Friday, October 3, 2014

Twenty-Five Easy Steps to Optimal Health

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. You need at least seven servings per day, and preferably nine. "Servings" are commonly half a cup in size. A big helping of green beans, broccoli, or grapes might count as two servings or more. However, don't eat the same fruits and vegetables all the time. The best way to eat fruits and vegetables is either raw or by steaming fresh or frozen ones.
2. Quit or decrease smoking. Quitting is by far the best, but any reduction is helpful to your health. Avoid secondhand smokes as well. If you can't stop, then please protect your family by not smoking near them.
3. Eat more whole grains. They contain fiber, minerals, and many other beneficial nutrients.
4. Get help for depression or stress. Contact a professional or your religious leader for assistance. It's not a sign of weakness to get help-its sign of strength and hope. Generally, do your best to maintain a positive outlook on life.
5. Calculate your BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, and percent body fat. The way to reduce obesity is to reduce all your risks for chronic disease. Losing weight isn't a strategy for attaining optimal health, it's a result.
6. Calculate how many calories you need.
7. Learn how to estimate your calorie intake. Most people couldn't begin to guess how many calories they take in daily. But people who are really successful at losing weight generally have a reasonably accurate notion of their caloric consumption. In fact, you can quickly and easily train yourself so that accurately estimating calories is second nature. All you need is a small kitchen scale, measuring cups, and a chart showing the calories in different foods by weight. Then spend a day by paling with your food. Do this for a day every week or two, and soon accurately estimating calories in your meals will be second nature. You don't have to be accurate to the last calorie. Here's an example: Half a cup of chopped raw broccoli has only twelve calories. So 300 calories worth of broccoli equals 121/2 cups. That's about ¾ of a gallon. This demonstrates the power and importance of plants. They are loaded with antioxidants that help reduce the risk of chronic disease, and they contain so much fiber and total mass that you can eta to your heart's content without taking on large amounts of calories.
8. Wear sunscreen. Preferably one rated SPF 30 or above. Also, avoid excessive exposure to the sun, and don't even go near a tanning bed.
9. Eat carbohydrates with low glycemic index.
10.Take basic supplements.
11. Kick the fad habit. Stop obsessing about grams and ratios of fat, protein, and carbohydrates, and proteins.
12. Exercise your religious faith. Whatever you believe, believe it intensely.
13. Avoid high fructose corn syrup. This is found in many foods, especially in sweetened drinks. It is so ubiquitous, we can't avoid it altogether, but we can cut way back. For starters, replace sweetened drinks with green tea, water, coffee, low-fat organic dairy products, and drinks artificially sweetened with Splenda.
14. Get enough rest. For most of us, that's seven to eight hours a night.
15. Use only canola and extra-virgin olive oil. Replace all other oils, especially partially hydrogenated oils, with these two. This will reduce omega-6 and Trans fats drastically.
16. Eat organic foods as much as possible. Meats, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and grains.
17. Decrease alcohol use, preferably to zero. Its contributions to health problems are greater than any benefits. If you drink a lot of alcohol and cutting back seems unthinkable to you, then you probably really need to think about it.
18. Get more omega-3 in your diet and through supplementation.
19. Reduce exposure to contagious diseases, especially sexually transmitted diseases like venereal warts, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, et al.
20.See your doctor. You should be checked for the following at the minimum: cholesterol levels, homocysteine, blood pressure, thyroid stimulating hormone, ferritin, hs-C- reactive protein, PSA, fasting glucose, and fasting insulin.
21. Cut back on processed foods, including fast food and snacks. These are loaded with omega-6, Trans fats, chemicals, high fructose corn syrup, and other horrible stuff. You can find healthy food at some fast food restaurants, but it it's rare. Replace bad, processed snacks with fruit, vegetables, and well-balanced food-bars.
22. Move your body more. That's how we burn calories and build muscle. Increase the "exercise of daily living". Get clearance from a doctor before switching from couch potato-ness to intense exercise.
23. Reduce your exposure to chemicals. Besides reducing chemical exposure via food, consider an air or water purification system.
24. Reduce consumption of dark meats, especially beef, pork, and processed meats, because of their omega-6 and chemical content. Replace with lean, skinless, organic chicken, turkey or fish. Try veggie burgers, and even try eating vegetarian a few days a week.
25.Get genetic testing. Ask your doctor about genetic tests as they become commercially available to determine your inherited risk of chronic disease.By
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