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Diet

Basic Rules of a Healthy Diet That Supports Your Fit Lifestyle

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Dieting and losing weight are difficult, to say the least. There are plenty of people who try going on diets, only to give up when the diet does not immediately show results. A big issue is that a lot of people simply do not understand how to follow a healthy diet. They either starve themselves, which makes being fit difficult, or they eat the wrong kinds of foods. So, with this in mind, we are going to go over some basic rules of dieting that will allow you to eat right while maintaining an active lifestyle.

Always eat breakfast

You may be tempted, when dieting, to skip meals. Specifically, you may choose to skip breakfast. It makes sense why people do that. After all, you usually are not too hungry in the mornings and a lot of people have work early in the mornings, which means that many people lack the time to make a healthy, filling breakfast. But skipping breakfast is a bad idea and all nutritionists would agree that it is extremely harmful to your dieting efforts. By skipping breakfast, you will give yourself less energy throughout the day, which makes it harder to get the energy necessary to exercise when you get home from work. Also, by skipping breakfast, you will be hungrier come lunch time, which makes chowing down on unhealthy food that much more tempting.

Hydrate constantly

Assuming you are exercising regularly, then you are probably losing a lot more fluids than you normally would be. This makes it crucial to hydrate constantly. Being dehydrated can mess with both your energy levels and your appetite (among other unpleasant things), which of course affects your diet. Plus, cold water is a great way of helping to get through particularly tough food cravings.

Stick with natural foods

A lot of foods that are marketed as healthy in grocery stores are anything but. A good example of this is fruit juice. You may look at fruit juice containers, which are often marketed as substitutes for eating real fruit, and think that they are alright to drink, but they aren’t. Fruit juice is full of artificial ingredients and it has far too much sugar. This is a good example of why you should stick with natural, fresh foods instead of processed things.

Don’t be afraid to snack

Often with diets, people think that they can only stick to the major meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and have to avoid snacking in-between. But you shouldn’t be afraid to snack on something healthy like carrots or cucumber slices. And, if you’re trying to gain muscle, then high-protein snacks can really help with this.

Are Organic Foods Healthier?

If you have ever priced organic foods at the supermarket, you know they are quite a bit more expensive than non-organic. But, are the health benefits they provide worth the extra cost?   According to a Pew Research Center study, 55% of Americans think organic food is healthier (although no concrete evidence exists to confirm their belief).

Since October 2002, foods labeled organic must follow guidelines and pass inspection based on a set of strict rules developed and implemented by the Department of Agriculture. Producers passing inspection can label their products as organic, meaning organic is:

  • free of pesticides and herbicides
  • not exposed to synthetic fertilizers
  • not fertilized by sewage sludge
  • free from bio-engineering or modification
  • not subjected to ionizing radiation.

That assurance is enough to make paying the extra price worth it to some people. For others, they pay extra because they believe the food is more nutritious, tastes better and is more environment and animal-friendly that non-organic products.

But back to the original question “Are organic foods healthier?”

From a nutritional standpoint, there has not been enough research comparing nutritional values between organic and non-organic to say without a doubt if organic is healthier or not. One study out of Stanford University found some organic fruits contain more vitamin C, and certain minerals and antioxidants than non-organic, but the differences were so small, scientists don’t think it would have an impact one way or the other health nutritionally.

We know foods today, regardless if organic or not, are not as nutritious as the ones grown by our grandfathers. Because the soil has suffered depletion over the years and is not as good as it once was, our products end up not being as nutritious.

However, most people agree that organic produce does taste better. That most likely is because most organic producers are small operations in a local area where their products are marketed, so their field-to-market time is shorter. Certain nutrients like vitamin C oxidize over time, so the fresher the produce, the better it will taste. This can be interpreted as being more healthy than non-organic, but the only real difference was time to market.

One can make a case that organically-grown food is healthier because it does not contain residual chemicals normally used in conventionally-grown products, like fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. But organic farmers can legally use USDA organic-approved copper sulfate as a fungicide, which can be just as dangerous as non-approved fungicides.

Many food scientists believe people could derive more health benefits if they would take the additional money spent on organic fruits and vegetables and buy more produce whether organically grown or not.

So back to the original question “Are organic foods healthier?” In the end, it comes down to the perception of the person buying the products!

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