There are certain healthy eating facts that don’t change no matter what kind of a diet you follow, or what kind of lifestyle you have. Whether you’re sedentary or active, too much saturated fat isn’t good for you. Whether you eat 1600 calories a day or 2500, depending on your activity level, trans fats are unhealthy, for example. And whether you’re trying to lose weight quickly or jump start a long-term weight loss program, fasting isn’t a good choice for your body.
One of the healthy eating facts that we didn’t have to worry about years ago is that trans fats are unhealthy. Some trans fats occur naturally in food, but those aren’t the same as the man-made trans fats that make up margarine and shortening, and are found in almost every commercially produced baked good you can find. Trans fats are also often included in boxed mixes that you prepare at home, and things like instant cocoa, because of its long shelf-life.
Hydrogenated fats like margarine and shortening became available in 1911. Before then trans fats weren’t something the average consumer had to worry about. Now, though, hydrogenated oils or trans fats are present in almost every type of food you can think of. The hydrogenation process keeps fats from going rancid for a longer period of time. But the link between hydrogenated oils and heart health is clear—it’s worse for you than saturated fat.
This is one of the healthy eating facts that has prompted the government to step in. They’ve insisted that fast-food restaurants reduce the amount of trans fats in their food. Food manufacturers also have to include the amount of trans fats on their food labels, too. Carefully read food labels so that you’re at least aware of what you’re eating. Anything that says hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated is a trans fat, and something you want to avoid as much as possible. Eliminate these trans fats from your diet completely if you can.
Another one of the healthy eating facts that not too many people think about is how bad regular soft drinks are for your health. A can of regular soft drink contains about 9 teaspoons of sugar. And how often do you drink more than one soda in a day? Some people drink several sodas per day, preferring soda to beverages like water or tea.
Everyone’s going to eat sugar in some form, but moderation is called for. And when one soda provides you with 9 teaspoons of sugar, that’s pretty much the sugar limit for the day—that we don’t need refined sugar at all is one of the most ignored healthy eating facts. But most people have sugar in other forms, too, raising their daily total of sugar intake much higher.
Considering the rising rates of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related illnesses, cutting back on trans fat and soda in our diets is important. These healthy eating facts can make a huge difference in our weight and overall health if we don’t ignore them.
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