Habits For Healthy Eating

Healthy eating habits are still possible when you are always on the go. Here are some tips that are good for you to know:

1. Always eat a good breakfast. When there is no time to sit down and enjoy your morning meal, grab a bagel, a piece of fruit, and some juice.

2. If you must eat fast-food, make wise choices. For example, choose pizza with half the amount of cheese, a regular size roastbeef sandwich, baked potato, or green salad with reduced calorie dressing. Limit high-fat items like french fries, fried chicken or fish sandwiches and be careful of salad dressing.

3. Keep healthy snacks at hand in case hunger strikes. Healthy snacks include fresh or dried fruit, pretzels, un-buttered popcorn, rice cakes or whole wheat crackers. Also consider raw vegetables with low fat yogurt or cottage cheese dip.

4. Eat plenty of foods which are rich in calcium. If you do not like milk, try to include ample amounts of low fat yogurt, low fat cheese, and green leafy vegetables in your diet.

5. If you need to lose weight, try to do it sensibly. Starvation and/or diets that offer a quick fix usually backfire and are more harmful than anything else. There’s no truth to the theories that suggest that eating foods in any particular combination will promote weight loss. The only safe way to lose weight, feel good while doing it, and keep it off is to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

6. Sugar provides calories to your diet but few other nutrients. It also contributes significantly to tooth decay. Use it sparingly and consider sweetening coffee, tea, cereal and fruit with artificial sweeteners instead.

7. The salad bar can be either an asset or a detriment to your diet depending on how you choose from it. Of course, leafy greens, raw vegetable and fresh fruit are beneficial to you. But if you choose lots of creamy dressing, bacon bits, and mayonnaise based salads, the calories and fat may equal or even exceed those of a hamburger and fries. Try dipping your salad instead.

8. If you drink alcohol, bear in mind that it supplies calories but no real nutritional value. A light beer, a glass of wine, or an ounce of liquor have each about 100 calories. Furthermore, there are also many health problems associated with drinking alcohol.

9. Try to drink lots of water. Your body needs at least eight glasses of water a day, and if you exercise vigorously, you may even need more. To remind yourself, carry a water bottle along with you and keep it handy.

10. Remember, food is a lot more than just nourishment for our bodies. Enjoy it and savour it.


John Rifkind is a contributing editor at FitnessHealthArticles.com. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.

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You may have heard such words as “glycemic index” or “glycemic load” when it comes to certain foods. The glycemic index of food is important when constructing a healthy, balanced diet as well as to promote overall better health.

What is the glycemic index (GI)? The GI of food is an indication of how fast sugar can enter our bloodstream, or the immediate effect of eating carbohydrates on the blood sugar level. GI refers to the carbohydrate content in food and is ranked in numbers. What this means is that carbohydrate in foods is then broken down into glucose, or blood sugar, and the higher the GI number is, the faster the food empties into the bloodstream after digestion.

What is the difference between the GI and the GL? As described above, the GI indicates the carbohydrates in food and its potential to raise the blood sugar levels. The glycemic load is essentially the effect of food on our blood sugar levels.

You can calculate the GL by multiplying the GI of a certain food by the number of carbohydrate grams contained in the food and then dividing the total by 100. A lower GL indicates that there’s a gradual release of glucose (sugar) into the blood from digestion. Therefore, blood sugar levels aren’t likely to rise very quickly. It’s recommended to have a lower glycemic load, and to consume mostly food with a lower GI in general.

How do you determine the GI of certain foods? To determine the glycemic index of any food, typically, individuals are given a test food that provides 50 grams of carbohydrate and a control food (white bread or pure glucose) providing the same amount of carbohydrate but on different days (JAMA, 2002).

Blood samples for the determination of glucose are taken before eating and at regular intervals after eating over the next several hours. The changes in blood glucose over time are then plotted in a curve.

The glycemic index can be calculated as the area under the glucose curve after the test food is eaten, divided by the corresponding area after the control food is consumed. The value will be multiplied by 100 to represent a percentage of the control food. (Source: Linus Pauling Institute webpage:


Please note: Different sources can list the GI of foods. You’ll probably notice some differences in the GI of foods between different sources. (For example, a baked potato may have a GI of 85 in one source, while another source may cite its GI as 93).

What can determine the GI number? Refined carbohydrates in sweets (cakes, biscuits, etc.) will be likely to have a higher GI (causing an immediate rise in the blood sugar). There are of course some exceptions, but in general, food with a high fibre content such as whole grains and high fibre cereals tend to have a lower GI (desirable). That is because they don’t produce a rapid rise in blood sugar after eating them.

Tips To Lower The Glycemic Load:

• Increase your consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), nuts, and whole grains.

• Use whole grains. “Whole” means that the hull or skin is still attached, which slows down the assimilation of the carbohydrates inside. An obvious example is brown and white rice. Brown rice is still encased in its hull whereas white rice isn’t.

• Decrease your consumption of sugary foods like cookies, cakes, sweets, and soft-drinks.


John Rifkind is a contributing editor at FitnessHealthArticles.com. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.