Try these three easy ways to include more fiber in your diet: 1. Choose cereal that has at least 5 grams of fiber a serving. 2. Choose whole-grain breads that have at least 2 grams of fiber a serving. 3. Switch to brown rice and whole-wheat pasta.
Whether you're just starting a healthy-eating plan or you've been following a healthy diet for years, sticking to the plan can be challenging. To make sure you're getting enough fiber, experiment with new foods and combinations. Add wheat bran to your morning yogurt or smoothie. Add chickpeas or black beans to your favorite soups or salads. Or make nachos with refried black beans, lots of fresh veggies, whole-wheat tortilla chips and salsa.
You don't need to eliminate all fat from your diet. But for good health, try to replace foods high in saturated fat with foods that include healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Start by using oil in place of solid fats. For example, try olive oil for sauteing and canola oil for baking.
Too much salt in your diet contributes to high blood pressure. Keeping the saltshaker out of sight can help. It also pays to follow these tips: 1. Eat fresh foods rather than the canned or processed variety. 2. Choose a low-sodium variety of soups and other prepared foods. 3. Use herbs and spices to flavor your food.
Thanks to a large amount of sugar and caffeine, energy drinks might give you a temporary energy boost. But too much sugar from energy drinks can add extra pounds. And too much caffeine can cause adverse side effects, such as nervousness, stomach upset, irritability, increased heart rate and insomnia. There are better ways to boost your energy. For example, get enough sleep, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.
Fiber is probably best known for its ability to help with constipation. But fiber also can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease. How can you get more fiber? Choose cereals with whole-wheat, bran or fiber in the name. Switch to whole-grain breads and pastas. Experiment with brown rice, wild rice, barley and bulgur wheat. Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a few weeks. Also drink plenty of water; fiber works best when it absorbs water.
That morning cup of coffee or early afternoon soda is probably OK. But more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, or more than about four cups of coffee, can cause insomnia, restlessness, headaches and other problems. Start paying attention to how much caffeine you're getting from foods and beverages. Check labels. If you decide to cut back, do it gradually. For example, drink a smaller cup of coffee each day. This will help your body get used to the lower levels of caffeine and lessen potential withdrawal effects.
If you're like many people, most of the sodium in your diet comes from processed and prepared foods, such as canned vegetables, soups, deli meats and frozen foods. Another major source of sodium is condiments. One tablespoon of soy sauce, for example, has a whopping 1,000 milligrams of sodium. To scale back the sodium in your diet, eat more fresh foods and fewer processed foods.
Saturated fats and trans fats raise total blood cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Reduce saturated fats and trans fats by cutting use of butter, lard, shortening and margarine when cooking. Instead, use liquid vegetable oil instead of solid fats. For example, saute with olive oil instead of butter, and use canola oil when baking. Consider these tips when cooking and baking: 1. Saute with olive oil instead of butter. 2. Use olive oil in salad dressings and marinades. 3. Use canola oil when baking.
Interested in eating a high-fiber diet? See how easy it is to boost the fiber in your meals and snacks.
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