It has been suggested that the obesity epidemic may in part be a dehydration crisis: we’re thirsty, but we think we’re hungry, so instead of drinking water, we eat more food. There certainly could be something to this theory, because most Americans not only don’t drink enough water but dehydrate themselves with caffeine and alcohol and by flying in planes, baking in saunas, and playing weekend warrior without replenishing lost fluids. Read More→Print This Post
If you’re looking to drop a few pounds or just change your eating habits to live a healthier life, then there are probably things you do each day that slowly sabotage those goals. But don’t worry, most of these bad eating habits are relatively simple to fix. It’s just a matter of becoming aware of them and knowing how to change. Here are the some of those bad habits and how to fix them so that you can reach your goals of living a happier, healthier life! Read More→Print This Post
It doesn’t matter what type of diet you choose, a little nutrition-know-how is always needed. Omnivores have to strive for food choices that reduce their intake of saturated fat and cholesterol and that maximize compounds that might fall short like fiber, folate, antioxidants, and potassium. Vegans need to give a little bit of extra attention to vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin A. And omnivore or vegan, everyone needs to identify good sources of vitamin D, and maybe omega-3 fats. Read More→Print This Post
This excellent article on B-12 in the vegan diet is by Reed Mangels, Ph.D, R.D., and is reprinted by permission of the Vegetarian Resource Group.
The requirement for vitamin B12 is very low. Non-animal sources include Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula or T-6635+ nutritional yeast (a little less than 1 Tablespoon supplies the adult RDA), and vitamin B12 fortified soymilk. It is especially important for pregnant and lactating women, infants, and children to have reliable sources of vitamin B12 in their diets. Read More→Print This Post
[Accompanying recipe: Ruby Sauerkraut with Caraway] Why do some foods like chocolate, wine and cheese taste so delicious? Fermenting magically transforms their original ingredients into something more desirable. Besides upping flavor, some lactic-acid ferments, such as homemade sauerkraut, actually strengthen your immune system. Read More→Print This Post
Because nutritional yeast has evolved as a nutritional supplement, it suffers with a horribly unappealing name and a somewhat misunderstood reputation. Nutritional yeast, not to be mistaken with brewer’s yeast, is a deactivated yeast that according to Wikipedia, is “produced by culturing the yeast with a mixture of sugarcane and beet molasses, then harvesting, washing, drying and packaging the yeast.” Read More→Print This Post
Do you keep an aloe plant in your kitchen? Aloe is an incredible plant with a wide range of benefits — most people know the aloe plant simply as something that’s used to treat sunburn. However, Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years to remediate a plethora of issues. Read More→Print This Post
If you’re looking live a healthier life, the first step is to know exactly what you’re putting into your body. Estimating your fat and calorie intake is a good start, but why guess when you have the facts right in front of you? Nutrition labels are important sources of information that can help you on your way to a healthier you. We’ll tell you exactly how to read them and what you should be looking for.
Step One: Begin By Looking at the Serving Size
Serving sizes can trick you into thinking that foods are healthier than they actually are. A glance at a nutrition label could trick you into thinking that a small bag of chips contains 10 grams of fat. The truth may be that there are actually 10 grams per serving and 3 servings per bag. The serving size can also serve as a rough guide for how much a person should eat in one sitting. If there are two servings in a box of macaroni and cheese, for example, then you probably should not be eating the whole box for dinner.
Step Two: Check the Calories
The average person should eat around 2,000 calories per day. If you’re trying to lose weight, the goal is to burn off more calories than you consume, so try to stick to low-calorie foods. If a food contains over 400 calories per serving, it is safe to consider that food high in calories.
Step Three: Fat, Cholesterol, and Sodium
Fat, cholesterol, and sodium, should all be limited as much as you can. Fat is often broken down into saturated fats and trans fats, both of which are dangerous to your health. Keep in mind that some fats are good for you, but staying away from trans fats and saturated fats as much as possible is a must.
Step Four: Dietary Fiber
Fiber is what keeps your digestive system going, and it’s incredibly important to your health. Aim to pick foods that have over 5% of your daily fiber in them. Whole grain pasta, fruits, and vegetables will get you well on your way. The average person should consume between 20 and 35 grams of fiber per day.
Step Five: Protein
Protein is an important part of every person’s diet. Click here to find out how much protein you need per day.
Step Six: Vitamins and Minerals
Look at the “% daily value” column. You want to make sure you’re getting 100% of each nutrient every day, so foods rich in vitamins and minerals should be favored. You can also look into taking a multivitamin supplement if you don’t think you’re getting all the nutrients you need each day.
Also, don’t forget to read the list of ingredients to see what is in your food. The ingredients are listed with the most abundant ingredients first. This means that if your food lists wheat flour as its first ingredient, then it consists primarily of wheat flour. The ingredients at the end of the list make up the smallest parts of your food product. Try to avoid the following ingredients:hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, enriched flour, artificial coloring, artificial flavorings, artificial sweeteners, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). It is difficult to cut all of these ingredients out of your diet, but do your best to stick to foods whose ingredients you recognize, and you’ll be off to a good start.
This column was contributed by Allison Evans of Fit & Fab Living.
- For more tips on plant-based nutrition, make sure to browse VegKitchen’s Nutrition page.
- For lots more features on healthy lifestyle, please explore VegKitchen’s Healthy Vegan Kitchen page.
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