Living alone abroad

”Living alone abroad: The 5 things to do to make any diet regimen work for real.”

Are you struggling with weight issues? Have eating from restaurants become part of your routines? Not feeling more attracted to a healthy dietary style?

These are the 5 first things your dietician, doctor or fitness trainer should have told you.

The steps are not a secret but still not enough taken in consideration although are proven to be effective. Whenever you are fighting to lose weight or to maintain a good shape or to strengthen your muscular mass, and more if you are in a regime to control your blood sugar, cholesterol levels or blood pressure; if you don’t follow this 5 tips you might get stuck instead of advancing into your desirable results.

1. Content of your food.

You need to get the right nutrients for you. A balanced diet is not a matter to joke about. In 2017 a study did conclude that nearly one half of all cardiometabolic deaths (ie, deaths from heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes) among adults in the United States were found to be associated with suboptimal intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and omega-3 fatty acids.

The new serving scheme of diet specialists divide the plate in 4: one half a plate of vegetables, one fourth a plate of lean protein, and one fourth a plate of high-fiber complex carbs, plus one serving of healthy fats, like dairy.

Ensure that half of grains consumed are whole grains. Shift to low-fat and fat-free dairy products. Regularly switch proteins to include such choices as seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes, and seeds. Vegetables should be consumed in a variety of colors and consistencies, such as dark green, red, orange, leafy, and starchy.

Finally, dairy is important for more reasons than just calcium. When you eat dairy, you get vitamin D, magnesium, and potassium. Your brain, muscles and organs in general will say thank you with a good and more active mood; up to any activity you want, intellectual or physical.

2.Cook meals at home (from scratch, if possible).

Processed foods and beverages—including packaged snacks, smoked meats, white flour, and sugar-sweetened items—should be eaten only occasionally, like almost never, avoid or dramatically minimize them.

More specifically, as an example, the USDA has quantified limits that may help patients understand exactly how much added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium is healthy: Less than 10% of calories should come from added sugar, less than 10% of calories should come from saturated fats, and less than 2300 mg of sodium should be eaten per day. The average American consumes about 50% more sodium in the form of processed or prepared foods and restaurant foods, which can raise blood pressure and increase the risk for stroke and heart disease (coincidental with data of areas like big portion of Middle East and Latin America)

Many nutritionists and clinicians are concerned about blood glucose levels, obesity, diabetes, and other health implications, and they believe that sugar is the new tobacco. At the same time, recent studies show that artificial sweeteners and diet soda may not be protective, and may even do harm. All those are present in processed food in a high level( As reported in Medscape Medical News.)

Conclusions: people should prepare most of their own meals, especially avoiding packaged foods, to decrease consumption of added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.  Choosing fresh or frozen meats, fish, and poultry instead of processed animal foods is ideal. Fresh or frozen vegetables (without sauce or salt) are healthier than canned foods. Instead of reaching for the salt shaker, consider seasoning vegetables with herbs and spices. You might also find cooking and trying new recipes very entertaining, like a way to relieve stress. I do!

3. For weight loss, choose realistic, balanced diets.

”The most successful diet is one that patients can stick to”. Plenty of diets have proven effective for weight loss and weight maintenance. When dieters fail, it is because they attempt to follow diets that are too restrictive, are unbalanced, or cause rapid weight loss, which leads to yo-yo dieting.

Diets that promote weight loss and weight maintenance include increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, and high-fiber and whole-grain foods; increased intake of water; and reduced consumption of dietary sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Low-carb, high-protein diets result in greater weight loss over a given period compared with calorically equivalent diets that contain relatively more carbohydrates. Furthermore, high-protein diets are linked to better long-term benefits with regard to the waist circumference, body fat composition, reduced loss of muscle mass, improved cardiometabolic risk factors, and decreased diameter of adipocytes. However, moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-protein diets have also been linked to improved body composition, lipid profiles, and postprandial insulin response.

Specific diets that have proven effective at weight loss plus reduction in body mass index include the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, Mediterranean diet, Nutrisystem®, Weight Watchers®, and Jenny Craig®

4. Choose fats wisely.

Fats imbue food with flavor and allow for creamy, moist, or tender consistencies. However, fat calories are more concentrated than those of proteins and carbohydrates, and accumulate quickly.

Instead of giving up fats, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says to “spend your fat calories wisely. This means substituting with healthier fats to reduce the intake of saturated and trans fats. When cooking, liquid oils can be used instead of solid fats (eg, butter, shortening, or lard). Liquid oils can be polyunsaturated (eg, corn, sunflower, and soybean) or monounsaturated (eg, olive, peanut, safflower, sesame, and canola). Oils also add key nutrients, such as vitamin E. Another healthy substitution involves swapping out whole-milk products with low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, or yogurt.

5. Eat plenty of fiber.

Consume fermented foods(probiotics) and fiber for gastrointestinal and overall health. Probiotics are beneficial and an integral part of a healthy diet, and dietary fiber is the best known prebiotic that feed the probiotics.

Consumption of dietary fiber is linked to improved cardiovascular health and lower body weight. Furthermore, when used judiciously, fiber laxatives can help with issues of gastrointestinal motility. It is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole and fiber-enriched grains. It keeps digestion moving, binds cholesterol, and pushes out carcinogens. It helps you feel full longer and feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut.

One recent study found that indolepropionic acid, a metabolite produced by intestinal bacteria and fortified by a fiber-rich diet, is protective against type 2 diabetes, whereas another study found a protective link against colon cancer. Research into the microbiome/mental health connection has also been intriguing.

Probiotics are selectively fermented ingredients that balance the composition and activity of the gut flora to benefit health. It contain microorganisms that confer gastrointestinal benefit. They are commonly found in yogurt, kefir, and unpasteurized fermented foods and drinks. They can also be taken in supplement form. In order to thrive, probiotics require prebiotics as food, which can be found in fiber. It contain nonpathogenic yeast and bacteria that lower intestinal pH, decrease the invasion of pathogenic organisms in the gut, and modify immune response. The human microbiome has been implicated in a wide variety of health and disease states. An extensive body of research is under exploring but for now, probiotics have definitely been found to benefit gut health. Although this is still a very young research area, the results are promising enough that recommending high-quality fermented and cultured foods, along with whole grains and other fiber-rich foods, is a very good idea.

A bonus (you know we doctors have always something else to say):

Progress, not Perfection

In recent years, diet experts have focused on shifting patient perceptions regarding food. Instead of drastic changes, gradual changes may suffice. Moreover, it is beyond the scope of a single clinical visit to present all available dietary advice. One change at a time is Ok; focus on making progress, not being perfect. Once you’re successful with one goal, pick another goal. Nutrition is about what you’re going to eat for the rest of your life.

Make this your goals:

  • Avoid alcohol, or limit consumption to one drink per day for women or two for men; and try not to substitute food sources with vitamin supplements.
  • Increased vegetable and fruit intake.
  • Consumption of foods that are high in fiber and probiotics.
  • Consumption of whole-grain foods.
  • Increased water intake.
  • Decreased intake of dietary sugar (eg, sugar-sweetened beverages).
  • Sufficient protein intake.
  • Healthy fats.
  • Dairy is a must if there is no allergy.
  • Research has also found that vitamin D works in conjunction with the omega-3s to improve cognitive function and social behavior, as well as overall mood.


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