We now eat in ways that are completely deficient and toxic. We eat incongruently with the genetic requirements for healthy cell function and the result is pandemic levels of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, depression, and many other chronic illnesses.
Humans have become the world's sickest animal species. We are the only species on earth that has fundamentally changed our diet away from what we genetically require.
The most important thing for you to understand is that how you eat has a direct impact on the function of your cells and thus your overall health, vitality, appearance, and longevity.
FUEL WEIGHT LOSS, FIGHT DIABETES WITH FIBER
Whole foods tempt us with their come-hither hues--the jewel-toned berries and lush, leafy greens; the luminous beans; the rich, earthy grains. Like bees to flowers, we're drawn to them. That's a good thing, because underneath those beautiful exteriors, whole foods pack some serious nutrition, including a mother lode of fiber.
A half century of research has proven fiber to be the Swiss Army knife of nutrients. Name just about any health problem--high blood sugar or type 2 diabetes, for example--and a high-fiber diet probably can help treat it, if not prevent it in the first place.
Trying to lose weight? Then fiber-rich foods definitely are the way to go. Case in point: Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that people who ate the most vegetables, fruits, and other fiber-rich foods lost 2 to 3 pounds more per month than those on lower-fiber diets. That's why fiber is one of our Fat-Fighting Four supernutrients.
With all the good things it has going for it, fiber ought to be a dietary mainstay. Yet a full two-thirds of us are getting 15 grams a day, at most. That's about half of the recommended 25 to 30 grams a day!
Why are so many of us coming up so short? The answer, at least in part, is that fiber-rich whole foods must compete with processed foods for our dietary favor. The latter's very name suggests their inherent weakness: Processed foods are pretty much devoid of fiber.
Prevention's Diabetes DTOUR Diet, a science-backed eating plan to lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of developing diabetes and its complications, is all about whole foods--fruits, veggies, beans, and whole grains. They're the staple ingredients of the Diabetes DTOUR Diet's menus and recipes, which are as easy to make as they are fabulous to eat! You'll enjoy stir-fries, bean tostadas, pasta primavera, and pancakes--yes, pancakes!--on this plan. And no worries about fiber: You'll be getting between 26 and 29 grams every day on DTOUR, depending on your calorie level. You'll eat great, lose weight, and rein in your blood sugar. That's the DTOUR promise!
If you're not accustomed to eating so many high-fiber foods on a regular basis, you'll want to ease your way into this to allow your digestive tract time to adjust. Start with one or two of the tips below and gradually add more fiber to your diet as your body adapts.
Select a breakfast cereal that provides 5 or more grams of fiber per serving. Another option: Add 2 tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your favorite nonsugary cereal.
Switch to a whole grain bread that contains at least 2 grams of fiber per serving. Read labels to make sure you're getting the real thing. You should see whole wheat, whole wheat flour, or another whole grain in the top spot on the ingredient list.
Eat whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. Berries, along with pears, apples, and oranges, are good sources of fiber.
Swap meat for legumes two or three times per week. Black beans, chickpeas, and edamame (whole soybeans) are high in fiber, low in fat, and packed with lean protein. Toss them in salads, or add them to chili or soups.
Visit your local natural-foods store and experiment with some of the more exotic whole grains, such as buckwheat, millet, barley, and quinoa.
Take advantage of ready-to-use vegetables. Mix chopped frozen broccoli into prepared spaghetti sauce or nibble on baby carrots.
Add some roughage to your snacks. Fresh fruits, raw vegetables with fat-free dip, and low-fat popcorn are all good choices.
Experiment with Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, which feature whole grains and legumes as part of the main meal. You might whip up Indian dal or Middle Eastern tabbouleh--a cracked-wheat salad flavored with lemon, fresh parsley, mint, chopped tomatoes, and spices.
Add 1/2 cup of chickpeas, either cooked or canned, to a pot of your favorite soup. You'll boost its total fiber count by 6 grams. Be sure to rinse canned chickpeas to reduce their sodium content.
Steam your broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots before eating them, and you'll get 3 to 5 grams of fiber per serving--up to twice the amount in the raw veggies. Heat makes fiber more available.
Use uncooked oatmeal instead of bread crumbs in meat loaf. Add 3/4 cup of oats per pound of lean ground beef, and you'll boost the total fiber count to more than 8 grams.
Top your fat-free ice cream with sliced fresh berries. One-half cup of raspberries provides 4 grams of fiber; the same amount of strawberries or blueberries packs 2 grams.
articles > heart health > 8 steps to lower your risk of heart disease
6 STEPS TO LOWER YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE
Even if you are already at risk for heart disease, you can improve your heart health and reduce your risk factors. Because these factors are often related, a change in just one area can positively impact others. Losing weight, for example, makes it easier to keep blood pressure down and diabetes in check.
Having a healthy heart takes some effort, but it's well within your reach. Take an active role in keeping your heart beating at a healthy pace by following these eight steps:
1. Improve your cholesterol levels. The higher your blood cholesterol level, the higher your risk for heart disease. Follow a diet low in saturated fat to reduce your cholesterol levels.
2. Quit smoking. Smokers are twice as likely to suffer heart attacks as non-smokers and they are more likely to die as a result. Smoking also increases your risk of having a stroke. Women who both smoke and take oral contraceptives are at particularly high risk for heart disease and stroke.
3. Exercise. People who don't exercise have an increased risk of heart disease compared with people who do even moderate amounts of physical activity. Leading a sedentary life is simply unhealthy. Work to increase your physical activity and you will lower your risk of heart disease as well as other illnesses.
4. Keep diabetes under control. Diabetes can lead to many health problems, including heart attacks. It's critical to properly manage diabetes under the care of a wellness doctor..
5. Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight causes additional strain on your heart, making people who are overweight more likely to develop heart disease. Being overweight also influences other risk factors, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
6. Limit alcohol consumption. Women who consume on average more than one drink per day and men who consume more than two drinks per day increase their risk of heart disease. People who binge drink are at particularly high risk.
7. Manage your stress level. Uncontrolled stress and anger can lead to heart disease. There are stress and anger management techniques that can be very effective in lowering your stress level and, therefore, your risk for developing heart disease. Talk with your doctor about how you can incorporate these techniques into your daily routine
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