10 Nutrition Tips You Need to Know

"Losing weight and eating healthy is a lot easier when you know all the facts about nutrition. Whether it’s the value of a certain food, which nutrients you need most, or how to read the nutritional information, here’s 10 nutrition tips you need to know while you lose weight: 1. Pay attention to serving sizes. Knowing the serving size of your food will help you understand how many calories, how much fat and how many nutrients you’re REALLY eating. For example, if the serving suggestion for nuts says 1 tbsp, that’s probably more than the fistful you’re grabbing. Measure everything out by serving sizes to know how much you’re ACTUALLY eating.
2. Calcium is good for you. Yes, that’s kind of an obvious statement, but it’s true nonetheless. If you’re lactose intolerant, try drinking soy milk or eating almonds, oranges, kale, tofu and collard greens, which are all high in calcium.
3. Avoid trans fats like the plague. Seriously, trans fats are probably one of the WORST things you could put in your body. These oils are chemically altered through a process called hydrogenation and turned into solid shortening to increase the shelf life of the food. Does this sound APPETIZING to you? Besides, trans fats foods increase your risk for heart disease, since these sneaky oils are great at clogging arteries. Start by skipping anything fried and check labels to see if it reflects whether or not the food has any amount of trans fat.
4. Learn the percent daily value. The percentages on nutrition facts refer to the percent daily value that the FDA bases on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. In other words, if something has a 10% daily value of saturated fat, that means that it’s 10% of your entire day’s recommended amount of saturated fat, based on someone eating 2,000 calories a day. Make sure that what you’re eating has a low percentage when it comes to fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, but has a high percentage in regards to vitamins, fiber, calcium, iron or protein.
5. Make your server hate you. It’s totally okay to ask your waiter or waitress what ingredients are in a certain dish, what oils the food is cooked in, if the dish comes in a smaller portion or whether there are healthier substitutions available. For instance, many restaurants will prepare your meal without oil or butter, but you have to ASK. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you’re dining out.
6. Eat more fiber. This type of carbohydrate is important in helping your digestive tract work smoothly and prevents constipation. Stock up on sources of high fiber, such as whole fruits and vegetables, beans, lentils and 100% whole grain breads, cereals and pastas.
7. Load up on Omega-3s. These fatty acids are important to your health and must be included in your diet, since your body cannot manufacture them on your own. Eat fatty fish like salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel, or get lesser amounts of these nutrients through eating soybeans, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
8. Eat healthy foods in the healthiest way. You may be eating fruits and vegetables every day, but you could get more nutritional value out of them. Switch up your fruit and veggie choices – they’re all good for you, but certain types of fruit or vegetable offer different dietary benefits. Bananas, apricots and cantaloupes have more potassium, while blueberries are super rich in antioxidants, and leafy greens like spinach and kale are very high in vitamin C.
9. Boost energy with complex carbs. Although carbs have gotten a bad rap lately, complex carbs, such as whole grain bread and beans help keep you energized throughout the day since they are digested slowly, leaving you feeling full and maintaining energy levels.
10. Pump up the iron. Sure, pump iron when you lift weights, but also pile on this essential mineral in your meals. Iron helps carry oxygen from your lungs to your muscles and other organs. Eat leafy greens like spinach and arugula, beans, lean meats, fish and whole grains to get your recommended daily intake."


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