Friday, January 6, 2012

6 Nutritional Resolutions for a Healthy New Year

1. Avoid Aspartame and other synthetic sugars.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and drinks. It's also sold under the brand name NutraSweet. Aspartame's negative side effects include Methanol (wood alcohol) which is a dangerous neurotoxin and a known carcinogen. Synthetic sugars contribute to acidity, a condition which leads to inflammation and the creation of fat cells to store that extra acid. So ironically, consistent consumption of Aspartame could add to your weight.

2. Avoid refined sugar.

White, refined sugar weakens the immune system by stealing your white blood cell's ability to destroy bacteria. It can also encourage addiction to eating foods devoid of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

3. Eat more greens and veggies.

This boosts your intake of antioxidants, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, zinc and omega-3s. Foods that are dark green, such as broccoli or kale, are high in folate, which is an amazing nutrient for heart health.

4. Say so long to dinners out - start cooking more at home.

How many times are you currently eating out each week – counting snacks and breakfasts too? Try to reduce that number by one each week; if you’re currently eating out five times a week, make it four, then three, and so on. Cook more meals at home and dedicate more time to preparing healthy foods so that you always have something to take with you and won’t have to succumb to the temptation of buying food when you’re out.

5. Make water your default beverage.

Sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda or iced tea, are one of the top foods that drive weight gain. Choosing water instead of calorie-laden beverages is a smart and easy way to drive down your overall calorie intake, so you may end up losing weight. Plus, a study in the journal Obesity found that adults who drank two cups of water before a meal ate less at the meal and lost more weight over 12 weeks than the group who didn't drink water before eating.

6. Try new ways (besides salt) to flavor your food.

There's no doubt about it-salt adds flavor to food. But too much salt is also linked to high blood pressure. The daily recommended limit is 2,300 milligrams-the amount in just 1 teaspoon of table salt. Yet most Americans consume more than twice that. To flavor your food without overdoing the sodium, start with fresh ingredients and experiment with new flavorings. Lemon or lime juice and vinegar can help bring out a food's inherent savoriness, helping you reduce or even eliminate salt. A sprinkle of fresh grated lemon zest, chopped fresh or dried herbs, garlic or shallots can add lots of flavor. I recommend  using salt-free seasoning blends like lemon pepper, poultry seasoning and salt-free herb blends like Mrs. Dash.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year!!!

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