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And The Healthy Diet For This Week Is?

By Dave Odell

Before we go any further the word diet does not necessarily mean an act of losing weight but a style of eating. If you follow a healthy diet you will lose weight naturally and you will get into a lifestyle that will keep you weight stable.

Every week a "new healthy diet comes out by some expert and it often appears that there are as many "healthy diets" as there are experts. Taking the cynical viewpoint these experts have only hit the world with a new regime to sell their latest book, DVD or new line of health food products. OK, everybody has different dietary needs due to their body type, metabolism, and genetic makeup but there are some basic guidelines that can be followed to keep to a healthy diet.

One of the first steps to a healthy diet is to rid your body of all the rubbish that is already there. These are the toxins that have built up over time. Well one way of doing this is to go down to your local pharmacy and get a pre-packaged detox kit and follow that for a specified length of time. Or you could buy antioxidants in supplement form. These are both workable quick fixes but you really need to make you diet a lifestyle.

Antioxidants are abundant in fruit and vegetables and generally, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables contain the highest levels of antioxidants: for example, yellow, orange, and dark green vegetables and citrus fruits. Now the Catch-22 in this is that you are better to be eating organic produce so that you are not introducing more toxins into the body as you neutralise the ones that are already there.

Research has shown that children who regularly eat organic foods have lower levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies than those who only eat conventional foods.

Fruits and vegetables are also high in other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is abundant in strawberries and oranges and this helps to support the immune system. Carrots and sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, which is important for vision and high levels of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K can be found in green leafed vegetables to support the health of our bones and teeth, among other things.

Some helpful guidelines to follow: Eat two to four pieces of fresh fruit daily, and fill half your plate with vegetables at any given meal.

A healthy diet program requires planning and lots of knowledge, both in the supermarket and at the meal table but the results are more than worth it!

I have given you some of the facts concerning a healthy diet but something that you do not see in many of these weekly diet regimes is a realistic approach, we are not all at home all the time, we are sitting in traffic or having meals in the canteen where you cannot dictate what is on the menu.

Here are some healthy eating habits to think about and to bring into your new healthy eating lifestyle.

"Eat a good breakfast. When there isn't time to sit down and enjoy your morning meal, and oats are a good choice there, grab some fruit and some juice.

"If you only viable option is to eat fast foods, choose a pizza with half the cheese, a regular roast beef sandwich, baked potato, or green salad with reduced calorie dressing. Do not opt for things like fries, fried chicken or fish and remember to use low calorie dressing and not the regular variety.

"Always have healthy snacks close by to fend off sudden hunger attacks. These could be fresh or dried fruit, nuts, rice cakes, whole wheat crackers or raw vegetables with low fat yogurt or dip.

"Eat calcium rich food by including ample amounts of low fat yogurt, low fat cheese, milk and green leafy vegetables in your diet.

"If you need to lose weight, do it sensibly. Remember we are going for lifestyle changes not a quick fix starvation diet. The only safe way to lose weight, feel good while doing it, and keep it off is to eat a balanced diet.

"Reduce you sugar intake, use it sparingly and consider sweetening coffee, tea, cereal and fruit with sweeteners instead. Though sugar provides calories it supplies few other nutrients and it contributes significantly to tooth decay.

"Salad bars sound healthy but they can also be harmful. By all means go for the leafy greens, raw vegetable and fresh fruit as they are beneficial. But the creamy dressing, bacon bits, and mayonnaise based salads are not and the calories and fat they contain may equal or even exceed those of a burger and fries.

"Reduce or cut alcohol out completely, remember that alcohol supplies calories but has no nutritional value. A small beer, a glass of wine, or a shot of spirits contains about 100 calories. Adding this to the associated problems that are linked with drinking alcohol the benefits can be two-fold.

"Drink lots of water. Your body needs at least two or three pints a day, and if you exercise vigorously, this could be more. Try to keep a water bottle handy.

About The Author
Dave Odell has been a freelance writer since 1984, during which time he has lived and worked in Paris, Amsterdam, Antwerp and London until recently moving to the north of England.

Though he has specialized in technically related matters his investigative skills has recently inspired him into writng articles and web sites on other subjects that he is interested in therefore expanding his knowledge in these areas.

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