Emmy-winning TV host and author of the new best-selling book, “Your Healthiest Healthy: 8 Easy Ways to Take Control, Help Prevent and Fight Cancer, and Live a Longer, Cleaner, Happier Life” shares some of her favorite healthy eating hacks!
TOP DIETARY HEALTHY HACKS:
Here are my top tips for eating to reach your healthiest healthy.
- Know your ingredients – understand the ingredients on the labels. If you don’t recognize the name of the ingredient, then think twice about eating that “food”!
- “F” the HFCS! Toss out anything that says High Fructose Corn Syrup. It’s literally a killer. ‘Nuff said.
- Say “Ciao” to BAD FATS. Ditch the boxed and bagged varieties that include words in the ingredients list such as “hydrogenated”. It usually signals trans fats, which wreak havoc on your insides. No bueno.
- Save white for summer clothes and lose it for the foods you consume. White sugar and white flour (the latter turns into sugar almost as fast as you swallow it!) act as insulin, which spike and create inflammation. Inflammation leads to chronic disease.
- Don’t be fooled by sugar synonyms. If you see maltodextrin, malt barley, molasses, dextrose, galactose, fructose (okay, anything ending in –ose!!), cane syrup, caramel, cane juice, treacle – steer clear or proceed with caution!
- Beware of health claims such as “Heart Healthy!” “Boosts Immunity!” “Low-Fat”. The marketing gurus of Big Food (the corps that rule the food industry) are sly. They will try to win you over with falsehoods and bogus claims.
- The fewer the ingredients, the more likely it’s a healthier option. If it reads like laundry list, well….maybe put it back on the shelf.
- Oils can be helpful OR harmful. Highly refined oils (such as sunflower, corn, canola, safflower, grapeseed) tend to use high-heat processing that ups the harmful toxins. Stick with EVOO, organic avocado, coconut or macadamia nut oils while paying attention to smoke point (for example: EVOO can turn carcinogenic at high heats – so opt for avo’ oil instead for that type of cooking!)
- Red dye should be seen as a red flag! Same goes for MSG, “natural flavoring” (ain’t nothin’ natural about it), dyes and preservatives.
- Splenda anyone? Not splendid. Best stick to a touch of raw organic honey or 100% pure Grade A maple syrup – or perhaps a small (s-m-a-l-l) amount of Truvia. Artificial sugars spike insulin and teach your body to continue to crave sugar. When these insulin levels fall (and they will fall fast), the cycle of eating will continue = added pounds (and more) = unhealthy.
NOW TO THE GOOD-FOR-YOU HEALTHY HACKS:
- Veggies are your BFF! Fill you plate at least half full at every meal with veggies. The wider the variety and the more vibrantly colorful, the better. Greens equal awesomeness. Romaine, kale, spinach plus the cruciferous besties such as broccoli (especially broc. sprouts!) and Brussels sprouts.
- Add in GOOD FATS daily! Nuts, avocados, seeds and small amounts of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) from a good source (not all are created equal)
- Limit dairy. When you choose to enjoy it as plain Greek yogurt or Kefir, you will get a nice dose of probiotics but organic and pasture-raised is the way to go! (NOTE: free-range, cage free, naturalor rBGH-free are useless marketing ploys!)
- Heaping amounts of animal proteins are not your friend, so if you choose to indulge, just consume small portions (i.e. 2-4 oz per meal) of grass-fed and organic varieties.
- Gone fishing? Catch wild Alaskan salmon on your fork (or for your adventurers out there, try other small, lower-toxin fish such as mackerel, sardines and anchovies – good luck!).
- Indulge that sweet tooth! Yes, you may freely savor 72% and higher cacao dark chocolate. Just don’t eat the whole bar…Yum!!!
Mostly, make meals fun.
Spice them up with flavor-boosters like, well, spices and herbs. Turmeric contains curcumin, which hits it out of the park as an anti-inflammatory that helps fight cancer and other chronic diseases.
Garlic and onions do more than just add wonderful flavor, they are part of the Allium family, which studies show can lower blood pressure and cholesterol — and since they increase blood flow, they can stimulate circulation to sexual organs – so, if you can mask the smell on your breath, you may have an added bonus in the bedroom!
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