Daily nutrition plays a critical role in supporting our overall health and development. Not only does consuming the right foods help sustain healthy bodily functions, but better nutrition is also associated with better overall health, a stronger immune system, lower risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and longevity.
According to The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America 2019 the nation’s obesity rates are approaching the 40 percent mark. In the past five years, no state has seen a significant drop in its obesity rate and many people are not meeting the daily recommended fruit and vegetable consumption, adding to their health risk.
With increasing obesity rates and challenges in adopting a healthy lifestyle, how can we take quick and practical steps to get all the necessary nutrients to support healthy living?
To help you get your daily nutrition fix, here are 5 easy tips:
Start the day with a protein-rich breakfast
For many of us, our typical daily diet tends to provide little protein at breakfast, a bit more at lunch, and a much larger amount at dinner. This may not provide the best conditions for healthy weight management, since protein intake spread more evenly throughout the day provides better hunger control. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found that people who consume a high-protein breakfast tend to eat fewer calories throughout the day as compared to those who do not.
Eating enough protein in the morning not only helps satisfy hunger, it can also help to maintain muscle health by increasing muscle mass and energy expenditure, when coupled with a strength training regimen.
While getting larger amounts of protein in the first meal of the day may be challenging, this can be resolved by incorporating eggs, yogurt, or protein powder into your breakfast. Hard-boiled eggs or a carton of yogurt are handy and portable, and protein powder can be stirred into oatmeal or whipped up with some milk and fruit into a tasty nutritious shake.
Adopt the 40-30-30 principle for a balanced diet
In order to look and feel your best, your body needs a complex blend of nutrients, including a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Protein is a vital macronutrient to virtually every cell in our body, aiding in the manufacture of hormones and enzymes as well as the building of muscle tissue. Carbohydrates are crucial for providing the necessary fuel for the body, while fats aid the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
To meet your body’s nutrition needs, Herbalife Nutrition Philosophy recommends following the 40-30-30 principle – getting 40% of your daily calorie intake from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from beneficial fats, along with good amounts of vitamins, minerals, fluids, and fiber. To achieve this practically, aim to create meals that contain a balance of foods from each group. Choose your daily carbohydrates from healthy choices such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; your daily protein intake from foods such as soy products, poultry, fish, and eggs; and your daily fat intake from sources such as olive and canola oils, avocado, and nuts.
Supplement your diet with essential vitamins
Besides macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and fat, you also need micronutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals, to regulate body processes such as releasing energy from food and keeping tissues healthy.
While the best approach to get a variety of vitamins and minerals in proper amounts is to adopt a balanced diet – with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, low-fat protein, and dairy products – adding a supplement or two may aid time-strapped consumers and those who do not have access to a broad range of healthy foods to get the vitamins they need on a daily basis.
Watch out for your fiber intake
Fiber plays an important role in supporting the body’s digestive process. Not only does it fill you up, it promotes the growth of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract and helps prevent constipation. However, a typical adult only consumes about a third of the recommended 25-38 grams of fiber each day.
Hence, make it a point to consciously consume fiber-rich foods. High fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans can help you to feel full while also helping to move food through the intestines and prevent constipation.
Don’t forget to hydrate
The human body is made up of 70 percent water. As such, proper hydration is critical to supporting healthy bodily functions, such as the transportation of nutrients to cells, getting rid of waste products, controlling body temperature, and lubricating joints, organs, and tissues.
When your body is not getting sufficient amounts of fluids, it sounds an alarm that shows up as thirst or a dry mouth. Other signs that hint at the lack of hydration include dark-colored urine, constipation, bad breath, muscle fatigue, or headaches.
This is why you should get about eight glasses of liquid each day to hydrate your body adequately. To keep your calorie intake low, choose water over sweetened drinks, with a glass of plain tea, coffee or other calorie-free beverages in between for added variety.
By Susan Bowerman, Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education & Training, Herbalife Nutrition
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 https://www.tfah.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2019ObesityReportFINAL-1.pdf Link to Non-Herbalife Nutrition platform. Herbalife is not affiliated with the Trust for America’s Health