Straight from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, the Nutrition Source is a good source of accurate information and health tips for the public. The following are 17 of the best health-related tips provided on the website.
Healthy Eating Tips
1. Avoid foods with trans fats – Trans fatty acids are the worst possible kind of fat, and they are found in many processed foods and margarines. They are worse for cholesterol than saturated fat, and can increase your risk of coronary heart disease.
2. Eat good carbohydrates – Instead of following a fad no-carb diet, it’s best to eat good carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. These are high in fiber and nutrients.
3. Mix up your proteins – The best diet will have a variety of proteins, from plant and animal sources. If you’re vegetarian, you can choose from beans, dairy products, and nuts to ensure that you get the full range of amino acids.
4. Eat soy in moderation – Although some soy has been shown to be good for you, the long-term health effects of large amounts are unknown. The Nutrition Source says 2-4 servings a week are probably sufficient.
5. Look for a range of sources of calcium – Dairy products provide high levels of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. But there are other sources as well, including leafy green vegetables and tofu.
6. Use liquid plant oils – Instead of relying on solid vegetable proteins that might have trans fats, liquid oils should be used for cooking and baking. These are better for your heart.
7. Fill your plate halfway with vegetables at every meal – This will ensure that you are getting enough of your daily allowance.
Tips for Preventing Diabetes
8. Choose plant foods whenever possible – By choosing a diet high in whole grains, you can stay full for longer periods of time and cut your risk of diabetes.
9. Stay away from refined carbohydrates – White pasta, white bread, potatoes, and white rice can cause your blood sugar to spike, which can increase your risk of diabetes.
10. Stay at a healthy weight – This weight will be different for everyone, but staying within a healthy weight range will help ensure that your risk stays low.
11. Try to be physically active – Turning off the television and getting outside for some regular physical activities will help cut your risk of diabetes. It helps boost your metabolism and will keep your weight in check.
12. Avoid processed meat – Just as you should avoid sugary drinks and refined carbs, you will also want to avoid hot dogs and other processed forms of meat. In general, whole foods will always be the best option for your health.
Tips for Staying Active
13. Turn off your smart phone, computer, and television – A big problem that we have today is a sedentary lifestyle. One of the best ways to fight this is to avoid temptation by keeping electronic devices off, which will make you more likely to get up and do something active.
14. Make your exercise social – Get active with your friend, spouse or coworker. This will keep you on task and make it more fun.
15. Reward yourself for meeting goals – Set milestones or short term goals, such as walking in a charity race, and then treat yourself with something fun when you complete your goal.
16. Choose activities that you enjoy – If you find a physical activity you like, such as a dance class, yoga, hiking, or biking, you will be more likely to participate on a regular basis.
17. Stay moving at lunchtime – During lunch hour, instead of sitting the whole time, if you have any time to spare go for a walk or hit the gym.