5 Nutrition Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle – LA Daily News | Directory Mayhem

Hippocrates’ famous saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food” is still good advice today, especially when it comes to nutrition for healthy aging. We know that good nutrition promotes well-being and prevents disease. Overall health is influenced by lifestyle, environment and genetics, so it would be irresponsible to suggest that a healthy diet alone will stave off all health problems. While genetics and, to some extent, our environment are set, we can take steps to optimize how we fuel our bodies as we age.

In fact, many common chronic diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and certain types of cancer can be prevented with good nutrition. While medication comes with excessive costs and possible side effects, good nutrition is painless, relatively easy, and can be accomplished on a budget. Here are some key nutritional considerations for longer life and a healthier mind and body:

Choose nutrient-dense whole foods

The best way to ensure a nutrient-dense diet is to consume whole foods that have not been deprived of nutrients and fiber. Unfortunately, 77 percent of American groceries purchased are moderately or highly processed. Minimally processed foods like canned unsalted beans, dried herbs, and frozen vegetables aren’t the problem. Products with refined flour, sugar and oils as the main ingredients provide energy with little additional nutritional value. Choose whole grains with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, and evaluate your snacking habits for refined and processed foods.

Limit or avoid alcohol

It’s no surprise that drinking alcohol, especially in excess, can lead to health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, digestive problems, and some cancers. However, the proportion of alcohol that is considered moderate consumption may come as a surprise. Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Recently, a federal panel of health experts reviewing the latest data recommended reducing the number of daily alcoholic drinks for men from two to one. While some people can find non-alcoholic alternatives to reduce alcohol consumption, others may need to seek the support needed to change their drinking habits.

Stay away from unhealthy fats

There is a lot of misinformation about fats. When it comes to dietary fat, both quantity and quality matter. Processed foods like commercial baked goods, coffee creamer, fried foods, and potato chips are often made with hydrogenated oils, which are known to increase inflammation and negatively impact heart health. Foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are known to have a positive impact on inflammation and blood cholesterol levels, among other health benefits. Sources of these healthy fats include walnuts, flaxseed, oily fish, olive oil and avocado.

Consider your protein sources

Protein is a very important nutrient whose food sources vary greatly. Lean protein sources that provide more protein per serving are ideal. These include skinless chicken and turkey breasts, pork tenderloin, and fish, as well as eggs and egg whites, beans, tofu, and low-fat dairy. Take advantage of low-fat cooking methods like baking, grilling, steaming, and poaching that require little to no additional fat in their preparation.

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