Nutrition Tips for Eating Healthy
By: Shari Anticknap RHN, NNCP
We all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fibre, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.
Avoid stress while eating: When we are stressed, our digestion can be compromised and our bodies will not break down and assimilate the nutrients from our food. This can lead to a host of health problems.
Eat early, eat often – Starting your day with a healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism. Also, eat small healthy meals throughout the day rather than the standard three large meals. This will help keep your metabolism going and ward off snack attacks.
Proper hydration – Water is a vital part of a healthy diet. Water is essential for all of our bodily functions and helps flush waste products and toxins out of our bodies. Aim for 1 litre of pure filtered water each day.
Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes – These foods are high in complex carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, low in fat, and free of cholesterol. Try to get fresh, local produce when possible. Organic is ideal as these products are free of pesticides and high in nutrients.
Fibre – Dietary fibre is found in plant foods (fruit, vegetables and whole grains) and is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Fibre helps support a healthy diet by:
- Helping you feel fuller faster and longer, this can help prevent
- Keeping blood sugar levels even, by slowing digestion and absorption so that glucose (sugar) enters the bloodstream slowly and
- Maintaining a healthy colon – the simple organic acids produced when fibre is broken down in the digestive process helps to nourish the lining of the
Fats – Avoid the bad fats and enjoy the good fats. Fats are another vital part to a healthy diet. Good fats are needed to nourish your brain, heart, nerves, hormones and all your cells, as well as hair, skin, and nails. Fat also satisfies us and makes us feel full. It’s the fat that matters in addition to how much you consume. Good fats are found in foods such as nuts & seeds, salmon, avocado and flaxseed oil. Trans fat raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol that increases your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), as well as lowering HDL, or good cholesterol. Trans fats are created by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen gas, a process called hydrogenation. Primary sources of trans fat are vegetable shortenings, margarine, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, and other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Carbohydrates – Avoid simple refined carbohydrates such as white pasta,white rice and white bread. They offer little nutritional value and increase blood glucose levels causing insulin levels to spike. This can lead to diabetes and weight gain. Try healthier alternatives such as a whole wheat pasta, brown rice and whole grain bread. Complex carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables offer high nutritional value. Complex carbohydrates are healthier as most contain fibre which helps with elimination, reduces cholesterol and keeps glucose levels stable.
Protein – It is not recommended to consume animal protein on a daily basis. Red meat in particular is difficult for the body to digest and contains saturated fat which can cause heart disease. Healthier alternatives are Pacific Salmon, chicken or plant protein such as Quinoa. Meat products purchased from the grocery store contain antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites. There are healthier alternatives for purchasing meat such as at a farmers market or whole foods store. Quinoa can also be purchased there as well.
Many people may think they’re eating healthy when really they’re not. A typical breakfast for most people – if eaten at all – is a white bagel with cream cheese, a muffin and coffee or a bowl of raisin bran and piece of toast. An example of a healthier breakfast would be ½ a whole grain bagel with organic peanut butter, fruit and a glass of almond milk. Rather than Raisin Bran which has hydrogenated oil, and chemical preservatives choose organic oatmeal. Regular oatmeal is high in sodium and should be avoided. Please also refrain from using a microwave as it zaps the nutrients from our food.
About the author:
Shari Anticknap RHN, NNCP
Nutrition & Weight Loss Specialist at Optimum Wellness Centres
Shari received her education from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) and holds an RHN (Registered Holistic Nutritionist) designation. She is also a proud member of the professional organization the Canadian Association of Natural Nutritional Practitioners.
As a Nutrition & Weight Loss Expert, Shari teaches overweight, busy and stressed out people the HOW TO of losing weight. She uses a safe and healthy approach to weight loss that has proven to give her clients results.
Although she is knowledgeable in all aspects of nutrition her passion and area of expertise is weight loss. Shari is the creator of The Body Transformation Program, a personalized and practical approach to losing weight. She doesn’t believe in quick fixes, instead Shari educates and transforms clients with healthy lifestyle choices. Her easy to follow 10 step program is designed to accommodate busy schedules and provide long term results. People find they have more energy and have fewer health complaints.
Shari experienced her own health challenges in the past and struggled with weight in her younger years. This has given her a deep understanding of the questions and concerns faced by people that want to lose weight and improve their health.
Healthy diet and lifestyle choices do make a difference!
Please contact the Bowness clinic at (403) 286-9319 if you like to book a FREE 15 Minute Consultation to see if working with Shari is right for you!