Most likely, you maintain your car with oil changes and other preventive services to keep it running smoothly for as long as possible. But is your body also on a maintenance and prevention plan so it runs at its peak and lasts longer? Good nutrition is vital to your long-term health and your quality of life. Starting today, give yourself a regular nutrition tune-up.Add more of:
Whole grains. Choose fiber-filled whole grain bread, cereals, brown rice and whole wheat pasta. You’ll feel more satiated and benefit from the added fiber and nutrition that are retained in whole grain foods.
Colorful vegetables. The rainbow of veggie colors, especially dark green, red and orange, pack potent nutrients.
Fruits in nearly any form. Fresh, frozen or canned are all good options but beware canned fruit in syrup since it’s high in sugar.
Calcium and vitamin D. Go for low-fat or fat-free versions of milk, yogurt and cheese. Or choose fortified soy beverages. Supplements can meet your intake goals of calcium and vitamin D too.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Look for canola, corn, olive, peanut or soybean oil, or plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados and olives. These are healthy fat options to replace solid, saturated fats.
Seafood. Swap out meat and poultry more often with a variety of fish and seafood for a boost in omega-3s.
Cut back on:
Sodium. Don’t exceed 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day — or just 1,500 mg per day if you’re over age 51; are African-American; or have a history of high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease or diabetes. Sodium is high in many processed foods and canned goods such as soups.
Sugar. The American Heart Association says high intake of added sugars is linked to many health problems, including obesity, high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Women should limit their sugar intake to about 6 teaspoons of sugar a day; the limit for men is 9 teaspoons. Keep in mind sugar is in many foods and drinks. Just one 12-ounce can of cola has about 8 teaspoons of sugar — maxing out your sugar limit.
Solid fats, especially trans fats. Skip fatty animal-based foods such as bacon, poultry skin, butter and whole milk products. Also avoid foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (read: trans fats) often found in cookies, donuts and crackers.
Refined grains. White bread, white rice and many commercial cereals have had the fiber and many nutrients stripped away and act like sugar in the body. Choose whole grains instead.
Tune-Up in a Can
An easy way to keep your body running in optimum condition is to fuel it with the premium, balanced nutrition of Reliv nutritional supplements. In addition to supplying essential vitamins and minerals, many Reliv products such as Reliv Classic® and Reliv Now® are rich in healthy soy protein.
Reliv also helps you cut back your sugar intake with zero-calorie Relivables® All-Natural Sweetener.
SOURCES: http://www.eatright.org/nnm/, http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Sugars-and-Carbohydrates_UCM_303296_Article.jsp, http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-03-02-sugarwars02_ST_N.htm, http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/pyramid-full-story/index.html, online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204660604574370851517144132.html