Category: Diet

How To Make Healthy Choices When Eating Out

Eating out can be a fun and social experience, but it can also be a challenge when trying to make healthy choices. The temptation to indulge in rich, calorie-dense foods can be overwhelming, but there are several strategies you can use to maintain a healthy diet while eating out.

Research the Menu Ahead of Time

Before you head to a restaurant, take some time to look up the menu online. This will give you an idea of what options are available and allow you to plan ahead. Look for dishes that are grilled, baked, or steamed rather than fried or breaded. Choose dishes with lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, or turkey instead of red meat options like steak or burgers. Also, be mindful of hidden calories and sugar in sauces and dressings. You can always ask for these on the side or omit them altogether.

Ask for Modifications

Don’t be afraid to ask for modifications to your meal. Most restaurants are willing to accommodate special requests such as swapping out fries for a side salad or asking for dressing on the side. You can also ask for smaller portion sizes or share an entrée with a friend. When making modifications, try to stick to simple requests to avoid confusion or mistakes.

Choose Lean Protein

When selecting your main dish, opt for lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, or turkey. These options tend to be lower in calories and saturated fat compared to red meat options like steak or burgers. If you are vegetarian or vegan, look for plant-based protein options such as beans, lentils, or tofu.

Load Up on Vegetables

Vegetables are a great way to add volume and nutrients to your meal without adding too many calories. Look for vegetable sides like roasted broccoli or grilled asparagus, and consider ordering a salad as your main dish. Be mindful of high-calorie toppings such as cheese, croutons, or creamy dressings. Instead, opt for lighter options like vinaigrette or lemon juice.

Be Mindful of Beverages

Beverages can often add hidden calories and sugar to your meal. Stick with water, unsweetened tea, or black coffee instead of sugary drinks like soda or sweetened iced tea. If you do choose an alcoholic beverage, limit yourself to one and choose lower-calorie options such as wine or light beer.

Practice Portion Control

Restaurant portions tend to be much larger than what we would typically eat at home. Consider asking for a takeout box at the beginning of the meal so you can save half of your entrée for later. Alternatively, you can split an entrée with a friend or order an appetizer as your main course.

Eating out doesn’t have to derail your healthy eating habits. By planning ahead and making mindful choices, you can enjoy delicious meals while still staying on track with your health goals. It’s important to remember that making healthy choices is a journey, not a destination. Every small step towards a healthier lifestyle is progress, and you should be proud of yourself for making those choices.

Why Plant-based Diets Support Better Digestion

In recent years, there has been a growing trend toward plant-based diets. People are becoming more aware of the impact of their food choices on the environment, as well as their own health. One of the key benefits of a plant-based diet is the positive impact it can have on digestive health. In this article, we explore some of the reasons why plant-based diets are good for digestion.

High Fiber Content

Fiber is a crucial nutrient for maintaining a healthy digestive system. It promotes regular bowel movements, prevents constipation, and reduces the risk of colon cancer. Plant-based diets are naturally high in fiber, as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes all contain significant amounts of this nutrient. The recommended daily intake of fiber is 25-30 grams per day, which can easily be achieved through a plant-based diet.

Fiber is also important for maintaining healthy gut bacteria. Fiber serves as a prebiotic, providing the food that healthy gut bacteria need to thrive. A diet that is low in fiber can lead to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gut, which can cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Rich in Enzymes

Enzymes are substances that help break down food particles in the body. Many plant-based foods are rich in enzymes that aid in digestion. For example, pineapple contains bromelain, which helps break down protein molecules. Papaya contains papain, which helps break down carbohydrates and proteins. By including a variety of plant-based foods in your diet, you can ensure that you are getting a range of digestive enzymes.

Low in Fat

A diet high in fat can slow down the digestive process and lead to discomfort and bloating. Plant-based diets tend to be lower in fat than animal-based diets. This means that they may be easier on the digestive system and less likely to cause digestive issues. However, it is important to note that not all plant-based foods are low in fat. Some plant-based sources of fat, such as nuts and avocados, can be high in calories and should be consumed in moderation.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Many plant-based foods have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the gut. Chronic inflammation can lead to a range of digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Some examples of anti-inflammatory foods include leafy greens, berries, turmeric, and ginger.

In addition to these digestive benefits, a plant-based diet has many other health benefits. It can help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and may even help prevent certain types of cancer. However, it is important to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients your body needs on a plant-based diet, particularly vitamin B12, and iron, which can be harder to obtain from plant-based sources.

In conclusion, a plant-based diet can offer many benefits for digestive health. By increasing your fiber intake, consuming more enzymes, reducing your fat intake, and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, you may experience

5 Diets You Should Probably Avoid When Losing Weight

Losing weight is a goal that most people have multiple times during their lives. There are all kinds of diets to try. Some can help by giving you a new outlook on your relationship with food. Others end up being unhealthy in the long run for various reasons. Wondering which diets to avoid the next time you try to lose weight? You should definitely avoid these five:

1. The Egg and White Wine Diet

Introduced in a 1970s Vogue article, the egg and wine diet includes — you guessed it — eggs and wine. At the end of the day, you get a small steak. If you follow it, the diet can shave off some pounds. A bottle of white wine is about 600 calories, three eggs are 225, and the steak is about 400. So, you’re consuming less than 1300 calories a day, and cups of black coffee help you stave off hunger.

The problems are apparent, however. This diet is patently unhealthy. There are no fruits or vegetables, and consuming a bottle of wine every day is binge drinking. While this diet may help you lose a pound or two, it’s awful for your liver and the rest of your body.

2. Carnivore Diet

With this diet, you just eat meat with a bit of cheese and eggs. Contrary to popular belief, this probably wasn’t the diet consumed by your caveman ancestors. It’s just a made-up fad.

Eating meat keeps you fuller longer than carbs. As a result, you end up consuming fewer calories. This can lead to weight loss. But this diet is high in saturated fats and low in vitamins. Your heart and the rest of your organs will suffer.

3. Detox Diet

Sometimes called a cleanse, this type of diet takes many forms. One of the most common just allows you to consume a few tablespoons of lemon juice, maple syrup, water, and cayenne pepper for several days. Others let you consume a wide range of fruit and vegetable juices.

The theory is that you clean out your body by not ingesting solid foods. But you need solid foods — especially roughage — for your health. These diets are often so low-calorie that they reduce your energy levels and make it hard to function.

4. Whole30

With the Whole 30 diet, you eat fruits, vegetables, seafood, unprocessed meats, nuts, eggs, olive and coconut oils, and coffee, but you cut out most allergens. By getting dairy, wheat, alcohol, sugar, and processed additives out of your diet for 30 days, you can see how your body reacts without those foods.

This diet can be helpful if you’re trying to identify allergens or foods that upset your stomach. However, it’s not great for weight loss or health. Its strict rules can be hard to follow and cause you to develop guilt around food. It also lacks the necessary amounts of complex grains. Because there are no restrictions on amounts, you may end up overeating and gaining weight.

5. Paleo-Vegan

The paleo diet focuses on meat, but when you combine a vegan twist, you can only eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and oils. Eliminating dairy can help some people to feel better, but this diet often lacks protein. It’s also overly restrictive.

When a diet is too hard to follow, it often ends up backfiring. Rather than losing weight, you end up cheating, feeling bad, and then getting into a vicious emotional cycle with eating. It’s more effective to take a more balanced approach when you’re trying to lose weight.

4 Simple Hacks to Cut Sugar From Your Diet

We know, we know, sugar is really, really yummy. It’s sweet by itself, it’s a huge component of baked goods, it does, in fact, have the ability to make the medicine go down better (thank you, Mary Poppins), and it truly melts in your mouth
Sugar has the ability to actually activate the little feel-good dopamine chemicals in our brains, and our bodies like the energy it gives. This is all in moderation though. Our ancestors did not have the processed sugared candies, wrapped snacks, or soft drink craziness that we have today. Watching our sugar intake is actually an important step to improving your health. 
Eating too much sugar has a whole host of health risks and can cause irreversible effects on a body:
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Weight Gain
  • Teeth Cavities and Rot
  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Acne
  • Chemically-Induced Cravings
  • High Cholesterol Levels
  • Inconsistent Glucose Levels
We’re not saying you need to cut all sugar from your diet, but here are four simple hacks to reduce your sugar intake:

1. Reduce the Consumption of Soft Drinks. 

Soft drinks have an insane amount of sugar content in them. A 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola, for example, has 39 grams or NINE teaspoons of sugar included. A 20-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew has a whopping 77 grams of sugar. 

2. Substitute Fresh Fruit for Processed Goodies 

If you have a sweet tooth, fresh fruit will help curb that craving just as much as a piece of pie or a cookie. 
Fresh fruit has less sugar overall when compared to a piece of candy or something like a slice of cake, and it’s full of natural sugars that the body needs. In addition, fresh fruit is filled with healthy vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals that are not present in something like a candy bar

3. Have fun with new recipes, like adding lemon and mint leaves to your iced tea instead of packets of processed sugar

Google and recipe bloggers are amazing and are great sources to find creative hacks to cut sugar while preserving flavor. One fantastic example we’ve found is for iced tea. A little bit of fresh lemon juice and freshly picked mint leaves (or from the grocery store) when added to iced tea is a great substitution for packets of processed sugar. They will also make your drink look nice if you’re entertaining, at a picnic, or at an outdoor BBQ. 

4. Check the labels. 

People are always surprised when they look at a food label and see the amount of sugar included. There are a ton of hidden sugar situations in condiments, sauces, and things like breakfast cereals that add up quickly and are just not necessary
Just to give you an idea, one tablespoon of ketchup has one teaspoon of sugar. That’s more sugar than most ice creams.