Stress Busters: Building a defense against stress

The way we live our lives can have a huge impact on the way that we experience stress. Living a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the stress level in your life and make you more resilient and help you cope with major stressors in your life. Adopting a health lifestyle means that you can concentrate better, have more energy, and increased stamina. Starting with the proper diet and nutrition plan is the best foundation for a health life.

Moderation is the key when eating carbs, protein,and fat. Excess in any area is never a good thing. You are likely to become sick when your body is stressed – your immune system is not working at it’s full capacity. Eating a healthy, well balanced diet you will stay healthy even in times of stress. If you eat mostly fast food that is high in fat, sodium, and calories, you will very likely feel more run down and sick during stressful times. Daily vitamins and supplements can be beneficial but are no replacement f or a healthy, balanced diet.

A balanced dietary guideline for a healthy diet is one that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. The FDA food pyramid for the average adult indicate a daily healthy diet consists of at least 3 ounces of whole grain bread, cereal, crackers, rice or pasta, dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, dry beans and peas, a variety of fruit (fresh, frozen canned or dried) with limited amounts of canned fruit juices, with most of your fat sources from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils, and limiting solid fats like butter, stick margarine, shortening and lard, drinking low or fat free milk (if you can’t drink milk make sure to get your calcium from lactose free items), and eating low fat or lean meat and poultry that is baked, broiled, or grilled, and vary your protein choices with more fish, bean, nuts, peas, and seeds.

It’s been said time and again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But did you know a healthy breakfast can help with weight loss? A 1992 study at Vanderbilt University found that women who changed their diet to include breakfast lost 28% more weight over a 12-week period than women who skipped their morning repast. In addition, a full 78% of the 3,000 people enrolled in the National Weight Loss Registry, an ongoing tally of adults who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for more than a year, describe themselves as breakfast eaters.

The U.S. Government’s Dietary Reference Intakes recommend that added sugars not exceed 25% of total calories (to ensure sufficient intake of micronutrients). And while there isn’t a specific guideline for cereal, it makes sense to aim for a cereal that gets 25% or less of its calories from sugar. (If the cereal contains dried fruit, this could be a pinch higher.It’s even more beneficial when you add fresh or dried fruit.

Bottom line: start your day off right with a healthy breakfast, eat a healthy, balanced diet through out the rest of the day and you have the best foundation for defense against stress.

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