Healthy Eating

November 02, 2011

Seasonal changes play a big role in the food we crave and our daily activities.  Now that winter is around the corner,  many of us have the urge to settle in with a good book, a warm sofa and a hearty meal. Now is the time to plan on avoiding those extra pounds that appear every year!  Here are few tips:
  • Eat low-fat protein. Digesting these foods requires the most calorie burn. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the best animal protein sources include fish and poultry. Plant-based sources of protein include beans, lentils and greens like broccoli and kale. Not sure how much protein to eat? The Centers for Disease Control suggest that adult men should get 56 grams of protein every day, while adult women should consume 46 grams.
  • Focus on fiber. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, beans, bran cereals and whole-wheat products. Fiber is not only a useful aid in reducing caloric intake, it is known to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, gallstones and kidney stones!
  • Spice it up. Add crushed peppers, wasabi or hot sauce to your condiment tray! Spices have thermogenic, or heating, properties that increase fat burn. A 1999 Canadian study found that people who consumed 10 grams of ground red pepper - about 2-1/2 teaspoons - with a meal showed a significantly higher metabolic rate than those who didn't eat any pepper. The boost lasted for 20 minutes.
  • Drink green tea. Hot or cold, take advantage of a metabolism-revving substance in tea leaves. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated a 4 percent increase in metabolism after consuming green tea extract.
  • Prepare your own food. Shopping for and preparing your own food is a great activity, not only are your 'working' for your food, you can be confident that you know exactly what you're eating!
  • Avoid empty calories. Remember, cakes, cookies and processed meats such as hot dogs and chicken nuggets are likely to be stored as fat. The chill in the air may prompt the itch for comfort foods, so have some healthy winter snacks close by. Creamy foods are comfort foods, and warm foods are also comforting, so cook up a bowl of oatmeal or drink a cup of tea with a touch of milk or soy creamer and honey.
Eat well, stay warm and be active!

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