How to age in a healthy way through your diet (Part 2)
In last week’s post we spoke about the importance of having a variety of foods in your diet, as well as some tips to help you make good choices.
This week we’ll talk about the foods that should be part of these good choices.
· Eat a variety of Fruits and Vegetables
It is recommended that a person’s diet should consist of primarily vegetables, including legumes, fruits, and healthy fats. Many studies have shown that this will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.
The amount of vegetable intake should be more than fruits, taking into account that fruit has fructose (fruit sugar), which may lead to increased blood glucose. This is very important to control obesity and diabetes. To benefit from all the nutrients, vegetables shouldn’t be cooked for too long.
· Eat More Whole Grains
Whole grains contain iron, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B and fiber. These types of foods also help prevent cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and are very important for weight maintenance.
· Eat Less Saturated Fat
Saturated fat increases cholesterol levels in the blood, which stimulates the production of fat plaques that accumulate in the arteries, obstructing them. Therefore there is an increase in blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
One should cut down on fatty meats, processed meats (sausages, salami, mortadella, ham…), butter, cheese and vegetable oils, preferring, for example, leaner meats and olive oil.
Many studies show that the replacement of saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat, such as Omega 3 that is present in fish (salmon, tuna, sardine, herring, mackerel…), healthier oils (flaxseed oil, olive oil…), seeds (nuts, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, flaxseed, chia…) decreases the risk of heart disease.
TIP: Your cooking techniques make all the difference in the amount of your daily fat intake. Instead of frying, it’s better to roast, grill or steam your food. It’s all a matter of getting into a habit of it. Go for less fatty foods.
· Eat Less Sugar and Refined flours
Sugar is the most harmful food for your organism. It’s addictive, the more you eat it the more you want it. It’s one of the major culprits of obesity, diabetes, degenerative diseases such as Parkinson and Alzheimer, cardiovascular diseases and high cholesterol in the world. It should be replaced with natural sweeteners.
You should be aware of hidden sugar in foods, such as dextrose, maltose and fructose used by the food industry in the preparation of artificial juices, salad dressings, breakfast cereals and other processed foods.
Reduction of sugar intake is a requirement for good health.
Refined flour increases the glycemic index rapidly instead go for whole grain flour, which contains more fibers and nutrients.
· Reduce your daily Salt intake
Consuming excess salt daily increases the risk of high blood pressure, fluid retention and heart problems. People who consume more than is recommended have an increased risk of having a heart attack. A good strategy is to avoid processed foods, cook at home with fresh ingredients and herbs.
Processed foods, soups powder, products that use chicken or meat bouillons as a seasoning, pickled foods, sauces and soy sauce contain excess sodium.
· Increase water intake
Hydrating your body is critical for the proper function of all organs.
It’s ideal to drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of water per day. The continuous fluid intake makes your metabolism active, as well as the activity of body cells and the proper functioning of the intestine.
Do not wait to get thirsty. When this happens, it means that the body is already becoming dehydrated.
Who accepts the challenge to be healthier and wants to share with us some of the choices you’ve made after reading this post?
See you soon…
Excerpt from Dr. Fernanda Tavares