too. Clear your pantry of white flour and white rice products. Even if you're not trying to lose weight; whole grain is a much better choice.5. Protein – Our bodies need protein to function and protein should be a part of every meal because it keeps you satisfied longer than carbohydrates.Choose lean proteins like low fat cheese, eggs and lean cuts of chicken, beef, fish and pork. Fish is especially healthy because it contains Omega 3 fatty acids, which are heart healthy and are even thought to raise metabolism.As you can see, these healthy dieting foods are all foods you're likely already eating. By choosing fresh versions and avoiding processed foods, you turn the staples you already enjoy into the diet foods your body needs for shedding fat. Changing just a little about the foods you choose and how you prepare them can make a big difference in the number of calories you consume.Try eating these foods simply prepared and getting some regular exercise at least three times a week. Be sure to drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated, so that your body works optimally. With these simple changes, you're sure to be on your way to weight loss and a healthy body.
It is real fun to live healthy, as you can enjoy life more and can feel much more energetic. Healthy living is dependent on many factors and the most significant is healthy diet. Normally people don't care about their diet in the hustle and bustle of life but if you have some important tips for a healthy diet in your knowledge then it can help you to stay healthy and utilize a healthy diet. We have collected number of tips to maintain a healthy life with healthy diet. These will not only help you to maintain your weight but will also give you refreshing experience.· Use Water: Use plenty of water in your daily life. If you don't like simple plain water then you may add some splash to it but you must start your day with drinking water and end in the same way. Also drink water before taking your meal it will reduce your hunger and will also stimulate your inner organs.· Always Think: Self brainwashing is much more important you can never maintain a good health until your conscious about it. Realize what difficulties you can face with poor health and how a healthy diet can help you live longer with an energetic way. Always plan for your meals and discover that what further you can add to your meals. How can you make you habits to always have some healthy diet?· Consider Shopping: While shopping your food stuff always find out what new can be added in your diet plan. Will it be healthy or heavier? Your kitchen cabinets, refrigerator and other storage should be full with variety of foods so that you can have many choices.· Healthy Cooking: It is also another important factor that your cooking should also produce healthy diet for you. Much cooked or fried food is not good for health. Lightly cooked or baked and low in calorie food must be part of routine life.· Be Veggie: Add more vegetables and fruits in your healthy diet. You must buy variety of foods and vegetables to eat. It doesn't mean that you leave using meat. It must also be there and you should use red and white both type of meat in a week.· Frequent But Lesser: You need to divide your meals in five (5) to six (6) times a day, but it must be healthier diet and in smaller amount.· Hunger Dependent: Before taking a meal you must evaluate that are you really hungry? If you feel that your body is really demanding something to eat then you must eat otherwise wait until the desire arise.· Do Not Eat: You must not eat while watching television or studying or doing some work. As while your intentions are busy and you are eating as well at that moment you will eat more than required. So be careful.· Nighttime Snacks: You should be choosy in your night time snacks. As this is the time when finally you have to relax. A low calorie snacks are recommended for night.· Enjoy Foods: Always enjoy your food and eating and eat very slowly. You can also use non health foods which you like most but with proper intervals and small sizes.· Diet Plan: Always plan for your health diet. You can make plans for a whole week. Try to use variety of foods and easily cook able recipes. Try not to rotate same food more than twice. Emphasis on fresh foods and meals.· Spicy Eating: Add spices and chilies in your low calorie food, as these can make you satisfied and you will also enjoy the taste.· Physical Activities: Although healthy diet I much more necessary but until you have proper physical activities nothing can help you more. Maintain proper physical activities with jogging, exercises and games. Such activities will make your body energetic and you will consume the extra bit of calories you eaten.
What is a healthy diet?A healthy diet is one that helps a person maintain good health or one that promotes good health in a person. A diet that is healthy would typically consist of a good combination of nutrients and water. A lot of people do not recognize that water is an essential part of a healthy diet. A vast majority of the population drinks less water than it is supposed to. It is generally accepted that a body needs about 3 liters or water every day to stay adequately hydrated and in peak condition.Assuming that your water intake is adequate, your next area of interest should be the nutrients that you are consuming. A human body will need vitamins, protein, fats and carbohydrates in a unique combination. Most of the adults these days consume an excess amount of fat and carbohydrates. What is worse is that they consume more of the bad amount of fats and carbohydrates, thus selecting the worst possible sources of energy in their daily diet.Bad carbohydrates and bad fatsThere are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. The same applies to fats. Bad carbohydrates are high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar and examples of bad fats are red meats or fats that are high in saturated fat.The reason why consumption of a bad diet is so prevalent is because the food industry is predominantly designed to suit the taste buds and not your waist size. The onus is on the user or the dieter to control his or her diet in such a manner that they do not increase their weight. This is however where most people fail miserably. They are so used to consuming junk food and following a poor diet that switching to a normal or healthy diet becomes a monumental task for them.Anyone can greatly improve the quality of their daily diet by simply following the most important aspects to a healthy diet as shown below.1. Increase water intake – Try to drink at least 3 liters of water in a day and try to avoid other beverages at all costs. Soda especially should be the drink that you should definitely eliminate as soon as possible as it is full of bad carbohydrates or empty carbohydrates that will do nothing but add to your waist line.2. Avoid Trans-fat – Avoid foods that are high in trans-fat. Most red meats, processed foods are high in trans-fat. A healthier choice would be lean meats, fat from nuts or other sources of unsaturated fats.3. Limit the intake of plain sugar and try to use substitutes such as honey. Stay away from artificial sweeteners as they can act as a diuretic. Also, limit the intake of salt or foods that are high in sodium. Salt and sodium can make you feel bloated and feel sluggish, even if you are already overweight.Though there are many different specific diets that can be followed, one would definitely be on a healthy diet plan if they even broadly followed the pointers given above.