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Tiny Tip Tuesday: 4 Tips for A Healthier You


Four Tips for a Healthier Diet.

Four Tips for a Healthier Diet.

It seems there is a lot of contradictory information out there about healthy diets.  Many people have incredibly strong feelings about how they fuel their bodies and they are not afraid to share their opinions.  It can be hard to keep up with the latest research because the information is always changing.  One minute, carbs are good- the next, carbs are bad.  First you hear, don’t eat fat then you hear eat all the fat you want. It can be confusing because new research is always being released.  However, here are 4 tiny tips I think most everyone can agree on.

  1. Eat whole foods.   Try to make the majority of calories you consume come from whole foods.  Eat foods you recognize with a minimum of ingredients- all of which you can pronounce.  Avoid food that comes in a box or package.  Food in its natural state is the best.
  2. Eat healthy fats.  Your body needs fat to survive.  Fat is necessary for absorption of the fat soluble vitamins D, E, K and A, for insulation for your organs and to help keep your body warm.  Fat helps produce hormones and biochemicals and is in every cell in the body.  However, not all fat is healthy.  Avoid trans fats like those found in baked goods or processed foods.  Get your fats from real food sources like seeds, nuts, avocados, fatty fish, meat and eggs.
  3. Eat a variety of foods every day.  Try to eat as many different colors of natural foods as possible. Blue blueberries, red apples, dark green leafy greens, vibrant orange butternut squash and purple eggplant all offer different essential vitamins and minerals.
  4. Move your body.   The Center for Disease Control recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week.  These recommendations do not mean you have to go sweat it out in the gym- any kind of activity which gets your heart rate up will qualify.  It doesn’t matter if it is gardening, running, boot camp or ballroom dancing. Just be sure to choose something you like so you are motivated to keep doing it.  Consistency is key!!

Photo by Alex Lomas on flickr.


Tiny Tip Tuesday: Eat Some Fat

Photo by GK Davie on Flickr.

Photo by GK Davie on Flickr.

For most of the Eighties and Nineties, fat was considered something to be avoided at all costs.  People went to great lengths to replace fat in their food, often by adding sugar and other fillers to replace the taste and satiety feeling fat provides.  Luckily, however, fat is beginning to make a comeback in our diet.  Research has repeatedly demonstrated that  fat is necessary to our health, particularly omega 3 fatty acids.  Omega -3’s are an essential fatty acid, meaning our body cannot produce them on it’s own.  These inflammation fighting fats must be obtained from our diet.  Two crucial ones, EPA and DHA, are primarily found in certain fish and pasture raised beef. ALA, another omega-3 fatty acid which can be converted to EPA and DHA in the body, is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds.  The benefits of omega-3s are well documented in the scientific literature.

  • Fish oil supplements seem to help with rheumatoid arthritis by decreasing stiffness and joint pain.
  • Omega-3’s may protect against heart disease and stroke.
  • DHA is important for visual and neurological development in infants.
  • Fish oil supplements seem to help combat depression and can be important in the fight against postpartum depression.  It seems to increase the effectiveness of some antidepressants.
  • Omega-3’s may also help in the treatment of ADHD and dementia.

Now that the benefits of Omega-3’s are obvious, you may be wondering how to increase this necessary substance in your diet.  Scientists recommend trying to get your omega-3’s from your food not through supplementation.  Salmon, tuna, anchovies, herring, blue fish, lake trout, grass fed beef, eggs from pasture raised chickens, sturgeon and sardines are all good sources. (However, with the concerns about methyl mercury in fish experts recommend you limit your exposure to large, predatory fish to no more than 7 oz a week- less if you are pregnant or a child.)  Vegetarian sources of  omega-3’s include flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, cauliflower, purslane, perilla oil and chia seeds.  Unfortunately, it is unclear if these vegetarian sources provide as many of the benefits as non-vegetarian sources.  Most vegetarian sources contain ALA which our body must then convert into DHA and EPA to reap the benefits.  It is estimated that as little as only 5% of ALA actually gets converted by the body.  Supplementation may be necessary for vegans and vegetarians to meet all their omega- 3 needs.

With all this compelling information about the amazing benefits of including healthy, tasty fats in your diet, tell me how you plan to ensure you are meeting your need for omega-3’s.

This post shared with Richly Rooted, Homespun Oasis, Urban Naturale and A Glimpse Inside.

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